Lost, Delayed and Damaged Luggage – Tips You Need to Know Before You Fly...

You have either seen it or heard about this gut wrenching experience. Your airplane arrives at your final destination – you walk down to baggage claim – and stand at the baggage carousel for what seems like eternity. You watch everyone else’s bags come down the conveyor belt. Then the carousel comes to an abrupt stop. You stand there staring at the empty baggage carousel when your head starts filling with panic about what happened to your luggage. Then the most important thought enters your mind – what should I do next and who’s responsible? Interesting statistics about luggage problems with the airlines, last year air travel increased about 5% among air travelers but complaints about baggage doubled. Roughly the airline industry mishandled about 6 out of every 1000 bags.  That’s not too bad, unless the bag that is lost belongs to you.  The airlines have a higher stake now more than ever to ensure your luggage gets to you. The amount the airline has to pay you for your lost luggage has increased over the years, which has resulted in airlines struggling to find a better way to move and track luggage, but they still have to deal the majority of the time with an outdated system. The manner in which airlines move and track luggage has stayed the same for the last ten years or so.  Except for a few airports that have placed electronic scanners throughout the baggage process, most airlines have no way to tell where your luggage is. What is on the horizon for the tracking of luggage is a new sophisticated system that tags bags with a radio transmitter that would allow the tracking of bags just like FedEx tracks a package.  United Airlines has taken the first step in deploying more than 600 hand held scanners to track luggage. But until this technology is wide spread or other improvements are made in the luggage system, travelers must understand the process in which...

Travel Scams to Avoid on Your Next Trip Overseas

The Most Common Travel Scams You Want to Avoid on Your Next Trip Read on to learn a few of the tricks that sneak thieves and con artists have waiting in store for you in. The purpose of the scams is to steal from you. The scammers want your possession or your money. You want to hold onto both. So read the below as an eye opener. Be aware and you won’t fall for the scams. Sneak Thieves (Lessons from the Peruvian Experts) You are lying down resting in a park. (This is just an invitation to thieves in any city). Your day pack is firmly under your head. Suddenly something strikes you on the leg. “Hey look out! Oh sorry!” A couple of kids nearby are playing, and their ball hit you. No problem. You lay back down. Your bag is gone! You spin around, but your bag has disappeared into thin air! You turn back and the kids are gone too. You are sitting on a bench, or leaning against a low wall, waiting for a bus, or a friend. Your bag is right beside you where you can see it; your hand is resting on it. A man in a suit walks along in front of you, stuffing something into his pocket. A 100-peso note flutters to the ground right in front of you as he walks off. You reach down and grab it, calling out to him. Forget the rest of the story, your bag is already gone! You are on the train. You have stowed your bag safely over your head and just ahead of you, where you can see it. At the next station, a few people get on. Then, just before the train pulls out, several men come running through the car shouting loudly and waving their arms. They are pushing each other around, yelling frantically, and pointing to the other side of the train. The car is in an uproar. You stand...

Tips on How to Avoid Lost Luggage

Bags get lost, stolen, opened by dishonest employees, or break open while being handled. The occurrence rate for this is low, but it does happen. Nearly 1.8 million pieces of luggage were lost, stolen, or damaged by major U.S. airlines in 2012—and that’s just on domestic flights.That is a mishandling of 3.09 bags per 1,000 passengers. These tips on how to avoid lost luggage will increase the likelihood that both you and your bag arrive at you destination Luggage is designed to carry our clothes, you should never place an item of value inside checked luggage if it is irreplaceable – especially photographs, important papers, laptops, or items of high dollar value like jewelry which would be difficult to replace. The best way to travel with valuables is to pack them in your carry-on luggage. 1. Never place anything you need within the next 24 hours in your check luggage such as medicine, or business presentation materials. 2. Fly non-stop whenever possible; arrive at the airport early to make sure your luggage has enough time to be properly placed on board. 3. Attach your contact information on your luggage, use a sturdy luggage tag that won’t rip off. And place a copy of your itinerary inside your bag if it needs to be opened to determine ownership or destination include a cell phone number or email address. 4. Only use TSA accepted luggage locks. These new type of locks allow only you and the TSA ( with a special override tool to open them) Non-TSA locks will be cut off leaving your bags vulnerable. 5. Ship your luggage ahead to your destination, with a services like FedEx, Luggage Concierge or Virtual Bellhop. It  saves you hours of time. No need to stand in line checking luggage, or waiting for it upon landing. Hotel will accept and hold your luggage until you arrive. Shipping fees can be less than the airlines’ fees for overweight or over-sized (think sports gear) luggage. (Side note always...

Can You Fly Without a Driver’s License or ID Card if They Were Lost or Stolen...

Contrary to popular belief, passengers 18 years of age or older are not automatically denied boarding if they cannot provide proper identification — they may still fly on domestic flights in the US, provided that they go through additional identity and security screening at the security checkpoint. This policy is specifically noted on the TSA’s website, at the page linked below. So the answer is yes, you can fly without a driver’s license or ID if they were lost or stolen, but read on to fully understand what is required. The reason why this policy exists is because — people lose their IDs or have them stolen. If someone lost or had their purse or wallet stolen while they’re on vacation, telling them that they can’t get home when they have no way to get an ID is hardly a productive outcome for either the TSA or the passenger. If you must fly without ID you should take into consideration the following information. Plan on getting to the airport significantly earlier than you would normally, because the additional screening will take longer.  Additionally, know that you will not be able to check your bags at curbside with a skycap – you will have to go inside the airport to the check-in counter.  Airports now mandate that all passengers over the age of 18 present a government-issued form of photo identification such as a military ID, driver’s license, or passport at time of check-in. It’s best to call your airline and speak to a customer-service representative about its specific policies. Keep in mind that some carriers may be more lenient than others for domestic travel ( however, international travel may necessitate additional forms of identification and immigration documents, such as a passport.) Some airlines including Southwest Airlines and United, insist that all passengers must present a government- or state-issued photo ID at check-in–no ifs, ands, or buts. But other carriers are a bit more flexible. If you’re 17 or younger,...

Airport Maps

Know before your go!  Before you confirm that connecting flight make sure you leave yourself enough t time to make to your next departure.  How far is the  connecting gate, some airports have trains and trams you need to board to get to another terminal, and they can be time consuming.  If you’re traveling with children leave yourself additional time, and knowing that a bathroom or restaurant will be near can be reassuring too. If you’re traveling internationally, knowing what awaits you in the airport is even more important! Check-out these links regarding airports. Where is my gate at the airport? How far is gate S-76 for D-22? Airport Terminal Maps Airport Maps with a listing of airport amenities Airport...

Aircraft Emergency Tips

There are certain rows of the aircraft designated as exit rows. You can tell if you are in an exit row if there is an emergency exit around the window. People seating in exit rows should be prepared to assist the flight attendants and other passengers should the aircraft need to be evacuated in an emergency. An exit row passenger should be physically capable of opening the heavy, bulky exit row door, should be able to assist passengers, should be able to see and hear instructions shouted by the flight attendants. The passenger must be over the age of 15. If you feel qualified to help in the case of an emergency, and you find yourself seated in an exit row, then just stay put. However, if you are disabled, easily flustered, elderly or for any reason at all unwilling to sit in the exit row, just let the flight attendants know and they will change your seat with someone else. You don’t have to give any reason. Just say you don’t want to do it and would like a change. After all, switching seats and letting a more experienced traveler sit in the exit row might end up being beneficial to all passengers should an emergency arise. As the airplane is moving out to the runway, the flight attendants will give you a brief safety demonstration. The high point is the operation of the oxygen mask. I have been on hundreds of flights. ***NEVER, EVER***, repeat, never, ever have I seen the oxygen masks in use. There are people on this board who could tell you the same thing. However, there is always the first time. If the plane loses oxygen pressure for any reason, the oxygen masks will drop down out of the small overhead compartment. (Look up in your seat and you will see a small panel, which covers the compartment.) If that happens, put the mask over your nose and mouth. You might have to tug slightly on the gas line to start the flow of gas. (This way, gas does not flow to empty seats.) There is an elastic band on the mask, which should go behind your head. Relax, and breathe normally. If you are seated...