How to avoid lost luggage with these simple tricks
How to avoid lost luggage
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure for more information.

The odds of losing your luggage are slim. According to the Air Travel Consumer Report (issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation), there is less than a 1% chance that a major airline will misplace your bags. But if you are still concerned, here are a few helpful tips on how to avoid lost luggage?

Simple tips on how to avoid lost luggage

1. Add personality to your luggage

So many bags look the same as others. If you have common-looking luggage, chances are good that someone could mistakenly pick up your luggage, thinking it is theirs. Avoid this hassle by adding personality to your luggage.

There should be no confusion between your and another person’s luggage. You can do this with a bold and colorful luggage belt, splashy tags, stickers, ribbons tied to the handle, etc.

2. Use luggage tags or update old tags

Sometimes, the routing label that the airlines put on your bag gets damaged in transit. When this happens, the airlines are unable to tell where to route your luggage. However, luggage tags could ease this hassle because baggage handlers will know who the bags belong to. Therefore, make it a priority to attach an ID tag to the handle of your luggage.

You could go with tags that have special QR codes that identify you, tags that are embedded with microchips that help you determine the exact location of your luggage, or go old-school with simple ID tags that have a limited amount of your personal details. For the sake of privacy, you may include your first initial and your last name, plus a telephone number. If you are comfortable doing so, you could also add your email and/or social media handles.

As you choose luggage tags, go for quality tags that don’t damage easily. Materials like plastic, neoprene, silicone and stainless steel hold up better against the elements.

If you already have luggage tags, make sure it is updated with your most recent contact information.

3. Remove old tags and stickers

If you have traveled before, you’ll have told tags, stickers, and barcodes on your bags. Be sure to remove them. Chances are baggage handlers will be able to identify the most recent bag labels, but why leave it open to confusion?

Another perk about removing old labels is that if your bag gets misplaced, it will be easy for baggage handlers to see where it is supposed to go.

4. Check the new routing tags

Human error can cause luggage to get lost. For example, your luggage could be mistakenly put on the wrong airplane. If this happens, the airline would reroute your luggage to the correct destination.

Another example of human error could be if the attendant enters the wrong destination airport on your labels. If that happens, your bags will obviously not get to their intended destination. If you are at all fearful of this happening, have a quick peek at the labels before it goes to the baggage handlers, and check if it has the correct information.

5. Allow yourself and your luggage enough time to connect

How to avoid lost luggage

If you have a connecting flight, make sure that you have enough time built into your itinerary to go from your arrival to departure gates.

No one wants to spend extra time at an airport, but if you cut your times too close, there may simply not be enough time for your luggage to make the connection.

Also keep in mind that connections at some international airports require that you pick up your luggage at baggage claim, exit, then check in again to drop off your luggage.

6. Put your itinerary and contact details inside your luggage

If you have your luggage tag on your bag, plus the adhesive luggage labels provided by the airline, chances are your luggage will not get lost. However, if the labels and the luggage tags somehow come off, take the extra precaution of including a printed copy of your travel itinerary inside your luggage. That way, if the unthinkable happens, it will be easy for airline staff to track you down. Be sure to include a printed copy of your complete itinerary and contact details and place it on the top of your luggage. That way, they’ll be able to see where you are (and where your luggage is supposed to be).

7. Check in early

When you check in early, particularly for international flights, it may seem like a waste of time. But there is a good reason the airlines ask you to check in early, and keeping luggage on track is one of those reasons.

It takes time for baggage handlers to move luggage from the check-in drop-off to the airplane. If your luggage was checked in late, it may not make it to its intended point on time. Avoid this hassle by arriving at the recommended time.

8. Take a picture of your luggage

how to avoid lost luggage simple tips

If your luggage were to get lost, having photographic evidence may help. Take photos of:

  • Contents of luggage – Once you are packed, take a picture of your luggage before you zip it up. If your luggage gets lost and the airline wants a complete list of the contents, you will have pictures to go by.
  • Luggage before – If your luggage appears to be lost, the airline will ask for a description of your bag. Instead of merely a description, also provide a picture. A picture will help identify your luggage much quicker than a description would.
  • Luggage after – once your luggage has been tagged at the drop-off, take a photo of the tag numbers before it goes to the baggage handlers. This will give you extra ammunition in case of lost baggage.

9. Ship your luggage

The rate of lost luggage in the USA is low but if you are fearful of this happening to you, you could ship your luggage to the end destination so that it arrives right before you do.  This is an expensive option but shipping companies like UPS and FedEx are very reliable. If something were to happen to your luggage, they will be quick to handle claims—which is not the case with lost luggage and the airlines.

Helpful tips on How to avoid lost luggage



Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

About The Author

Hi! We’re the Cheltens’. We visit South Africa 1-2 times per year. We want to share our experiences with you so that you may make educated decisions when you plan your next trip to the rainbow nation.

Time now at South Africa (GMT+2)

3:31 pm
Friday, June 30, 2023

Upcoming festivities/holidays in South Africa

June 2023

Youth Day (National Holiday)
All Day
On this day, South Africa reflects on the massacre of school children during the Soweto Uprising of 1976. The featured image is a grim, albeit important reminder of that day. Black students peacefully rose up against the “Afrikaans Medium Decree”, which was issued in 1974. This decree made it mandatory for , ...
Want to have your business or product featured?
We’re always looking for awesome places, products, activities, restaurants, travel accessories, or anything else that promotes the rich and colorful culture of South Africa.
Travel Categories
Best Travel Products
Ceptics South Africa Travel Plug Adapter (Type M) - 3 Pack [Grounded & Universal] (GP-10L-3PK)
  • Small Travel Size - 3 Pack
  • Standard: Type M plug, South Africa CEE 7/16. Grounded 3-Prong plug.
  • Accepts plugs from all countries including USA.
  • New conductivity design - internal metal interfaces provides better Conductivity
  • Grounded 3 Round Prong plug. Max Capacity Up to 3000 Watt (max 250 Volt, 13 A)
Money Belt for Men Travel Security Belt with Hidden Money Compartment Pocket, Belt with Hidden Pocket Cashsafe Anti-Theft Wallet Non-Metal Buckle
  • 🔒 BYE BYE PICKPOCKETS 💵 - DESIGNED FOR TRAVEL TSA 🧳 - keep your cash safe from pickpockets; equipped with an easy-to-use hidden zippered...
  • 💪 DURABLE - Made with Premium YKK Zipper with reinforced non-slip buckle, Adjustable wear-resisting nylon materia for waist sizes 26 to 42 inches....
  • ✅ Easy access and storage; quickly stash and remove your bills, coins, and keys with ease
  • ✅ NOT JUST A NORMAL BELT - It is a Long-lasting companion; made of premium quality top-grade webbing, YKK zipper, and a reinforced buckle; this...
TRAVELREST Nest Patented Memory Foam Travel Pillow/Neck Pillow - Washable - Voted Best Travel Pillow for 2018-2022 by NYTimes Wirecutter - Packs to 1/4 of its Size (2 Year Warranty)
  • THE BEST TRAVEL PILLOW FOR 2022: As featured on New York Times Wirecutter. After taking four cross-country red-eyes in window, aisle, and middle...
  • UNIQUELY ANGLED BACK: Travelrest Ultimate sets it apart from other travel pillows because it can lay flat against the seat back. Most other pillows...
  • THERAPEUTIC DESIGN: Made from special thermo sensitive memory foam to provide optimal neck, shoulder and head support. Non-slip backing holds pillow...
  • VERSATILE: Great for long flights, car trip, trains, buses, lounging on the couch, wheelchairs, watching TV.
  • SCIENTIFICALLY TESTED: Developed originally by NASA, memory foam forms perfectly to your neck for maximum support. Ideal for chronic pain sufferers.
INIU Portable Charger, Slimmest 10000mAh 5V/3A Power Bank, USB C in&out High-Speed Charging Battery Pack, External Phone Powerbank Compatible with iPhone 14 13 12 11 Samsung S22 S21 Google LG iPad etc
  • ✅【From INIU--the SAFE Fast Charge Pro】Experience the safest charging with over 38 million global users. At INIU, we use only the highest-grade...
  • ✅【Market's Thinnest 10000mAh】 The market’s one and only 0.5-inch power bank that breaks the limit of 10000mAh, easily slipped into any travel...
  • ✅【Only 5% Got USB-C IN&OUT】INIU is the only 5% of power banks got a USB-C IN&OUT port. Unlike others only recharge via USB-C port, INIU can...
  • ✅【3A High-Speed Charging】3A fast charging fuels iPhone up to 78% in just one hour. INIU's AutoFit identifies and meets your device's ideal...
  • ✅【15-Layer SAFE Charging】INIU's unique 15-Layer SmartProtect system shrugs off any unusual charging at the start. Take overheating risk and...