There are some things in life no one wants to deal with: root canals, road construction, and lost luggage.
I can’t do much about the first two. But I want to help you to ensure your bags join you at your final destination and if for some reason they don’t, explain exactly what you want to do next.
# 1: Don’t check a bag at all if possible
I used to be the guy who would weigh his checked bag the night before departure and stuff everything I could possibly bring along to get it to 49.5 lbs. My wife on the other hand traveled across Africa and Europe with little more than a backpack.
Since meeting her, I realized her way is a lot better. We’ve traveled to over 30 countries and 29 states and most of the time, we never check a single bag. We each bring a carry-on that is the maximum dimensions allowed plus a personal item.
– It’s faster. We don’t have to wait to drop off bags at check-in and don’t have to wait for them to arrive at luggage claim. We have our boarding passes on our phones, packs on our backs, and we head right to security.
– It reduces the chance our bag is lost or delayed since our stuff is in the plane with us. On full flights or flights operated on smaller jets, we sometimes have to gate check our bags, but they are loaded onto the plane and we just snag them as we leave the plane.- Know what you can bring! It’s really important to check on your airline’s website to see how big and how heavy your carry-on can be since it can vary. There can also be a charge for carry-on luggage depending on your airline and ticket category, but you can save money on airlines like Frontier by pre-paying ahead of time. Checking with TSA on what you can bring is also helpful – check it out here.
#2 Pick a fun design + Give it a name tag
It’s like a cocktail party in the luggage hold and a lot of other bags are mingling with yours, so it’s helpful when everyone has a name tag. Use a sturdy luggage tag with your full name and phone number clearly printed on it and secure it to your bag. This ensures that even if the paper luggage tag placed on your bag by the airline becomes damaged or goes missing, there’s still a chance to reunite you with your bag.
I own some pieces of blue and black luggage; it looks super good. Unfortunately, a lot of other people think so too so there are a lot of blue and black suitcases and it’s easy for someone to accidentally grab a bag that isn’t theirs.
So, when checking a bag (or even using a carry-on) try to use luggage in fun colors or with unique patterns. You can even buy luggage and bag covers that have your face on it! Heck, CVG has cool travel kits and merch too! Shop.CVGairport.com
#3 You land at your destination, but your bag didn’t. Now what?
You’re ready to start your vacation and your bag hasn’t met you at luggage claim. What do you do?
First, try to stay calm. I know it’s a frustrating experience and can give a trip a sour start. Know that the person at the airline counter most likely wasn’t the reason your big is delayed and they just want to help reunite you with your bag as quickly as possible.
Next, contact your airline. Interesting fact: airports are not actually the ones responsible for handling individual baggage; it’s up to each airline. Each airport’s luggage claim is like the friendly neighbor who holds your Amazon package for you when it arrives. Most airlines will have a baggage desk at the airport. CVG also has a webpage with each airline’s baggage department here.
Most times, bags are not lost forever, and airlines will work with you to have your bag delivered to your door or have it ready for pickup at the airport once it’s located.
Pack your patience and enjoy your trip!