Blog > Unique Luggage Identifiers and What to Do If Your Luggage Gets Lost

Unique Luggage Identifiers and What to Do If Your Luggage Gets Lost

One of my least favorite aspects of air travel is finding my luggage after a long flight. Too often, your fellow passengers have similar-looking luggage, and it can be easy to mistake somebody else’s bag for your own. This happened to a friend of mine. When traveling in large groups, it is important to have unique luggage identifiers so that everyone in your party can get their luggage quickly and efficiently. We have found that brightly-colored neon wristbands work incredibly well.

unique luggage identifiers

Why Use Wristbands as Luggage Identifiers?

Eliminate Confusion

There is a good chance that you and your party will be the only ones on your flight using wristbands to identify luggage. Even if your bags are not very unique and don’t stand out amongst the others, you can quickly spot yours when you attach a brightly-colored Tyvek wristband to any of its handles. When traveling with a large group of people, you can quickly spot bags belonging to your party.

Get Moving Faster

After a long flight, there is nothing you want more than to get in your ride and go home. Using wristbands as luggage identifiers, you can get out of crowded airports sooner and get home faster.

Reduce the Risk of Misplaced or Stolen Luggage

While theft on airport carousels is not common, misplaced luggage is a far greater concern.  Globally, airlines lose 5-6 bags per 1000 passengers. If you are a frequent flyer, there is a decent change that your bag gets misplaced at some point.  Unique luggage identifiers, such as Tyvek wristbands, make describing your bag easier, thus allowing the airline to find it easier.

What to Do When an Airline Loses Your Bag

Step One: Be Patient

There is a good chance that your bag isn’t lost at all. Before jumping to conclusions or getting worked up, just take a littler chill pill. It can take up to 45 minutes for your bag to arrive as luggage can come in waves. You might be able to track your luggage online if your airline offers the service.

While you wait, considering looking in other carousels. From time to time, bags can get mixed up and end up on other carousels by accident. If that fails, try checking the airline’s baggage office and/or holding areas. It could end up there for a number of reasons. Here are a few popular ones:

  1. The airline misplaced your bag on a different flight, which arrived before yours did.
  2. TSA took your bag aside for inspection and failed to return it in time for your flight.
  3. Your baggage tag was damaged or removed accidentally and had to be manually handled to work out its destination.

If this fails, go to the next step.

Step Two: Stay Calm and Alert the Airline

Before you alert the airline, take a deep breath. Remember that the person your speak to is not the one that lost your bag—treat them kindly and they will work hard to get your belongings back to you.

Begin by locating the baggage desk of your airline and inform the representative of your problem. They should be able to check the status of your luggage and at least give you some more information. Be sure to bring the copy of your bag tag that you received at check-in so that they can easily look up your information.

Step Three: File a Report

If the representative you speak to cannot help, you may need to file a report. When you do, include an in-depth description  of your bag, including the wristband that you used as a unique luggage identifier! Be sure to also include the size, material, and color of the bag. Be sure to also ask about how the airline will compensate you for your missing items. Each airline has a different policy, so be sure to request this information.

If you need to go shopping for new clothes, toiletries, and whatnot, be sure to keep receipts of all your purchases. Depending on the policy, you may be eligible for reimbursement of these items. When you do shop, focus on buying the essentials—now isn’t the time to go gift shopping!

In the meantime, continue to track your bag online if your airline offers such a service.

Step Four: Escalate if Necessary

If your airline is doing a poor job communicating updates with you and it has been longer than a day, it might be time to escalate. You can begin by contacting customer service as they may have additional resources that can help you.

If this fails, and I hope it doesn’t, it may be time to issue a complaint with the Department of Transportation. Airlines HATE it when this happens because they are judged by the number of complaints against them. Even threatening to issue a complaint may give the airline the kick in the pants they need to resolve the issue in a timely manner.

The airline may classify your luggage as lost after a week or two. Once this happens, file a claim against the airline for your lost items. They airline will now be responsible for compensating you for the cost of your lost items minus appreciation.

what to do if your luggage gets stolen

Luggage Identifiers from Wristband Resources

We take pride in manufacturing the highest-quality wristbands for events, fundraisers, facilities, and travelers who need to identify their luggage. If you have any questions about our enormous variety of identification products, be sure to reach out via phone or by using the chat feature at the bottom of your screen!

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