Baggage claim. It’s never anyone’s favorite part of traveling and to be honest, the best way to avoid issues is to not use it at all. If your trip is short enough, pack light and don’t check a bag. If that isn’t feasible (which we realize that sometimes it isn’t!), read on and use these helpful tips to make navigating the airport baggage claim a breeze.
Pack your contact info
Before you leave home, ensure that each bag you’re traveling with is packed with your contact information inside, including your name, phone number, address and email address. This includes checked bags, carry-ons and even purses. If your bag gets misplaced or lost, you’ll thank yourself for taking this extra precaution.
Do some research
Do some research prior to your trip. Look up where the baggage claim is located at your destination airport so you can get there quickly after your flight lands to secure a prime spot around the carousel. Also, try to find out what your airline’s procedures are for lost or delayed luggage, familiarizing yourself with where and how to report missing bags. Doing this quickly and efficiently may reduce the amount of time it takes to get your bags and belongings back.
Tag your bag
Chances are you own at least one black, average-sized suitcase. If that’s what you’re traveling with, make sure it is easy to find. Attach a ribbon, sticker or a brightly colored tag to your suitcase so that you will be able to recognize it easily. This will also help prevent other travelers from accidentally mistaking it as their own.
Check the airline tag
When you check your bag at the check-in counter, the ticketing agent will tag it with the three letter codes for your departure airport and your destination airport, and possibly your claim number, flight number and your name. Always verify that this information is correct before leaving your bag.
Keep baggage claim tickets
When you are given a baggage claim ticket at check-in, keep it in a safe place. As a back-up, consider taking a photo of each ticket with your phone. You’ll need these tickets if your luggage is delayed, lost or damaged. They can also be used to ensure you’re grabbing your bag, and not someone else’s, at the baggage claim.
Don’t check your most expensive bag
You may love designer luggage but unfortunately, so do thieves. An expensive, trendy suitcase not only draws attention but can indicate to a thief that there are high-priced items packed inside. Use these bags for road trips and avoid checking them at the airport.
Listen to flight staff
Oftentimes upon arrival, flight attendants will make an announcement stating which carousel your bags will be on. Instead of rushing to turn your cell phone back on to text or check email, listen!
Divide and conquer
The baggage claim area is the perfect place for thieves to snatch unattended bags and personal items. If you’re traveling with someone else, have one person grab the luggage from the conveyer belt while the other stays behind with the carry-on bags, purses and other personal items.
Grab your bag and your bag only
It’s all too common for travelers to confuse their bag with someone else’s. Be sure that before you step foot outside the airport, you have the bag you checked.
Do you have any baggage claim tips to add? Share them with us below!