Simple Tips for Handling Lost Baggage

It never fails. Our annual Thanksgiving vacation has turned into an annual hunt for lost luggage. And then the annual try-to-find-a-store-open-on-a-holiday hunt. The holidays do bring out more travelers and thus more chances of losing luggage. Here are a few simple tips for dealing with this frustrating experience.

First, try to approach things calmly. My first response upon finding out that I’m going to be without luggage is to cry. But don’t let it ruin your vacation. It’s frustrating and annoying, but try not to let it take over your mood. Also, if you’re calm and collected when talking to the baggage agent at the airport, you may find her to be more cooperative.

Second, assess what you need and where you can get the items. Depending on what day it is, there will always be at least one store open. We’ve found K-Mart in Manhattan to be open on Thanksgiving Day. If it’s Christmas Day, you may have more difficulty finding a store, but I would start by looking at a 24-hour pharmacy such as CVS or Walgreens.

I recommend using a mass merchandise store such as K-Mart, Wal-Mart or Target if at all possible. They will have most, if not all, items one needs. I personally hate having to restock everything we’ve lost, but prefer to do so as inexpensively as possible. In most cases, especially with lost luggage on an airline, you aren’t going to need much to tide you over. Most airlines will return lost luggage within 24-48 hours.

Also, if you don’t want to restock toiletries, ask at your hotel for toothbrushes, combs, razors, etc. Many hotels are happy to supply these items at no additional charge. And one of the best makeup removers I’ve found is Wet One wipes. I carry these all the time for my young daughter, but found they work great at getting stubborn eye makeup off. A ball cap is another great hair accessory and has gotten me through the day until my flat iron could be retrieved from luggage.

There are a few items I recommend putting in your carry-on luggage. Any medications, particularly prescribed medications, should always go in your carry-on. If you have young children, put pajamas or one change of clothing in your bag. It’s a good idea to do that for yourself as well, particularly during the holiday travel season. If it’s too much, just tuck in a change of undergarments. If you wear contacts or glasses, take it with you. Contact solution in your carry on should not exceed 3 ounces. (See below for more on TSA regulations.)

The Transportation Security Administration does allow for you to carry on liquids/gels but with some restrictions. Follow their “3-1-1” guideline: 3 ounces or less may be carried on; put all bottles in a 1 quart, top-zip, clear plastic bag; and have only 1 bag per passenger. Pull it out and place in the bin when you go through security. You will get through much faster and with less hassle. Also, if you are traveling with children, you may declare large quantities of liquids such as formula, breast milk or juice. Do not put them in the zip-top bag but do alert a TSA agent that you have it.

Last, if this happens often, you may want to consider building in a “lost luggage budget” to your trip. After my daughter and I lost our suitcases on the last trip, we’ve decided bringing extra cash as a “just in case” measure is a good idea. That way we won’t have to dip into our spending money.

Enjoy your holidays and we wish you a speedy return of your luggage!

Losing your belongings at the airport is nothing new, but one must exercise caution as much as possible though keeping an eye on every luggage may not be possible. Atleast, important documents with personal information should be kept in a sas käsipagas that can be carried on the shoulder.

Comments are closed.