I’ll be visiting Jamaica again this month, and I’m reminded of my last visit a few years ago. I learned a thing or two about luggage identification. Yep, somebody mistook my luggage for theirs and I spent hours at the airport looking for my bag and filling out paperwork. Ugh, what a way to start a trip!
However, the gentleman in helping me in customer service was so sweet and even tried to make me laugh when my eyes started to swell with tears. Yep, I’m a little sensitive. But it’s not a good feeling when your luggage is missing 😦
Anyway, long story short, once I arrived to my hotel…my luggage was already there! It just so happened that the person who mistakenly grabbed my bag was staying at the same hotel and realized she’d grabbed the wrong bag. Look at God!!!! Unfortunately, she had to wait a day for the airport to find that her luggage was still at the airport and have it transported to the hotel. I got my bag and she got hers, eventually.
Normally I tag my bag with something to identify it from all the bags that look just alike. However, in my haste to pack at the last minute, I grabbed my black luggage with a black luggage tag, and nothing else to make it pop.
Lesson learned. I’ll always have something on my bag to separate it from the pack, especially when it’s black luggage. Side note, even though both of our bags were black, hers had two tags, one black and one beige, and yet she claimed our bags looked just alike. I’m gonna need you to know your bag better and check the name before you leave the airport! Lol…had a moment 😉 All in all, I ended up having a great trip and I’m looking forward to visiting Jamaica again.
Here are my tips to make sure this doesn’t happen to you or to make sure you’re not the one grabbing a bag that’s not yours.
#1 Tag your Bag – Always tag your bag if it’s black because everybody has a black bag. Actually, you should just tag your bag, period.
#2 Add your ID – Always add your name, phone number, and email address on the bag tag so that you can be contacted if it’s lost or mistakenly picked up by another traveler. Be careful putting your home address on your baggage ID. Provide enough information to be contacted in case of loss or theft.
#3 Know your Bag – Always Remember what your tag and bag looks like. Make it cute and colorful with colored travel name tags, designer tape, or even colorful travel covers. Be creative and have fun. This is especially fun when traveling with kids! Or don’t buy black luggage.
#4 Check Check Check – Always check to make sure it’s your name on the tag. Check it when it comes off the baggage claim carousel and BEFORE you leave the airport. Especially, when you’re traveling internationally. Case in point, on my last trip, another passenger had a cute gray and black animal print bag that looked just like mine. As the bag came along the carousel, I picked it up and began to walk towards the exit. However, I caught myself and checked the name tag. Low and behold, my name was not attached and it was another person’s luggage. I placed the bag back on the carousel and waited for my luggage. I also prayed nobody saw me grab the wrong bag. Close call!!!
#5 Pack a Carry-On – Always take a carry-on bag that contains a few essentials in case your checked bag gets lost or accidentally taken. Pack a few toiletries and a change of clothes for one day, a night garment, a pair of shoes, and clean under garments just in case.
Hopefully, you’ll never have a baggage story like mine and these tips will prevent you from spending too much time in baggage claim on your next trip.
If you’ve experienced a similar misfortune in baggage claim, I’d love to hear your stories and see pictures of the creative ways you tagged your bag since. Help us all out! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Happy Traveling – Ms. TravelRx