The Catholic Travel Guide
How to deal with Lost Luggage: A Potential Nightmare!
There are few things that can upset your plans more than discovering that your carefully-packed luggage did not arrive when you did. Unfortunately it does happen on occasion, so we want to offer a few suggestions on what to do---both before it is lost and after it is lost.
We don't want to be alarmist since most of us will not experience this, but it is always a possibililty so you are wise to plan in advance. We need to be aware of 3 concerns: your luggage gets lost, it gets stolen or someone just steals items from your luggage. Theft rings at major airports over the past few years certainly bears this out.
There are some basic precautions every traveler should take.
1. Firstly, don't buy expensive luggage. After all, a thief will probably zero in on the fancy leather suitcase before an old cloth one.
2. Don't pack any essentials (medical prescriptions, eyeglasses, etc.) or expensive items that will be hard to replace.
3. Consider having your bags wrapped in a layer of plastic at the airport. This minimizes the likelihood that someone can quickly access your luggage (it is still available to airport security, but they will re-Wrap if it is opened by them.
4. Put your itinerary in each bag as well the address where you are headed (your home address is not advisable since it is a dead giveaway that the house may be empty). If somehow it gets delayed this is a last-ditch way to get it to you.
5. Photograph the contents of your bag in case you need to make a claim.
6. Be sure to remove any stickers or tags left over from previous trips. They may make you look like a world traveler, but they can also create confusion.
7. Remove straps from bags and lock any wheels---anything that might get caught up on the luggage racks and send your luggage astray.