Whether your luggage is lost or delayed is unfortunately out of your control, but here are five simple steps you can take to increase your chance that your bag will arrive when you do.
1. Tag the outside of each of your bags with your name, home/work address, and
cell/home/work phone numbers. Include the same information inside each bag, as well as an address where you can be reached at your destination along with a copy of your flight itinerary.
2. Add an easy-to-spot identifier to your bag so you can locate it in the sea of black suitcases, and (just as importantly) ensure that someone else doesn’t accidentally run off with your bag. Ribbons and brightly colored luggage tags work well. You can also request a cargo bag that will make your bag stand out and prevent it from damage and theft.
3. Avoid checking in at the last minute, because even if you can race to catch your flight, your bag may not make it.
4. Similarly, avoid scheduling tight connections. Nonstop flights are the best bet for a decreased chance of lost or delayed bags, followed by direct flights, which stop but do not change aircraft. If you must make a connection, using the same airline is ideal.
Upon check-in, ensure the gate agent checks your bags all the way through to your final destination whenever possible and that the proper three-letter airport code is on the bag tag. Be sure you get a claim ticket for each bag so they can be more easily located if lost.