Last week, I wrote a tip titled Brilliant: How a Simple Picture Can Prevent Headaches and Hassles if an Airline Loses Your Bag.
The Cliff Notes version of the tip is that a luggage expert told me if you take a photo of your luggage tag and the airline misplaces it, it will help tremendously in the search for your bag. Especially, if you hire a service like Blue Ribbon Bags, which is basically $5 insurance that will assign an agent to find your bag at airports all over the world. If they can’t find it, you could get $1,000. Here’s more on their service.
One of my readers, Mike, from Tulsa, sent me an email with two photos, saying: “This morning given to SW in San Diego. This afternoon back from SW in Tulsa.” The before and after photos are below:
Southwest Airlines obviously damaged his bag so I replied to him, saying, “I hope you filed a complaint before leaving the airport.”
Mike said, “I did immediately file an onsite complaint. The unsmiling SW baggage lady gave us a choice after we showed her same day before and after bag photographs (thanks for your tip). Choice one – Go on their baggage web site and order a replacement bag. Choice two – Take a $150 SW travel voucher good for one year and if we lose the voucher it will NOT be replaced. We took the voucher.”
I think that’s a fair offer but it just shows the importance of taking photos. My wife has had her bag damaged a couple of times and we’ve learned to always file a report before leaving the airport because airlines are generally good about replacing or compensating you either with cash, a travel credit or bonus miles.
RELATED: Why Frequent Fliers Use Apple AirTags or Samsung SmartTags When They Travel
Obviously, the best way to travel is with carry-on only but if you have to check a bag, be sure to take a few seconds to take some photos. In addition to your baggage tag and the exterior of your suitcase, take a photo of the contents inside so you know what you packed for personal reasons and if you ever need to file a ticket.
You won’t regret it. If you’ve ever had an airline damage your bag, please share in the comments below what they did to help.
RELATED: 8 Ways To Make Sure An Airline Doesn’t Lose Your Bag … And That You Don’t Get Robbed or Stalked
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Nowadays I always travel with carry-on luggage only, but you never know when the airline is going to take your bag at the gate and check it. Whether you take a photo or not, it’s always good to strap or tie on some conspicuously contrasting colored band or pompom so your bag stands out from all the rest.