Well the holidays are almost upon. I hope everyone has all their shopping completed! For those of you who will be traveling over the holiday period, there's a few things you can do to help that checked bag arrive at your destination. Many of these ideas seem extremely logical, but in our haste we tend to forget to do them. Some of them were recently pointed out on USA Today's Travel web site, www.usatoday.com/travel, which is a great read for frequent travelers.
The easy ones are: try to avoid connecting flights; any stop is one more opportunity for error. Do not wrap gifts. The aluminum foil usually sets of the screening devices, and that long wrap job becomes history. Provide suitcases that can easily be opened and searched, while at the same time having adequate locking mechanisms. TSA approved locks work great and help prevent unwanted entry, although no locks are foolproof. Don't put anything you can't live without, like your soon to be wife's engagement ring, in a checked bagor those $500 dollar Chanel sunglasses Believe it or not it's happened. My rule of thumb is if it is valuable, and can fit in a pocket or coat, don't check it.
Some other good ideas: Don't leave old tags on your suitcases. It's not like skiers that leave all those old lift tags on their jackets. That might make you look like you've skied all over the country, but multiple tags on suitcase are simply a invitation for your bag ending up where you went last year. Always double check and know the 3 digit airport that is on the claim ticket. Try to avoid checking any bags that have straps or loose fittings of any type - they catch on corners of the bag belts. And lastly, provide some type of identification inside the bag. A simple business card in the bottom will do the trick.
Although we can't guarantee that these measures are foolproof, they should help. If your bag is not returned to you, call the 800 number of the airline for them to track it and get it back in your hands. Believe it or not, they do work very hard to speed lost bags on their way. On behalf of myself, here's wishing you all a safe and happy holiday. And as always GOOOOOOOOOOO BUCKEYES, bring home the Rose Bowl win!