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Lost Baggage

Lost Baggage

Sometimes lost baggage can’t be avoided, although the likelihood of it happening is much less than it was years ago due to new technologies!

However, bag tags can get torn off during transit, delays can mean tight connections at transfer points so bags don’t make it, strikes by baggage handlers prevent bags being loaded/unloaded, ‘cans’ (or those containers you see on the aircraft unit loading devices – ULD) are mishandled, etc.

To protect yourself against your bag going missing, try these tips:

1. Attached a name tag to your suitcase that clearly shows your destination, flight details, date of travel, where you are staying, and how to contact you.

Luggage suitcase travel - image by taga @

2. Always check the baggage tag that has been put on your bag at check-in, before it disappears down the conveyor belt! If you have any transit points make sure the final destination is at the top of the list!

Delta Airlines Luggage Tag - image by Tony Webster under Wikimedia Creative Commons

3. Ask the check-in agent if you need to collect your bag at transfer points. Typically your bag needs to clear customs at the first arrival point into your destination country. If you are transferring to another city in the same country you may need to collect your bag & recheck it.

World - image by TheAndrasBarta @

4. Make sure the check-in agent has attached a copy of the bag receipt to your boarding pass (or gives it to you as a separate document).

5. DO NOT throw your bag receipt away until your bag is safely back in your possession!


My bag was misplaced during one of my overseas trips. It was awful! I was without my bag for the 3 days I was in Prague!! It arrived the day I was due to leave!

I can assure you, it really dampened what should have been a wonderful experience in a foreign country.

Thankfully I had a spare set of clothes in my carry on bag, although I still had to buy new underwear and a couple of items of clothing to get me through.

It restricted my movements and resulted in a less than enjoyable stay. While it didn’t stop me from doing most things, I wanted to stay near the hotel in case my bag arrived and I was conscious of my appearance the whole time.

I went to a Vilvadi Four Seasons recital in a church near the main square and felt so under-dressed compared to the other partrons. It was grand, and the experience should have been grander!

Looking back, I believe this situation could have been partly my fault. I was travelling from Rome to Prague via Milan which involved a change of carrier.

I hadn’t checked the bag tag and I didn’t ask whether I had to collect my bag in Milan.  At the same time, the check-in agent didn’t tell me either. Mind you, there could have been a language barrier!

I can only imagine my bag went round & round on the carousel in Milan until somebody put it aside.  Why did it take 3 days to get to me?  Well it was a few years ago, before automated bag tracking software.  The airline would have sent manual teletype messages around the world looking for my bag,  hoping against hope that it would appear!  I guess I should be thankful that it turned up at all!!

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