No Baggage

4 02 2007

Last year I had the most successful year when it comes to checking bags and having them actually appear at my destination.

I was actually getting to the point of being surprised IF my luggage appeared rather than disappointed if it was lost. However, after arriving on the other side of the world in 1999 only to find out my luggage decided not to leave the US, I vowed I would start traveling light and only taking what I could carry on.

As you know, on August 10th of 2006, the airlines banned liquids and since I was traveling on August 11th with about 300 sample bottles of shampoo, I had to break my rule and check some things. I am delighted to say [and probably cursing my next flight] that since that day in August, the airlines have not lost my luggage.

The airlines just announced that in 2006 they “mishandled” a measly 3.5 million bags. 3.5 million bags? Come on!

Now I am sure this ENORMOUS number has a lot to do with the fact that all of a sudden everyone was practically forced to check a bag due to security but at the same time, isn’t it the airline’s responsibility to not only take us where we are going but our luggage as well?

There are a few things you can do to prevent your bags from getting lost and make your bags more travel savvy…

– Luggage Tags: it sounds ridiculous but i can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen someone open their suitcase at the baggage claim to ensure that it was theirs – I guess they didn’t realize that if it was lost no one would never know who’s it was

– In addition to an outside luggage tag, attach a luggage tag inside your suitcase. The inside luggage tag isn’t going to rip off and will work as a last resort in getting your bags back to you.

– Personalize Your Bag: I flew into a real small airport to meet my parents awhile ago and greeted them at the baggage claim area. When the belt started, my father said I should go closer to the baggage carousel so I could see when my bag came out. I assured him I was fine where I was. In the sea of all black suitcases, my teal and white flowered suitcase with pink stickers all over it screamed. I have almost customized it to the point of ridiculousness but I cannot tell you how much of a difference it makes.

– Ship It: If you are short on time for your trip, or you don’t feel like wasting time at the baggage carousel, ship your items that can’t be carried on. Hotels will accept shipments for arriving guests (you may want to forewarn them of its arrival though).

– Avoid it: Airline restrictions are constantly changing but as it stands now you can carry on liquids that are in bottles of 3 ounces or less. Buy travel sizes of your favorite products. As a matter of fact, we are working on a Destination travel kit that holds all of the essentials in a TSA approved carry bag. I’ll keep you posted on that before its release.

Any of you have lost luggage stories?

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