The Best Way to Keep Track of Your Luggage During These Chaotic Times

Lost luggage

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Even if you haven’t travelled recently, it’s likely you’ve heard about the issue of lost luggage. Thousands of travellers around the world have been arriving at their destinations, only to find that their checked bags, unfortunately, haven’t come along for the ride.

In fact, just last month as many one in 10 pieces of luggage, on average, were getting lost or not being loaded onto Qantas domestic flights each day at Sydney airport, according to a baggage handler, per The Guardian Australia.

This is a result of many staff being off sick with COVID, and, while we’re sympathetic to it, it’s also not ideal. Not knowing when your luggage will finally get to you — as has been the case with many travellers — can be incredibly frustrating.

Related: Check These Airline Carry-On Bag Limits Before Boarding

Related: Excess Baggage? No Problem With TikTok’s Viral ‘Pillow Hack’

Still, there are some things you can do to ensure you keep track of your luggage during these chaotic times. Ahead, we share a few of the smartest.

Remove Old Tags

Start by taking off any old airline bag tags. Baggage handlers use the barcodes and information on these tags to know where to direct the bag, and while most airline staff will take old tags off before putting on a new one, there’s a chance they might miss it. Also, keep the stubs from your bag tags, so that if anything does go wrong, you’ve got a record handy.

Label Your Bag Clearly

Speaking of tags — and you’re probably doing this anyway — be sure to attach one with your first and last name, home address and phone number. Most airlines have luggage tags you can fill in at their desk, or get one custom-printed and in a fun colour that’ll make for easy spotting on the luggage carousel.

Pack AirTags

Apple AirTags (starting at $45) let you keep track of your belongings, and many travellers have been using them in luggage. Pack one in your suitcase, and you’ll be able to track it in the Find My app, so you can see if your bag made it onto your flight, if it stayed at the airport where you boarded, or if it ended up being rerouted.

Take a Photo of Your Bag

Taking a photo of your suitcase only takes a second, but could make all the difference in you getting your luggage back more quickly if it does happen to go missing. If that’s the case, you can bring up the photo when you’re filling out the missing bag form and, as a result, be able to describe it easily.

Avoid Short Layovers

While this is certainly not always in your control, if you can, try to avoid short layovers, as they are more likely to lead to lost luggage. Some reports online suggest ensuring you have no less than 90 minutes between flights — though of course, this depends on factors like airport size and how many other flights are also scheduled at that time.

If you do have flights booked with a short layover, it’s best you aim to pack your absolute essentials in your carry-on.

Scroll down to see some of the best carry-on suitcases you can buy right now.

Jett Black My JB Series Carry On Suitcase, $229

A hard shell, spinner wheels and a built-in TSA lock all feature in this carry-on. Another perk? It rolls upright so you don’t need to tilt it to wheel.

Staple Superior Downtown Weekender, $59.99

Prefer to carry your carry-on? Go for this weekender bag from menswear label Staple Superior (though it really is a unisex bag). Made from woven canvas, the duffle has two internal, zipped compartments and a removable shoulder strap.

Staple Weekender bag

Lululemon Wunderlust Backpack, $159

The drawstring opening of this backpack lets you easily seal everything inside, while the interior and exterior pockets help keep you organised.

Aidan The Signature Series ‘S’ Case, $495

A light-reflecting ridge design gives this carry-on by brand Aidan an edgy feel. A brake system, a handle with three heights and run-silent spinner wheels make it practical.

Aidan carryon

Storksak Cabin Carry On Scuba, $299.99

How’s this for a winner of an ideal carry-on – this bag can be carried in the crook of your arm and, when the retractable long handle is up, wheeled. The icing on the cake: it’s made from a durable scuba fabric.

July Carry On Light, $245

At just 1.8kg, this carry-on is one of the lightest double-wheel suitcases around. It’s got a hard shell, comes in 13 different colours, and you can even personalise it with your name or initials, too.

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