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The best way to handle lost luggage is to simply avoid it. You can help to ensure your luggage's safe arrival by printing or typing your name, address, phone number and destination on both the exterior and interior of each of your bags. The outside luggage tag is required, but placing your name on the interior will help your bag to be located in the event that the luggage tag becomes detached.
If a mishap does occur and your luggage is lost, you should report it to the airlines immediately. Most require that reports of lost or damaged luggage be made within hours of the incident, which means time is of the essence. Your first step will be to file a claim, which will get your information in the system and may help you to locate your luggage faster. During the process, you will be asked to give an accurate description of the bag(s) that was lost, which is why it's a good idea to write down the size, color, manufacturer, weight and any other distinguishing marks that may help to identify your luggage quickly. Keep this information in your purse or your carry-on luggage for easy retrieval. An accurate description will be essential in the safe and prompt return of your luggage.
When it comes to damaged luggage, you can help to prevent this occurrence by not overstuffing your bags and by making sure that all zippers and/or closures and properly fastened. In addition, make sure that straps or pull bars are not protruding on your luggage. If your bags should become damaged, it is important that you report the incident to the airlines immediately. Much like the process with lost luggage, most airlines require that reports of damage be made within hours. In some instances, the airline will repair your luggage at no cost as it may be covered under their passenger warranty.
If at all possible, you may be able to prevent lost or damaged luggage by only packing enough items to fit inside of your carry-on. Most airlines allow for one carry-on bag plus a personal item, which may include a purse or briefcase. If you are concerned about space, take a moment to consider alternative packing options. Instead of folding your clothes traditionally, try rolling them instead. This method will not only allow you to pack more while using less space, but it will also help to eliminate fold lines and creases, both of which can result with folding. In addition, be sure to make use of any small zipper compartments or spare pockets within your luggage. This will allow you to pack more and minimize space, which may mean you can fit everything into one carry-on and one personal item.
When it comes to your luggage and protecting the valuable possessions that you own, there is no reason not to follow the proper instructions that will help to keep everything safe and on schedule. With proper luggage tags, taking extra time to make sure that your luggage is secure and meets all restrictions imposed by the airlines, you will be well on your way to happy travels.
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