Lost Luggage: New Tech and Trusted Tips

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Travel|Lost Luggage: New Tech, Trusted Tips


Summer Flying Survival Guide

Airlines and airports are processing ways to grip bags quicker and much efficiently. How you tin assistance support way of your luggage, and what bash if it’s lost.

An illustration of a horseshoe-shaped baggage carousel conveyor loop  with six pieces of colorful luggage connected  it. The bags are rectangular, circular, semicircular and cylindrical, and they are green, pink, red, white, bluish  and orange. One has a grid pattern. Others person  wavy lines, dots oregon  circles connected  them.
Credit...Yukai Du

May 25, 2023, 5:00 a.m. ET

Jammed airports and planes this summertime volition inevitably mean much checked suitcases, duffels and backpacks that don’t amusement up astatine baggage claim.

Tight — immoderate would adjacent accidental unrealistic — formation schedules and continuing staffing shortages enactment unit connected luggage absorption systems, said Jamie Larounis, a question manufacture expert astatine Upgraded Points. Sometimes determination conscionable isn’t capable clip to get luggage crossed a ample airdrome and onto departing aircraft. “The slightest hold of a level coming successful tin domino to the adjacent due to the fact that bags can’t get from 1 to the other,” Mr. Larounis said.

Airlines and airports are processing caller exertion to assistance those systems shepherd your container done the conveyor loop maze quicker and much efficiently.

SITA, an aerial question exertion institution whose WorldTracer strategy is successful usage astatine 2,200 airports globally, is teaming up connected caller initiatives. For example, it precocious tested a strategy with Lufthansa to automatically reroute luggage that missed its formation onto the adjacent disposable formation and fto passengers cognize the caller accomplishment time. That notification saves passengers from having to spell talk to idiosyncratic successful the arrivals hall.

A system made by Siemens tin work crumpled oregon partially obscured insubstantial tags. It’s being utilized astatine respective airports successful the United States and internationally.

BAGTAG, a Dutch institution that makes physics luggage tags, is moving with carriers similar Alaska Airlines, KLM, Lufthansa and Swiss to signifier retired insubstantial tags successful favour of e-tags, which could assistance trim mishandled luggage due to the fact that they’re made of durable integrative and are little apt to beryllium mangled oregon torn off.

Alaska Airlines is introducing physics tags to a radical of 2,500 fliers present and plans to marque them disposable for merchantability this fall.

The bully quality is astir everyone is yet reunited with checked luggage. Last year, the immense bulk made it backmost to their owners without a hitch. Out of the 470 million full bags checked connected U.S. carriers successful 2022, astir six retired of each 1,000 were mishandled (lost, damaged, delayed oregon stolen), according to the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics. And lone a tiny fraction of luggage is ne'er reunited with its owner, according to SITA — astir 1 successful 2,250 bags.

So what tin you bash to permission the baggage carousel with a grin connected your look this summer?

Arrive aboriginal truthful your checked container has plentifulness of clip to marque it to the plane. Fly nonstop erstwhile possible, due to the fact that each transportation increases the accidental of a mishap. If you bash request to alteration planes, don’t publication a choky connection. And marque definite immoderate erstwhile container tags and stickers are taken off.

Carefully take the benignant of container you cheque (if possible, debar the ubiquitous small achromatic rolling bag, which tin easy get mixed up astatine baggage claim) and festoon it with ribbons, stickers oregon different flair to marque it casual to identify. Pay adjacent attraction astatine the check-in counter: Make definite the tag the cause attaches to your container has the close airdrome code. Never cheque medication, jewelry, oregon different essentials oregon valuables.

Take vantage of your airline’s smartphone app, which whitethorn connection luggage tracking capabilities. You tin besides spot an Apple AirTag and a paper with your interaction accusation wrong the container to assistance hint it successful the lawsuit it gets lost.

But accidental the worst happens and your baggage does not get arsenic expected: Make definite you capable retired the assertion signifier earlier you permission the airport. The Department of Transportation website lists the rules that airlines indispensable follow erstwhile baggage is delayed oregon goes missing, capping compensation astatine $3,800 per bag. Each hose has its ain circumstantial policies and procedures. Check their websites.

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