While I am on vacation I am letting my readers write for me for the next week. Thank you for your readership and comments, they always make my day!
Airlines claim they recover nearly all bags that fall prey to thieves. While it's true many missing bags were actually misplaced, mis-routed, abandoned or stolen, that's small comfort to those who truly are victims of theft.
While new fees on checked baggage have forced many to abandon checking their bags, proposed change for carry-ons may increase luggage riding in the belly of planes.
Here are nine steps you can take to protect your possessions, your identity and most likely your trip.
1. Don't Check Bags
2. Go Neon
Thieves are more likely to commandeer nondescript bags because they don't draw attention. A bright orange, unusually shaped bag will likely discourage criminals. Alternately, you can wrap neon tape around the handle.
3. Go CheapMost thieves prefer pricey, designer bags even more than the bags contents. An expensive bags also serves as red flag expensive contents likely lie within.
4. Carry On ValuablesAirlines rarely reimburse travelers for the loss of valuable or exotic items, even if they were at fault. The law usually caps compensation on domestic flights at $3,300 and often even less for international flights.
5. Stay AlertIt's tempting to step away from a piled-high luggage cart but that's the moment thieves are looking for. Roll the cart with you, whether you're waiting to check in or grabbing the last bag on the carousel.
6. Fly NonstopThe more connections you make, the greater the chance your bags will be mis-routed. They may end up taking a long spin on carousels, waiting for an owner that never arrives.
7. Don't DallyHead down to baggage claim as soon as you disembark. Park yourself at the point where bags spill down the chute and make sure as few people as possible get between you and your bags.
8. Immediately File Claims
Airlines usually set time limits for filing reports on missing luggage. Miss the deadline and you could miss the chance of compensation.
9. Insure Your BagsBundle trip insurance combines several forms of coverage, including some reimbursement of lost luggage. Premiums typically range from 5 percent to 8 percent of the trip cost.