In many ways, travel brings the best of us and the worst of us. Flying to a new destination isn’t always as pleasant as we would like. There are times when your dream vacation can go horribly wrong, especially if your clothes arrive late, or worse never arrive. For a year I worked as a baggage claim representative. (Yes, I was that person you go scream to when your bag did not arrive with you) It is needless to say that I have some crazy baggage stories. That is why I got inspired and, thought of a few tips to make traveling easier for you. And, a bit easier for all of those comrades working at the baggage claim offices around the world.
Don’t buy hard case suitcases: After working alongside ramp agents, I no longer advise buying hard case luggage. YOUR BAG WILL BE THROWN! Yes even that expensive Loui Vuitton suitcase, that one will be thrown even harder!
Ramp agents jobs depend on time. For the airline the faster the better but, they often forget that the people who transport all of the 400 + suitcases, boxes, pelican cases, pets and more, are actually human. Because of this, these men and women have to work double as hard to get all of our stuff quickly from the plane into the conveyor belts. No matter the weather! There is no time for them to gently place each one of them on the belt. Everything, and I mean, everything will be thrown as fast as possible! Because of this, hard case suitcases tend to fail because from what I have experienced its easier for them to crack, stain and get dents (mostly on the corners of the suitcase)
Download your airline app to track your baggage: Downloading your airline app is one of the smartest things you can do when you travel. Not only will you get updates on any change on your flight but, many airlines have a baggage tracker so you always know where your bag is. This is especially handy when you have a long flight with more than 1 layover.
Also, this saves you
Always bring an extra change of clothes with you: Often we would see people come in and their bags get stuck in some other airport. Because your current destination depends on the other airport on actually putting your bags on the next flight there is no certain time for us to know when your things will reach you. That’s why is always smart to travel with a change of clothes in case your bags get stuck in Greece and you have to wait for them over a week to reach you at your destination in Barbados.
Your bag will be opened and inspected: When your bag gets stuck in an airport, chances are the TSA and the baggage claim agents already saw what’s inside your bag. Often times passengers would come to us to complain that they had missing items on their bag and would tell us to give them back, More often than not these passengers had a slip of paper in their bags saying that their bag was inspected by the TSA. If TSA saw something that threatens the safety of other passengers they will remove said item.
When your bag is held at a baggage claim office is standard procedure to make an inventory of what’s in the bag, for example, let’s say you lost your bag in New York and accidentally the airline put the wrong bag-tag and sent it to Texas, maybe because of all of the moving around your personal tag broke and now there is no way for anyone to know who is the owner of the bag. The only thing you know for certain is that inside that bag there is a pair of red boots, a channel black dress and 3 books by your favorite author.
When the baggage claim office in Texas puts all of that in a record the office in New York will get in contact with them and that way they can send it back to you.
Always try to travel with a carry-on: It may sound obvious but many people forget it. The chances of a carry-on getting lost amongst the see of other luggage are smaller than of bigger bags. It is better to always have your bag with you during a trip rather