How to Prevent Lost Luggage and Pack Wisely
In response to the recent attempted terrorist attacks, airports worldwide have prohibited many carry-on items on board. Here are some tips to increase the chance of keeping your checked-in baggage safe and sound:
PREVENTING LOST LUGGAGE
Take a picture of your bags before you travel. You'll find having a photo of your lost luggage will be much easier than describing what your bag looks like at the claims desk.
Pack a day's worth of clothes in your carry on--especially undergarments--so if your bags ever become lost you're not running around an unknown city looking for the essentials.
Avoid short layovers: If you must connect through a second airport, be sure to leave enough time for you and your bags to make the next flight--a good rule of thumb is to try and leave at least an hour in between legs.
Some airports are worse than others: Many British and U.S. airports are heavily backed-up in the wake of the foiled terrorist plot and may be more prone to misplace luggage. In general, Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport and Sydney International are among the world's worst as far as losing bags is concerned, so take heed before you fly through those airports.
IF YOUR BAG IS LOST
If your luggage is lost or even damaged, it's important that you file a report with the airline within 24 hours of your arrival, or else your claim could be dismissed.
Also, if your bag is lost for good, you'll have to list all the items inside to get reimbursed, so it's important to write down what's in your bag before you fly.
Airlines pay a maximum of $2,800 per passenger for lost luggage on domestic flights, although each carrier's policy is different. For example, many exclude coverage of jewelry, camera equipment, and medications.
When delays occur, airlines usually advance passengers cash or reimburse you for necessary items like toiletries and a change of clothes, so it's important to save your receipts.
Also, make sure to carry the address of the hotel or hotels you'll be staying at. Once the airline locates your bags, most will ship them to you free of charge so it's important that you know where they should send them.
Ship your luggage:
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General packing tips & check-list
Pack heavy items, such as shoes and toiletry kits, before the more delicate ones. Place them along the suitcase's spine to balance weight at the bottom.