Don’t let a lost or delayed suitcase put a damper on your holidays — use these tips from the Canadian Transportation Agency to help keep you and your precious belongings from parting ways.
1. Stand out. Brightly coloured baggage with unique prints and patterns will help your bag stand out in a crowd and prevent someone else from mistakenly picking it up as their own. Plain black is the most common colour, so avoid this if you can. You can also save by decorating your existing suitcase with stickers, fabric, or tape.
2. Make a list of items in your bag. This will come in handy in case you need to make a claim for lost items. If your bags are delayed, keep all receipts for necessary purchases.
3. Update your airline tags. Before leaving for the airport, remove any old airline tags. When you receive a new one, be sure the airport code matches your destination.
4. Pack lightly. The best way to avoid losing your luggage is to not check in any at all — pack lightly and efficiently and fit everything into your carry-on.
5. Label wisely. Always include your contact information and your destination contact information inside each piece of baggage. This helps identify baggage if any outside tag was damaged or lost.
6. Have a backup plan. If you’re travelling with someone or are checking more than one bag, divide up your contents. This way, if one gets lost, you won’t automatically lose all your stuff. Always keep essential and valuable items with you on board.
7. Take pictures. If your luggage does go missing, this will help provide a record of what it looked like on the outside and the contents inside. This will come in handy when an airline staff member is helping you find it, or if you need to file a complaint or insurance claim.
8. Go the smart route. Invest in a tracking device that you can place inside your luggage and connect and track with your smartphone.
9. Fly direct. Minimize your chances of a delayed flight or a luggage transfer between connections separating you from your goods whenever possible. Opt for the direct route instead — the extra cost may save you grief at the carousel.
10. Know who to call with a problem. If your luggage is lost, damaged, or delayed, knowing who to call for help will save you time and frustration. You should first contact your airline with your baggage issue. They have strict claim time periods. If that doesn’t work, you can file a complaint with the Canadian Transportation Agency. Find more information online at cta.gc.ca/air-travel-complaints.