As many airlines now charge extra for checked baggage, you can try and minimize your costs by reducing the amount you are carrying. The following advice should help you avoid many of the common problems that passengers have with carry-on or checked luggage.
- Travel with only carry-on luggage
By using only carry-on luggage, you do not risk having checked luggage lost or stolen.
- Customize the look of your bag to make it easy to identify.
Because there may be many bags with a similar design on a flight, customize the bag to make it easy to spot on a baggage carousel. This will also help prevent another passenger from taking your bag by mistake.
- Do not put heavy items in the overhead storage bins.
While the weight limit for carry-on items is generally about 40 lbs. (18.2 kg.), even a much lighter bag may cause severe injury if it falls out of the bin.
- Put your contact information inside and outside every bag.
Put your name and contact address on the outside of every bag. Also, put the same information plus a copy of your itinerary inside every bag. This will make it easier for the airline to reunite you if you are seperated from your luggage. You should should also do this with your carry-on luggage in case you are forced to check that bag at the last minute.
- Keep valuable items with you.
Do not back valuble items in checked luggage. Money, laptop computers, electronic files, and other items of high importance should be kept in a carry-on bag, preferably one that is small enough to stow under a seat. The airline may insist on checking larger carry-on bags if the overhead bins become filled.
- Make sure that the airline tag on your checked luggage is for the correct destination.
Every piece of checked luggage should have a three-letter airport identifier that should match your destination airport. If you are unsure of the three-letter code, ask the ticket agent or skycap.
- Immediately report the loss of checked luggage.
If your checked bag does not arrive at your destination, immediately report this problem to the baggage agent on duty or to any other available representative from your airline.
- Make sure that you keep the stub from your checked luggage.
This stub is a critical document that will be needed if your luggage is lost by the airline or if you are trying to prove that you own a piece of luggage.
- Prepare to deal with a lost bag.
Pack so that you can continue your trip with the loss on one of your bags. Distribute key items like business suits or underwear so that you can carry on with your business until you either get the bag back or replace the lost articles. If you are carrying essetial items or information for a business meeting, either carry a backup set of information or have that backup information sent ahead of time.
- Don’t pack hazardous goods.
There are quite a number of items or materials, some of them not so obvious, that may pose a risk if taken on an aircraft.