Assuming you’ve checked a bag then you’ll need to collect at the other end. While some people never check a bag, and are proud of it, a lot of us check bags a lot of the time anyway. Sure, not having a checked bag will save you a few minutes at the far end, but personally I like being able to drop off my bag as soon as I get to the airport so that I can then relax in the lounge, have a coffee, something to eat or simply browse the shops. Doing all that while hauling several kilos of luggage (including dirty laundry) is not my idea of fun!
But there’s no reason why you should spend longer finding your bag than you need to ..
Here are a couple of tips to help you find your luggage quickly and get it back from the airline if they misplace it:
- Choose a non-standard colour or design for your suitcase. While going down the Star Wars route might be a little extreme, choosing a suitcase which isn’t black can help you see it on the luggage conveyor belt.
- Put a brightly coloured grip on the handle. If you can’t get a bright or distinctive grip you might try some brightly coloured cloth or similar. The key is to make it stand out a little more from the other bags.
- Put a good quality luggage tag on it with your contact details. A lot of frequent flier programs give away very sturdy luggage tags, but you can also pick them up in most shops that sell luggage and travel accessories
- Don’t lose your luggage claim ticket. In some airports they’ll ask you to show it before they’ll let you leave the airport with your bags. Also, if the airline misplaces your bags you’ll need it.
- Keep a record of your luggage’s colour and make. Taking a photograph of your bags before you go to the airport can help. This may seem like an odd idea, but if you’ve ever spent 18+ hours trekking half way around the planet you’re likely to be tired and addled and trying to remember the brand of your suitcase might prove to be hard work! (Based on my own experiences when bags vanished en route from Colombia to Ireland)