How to Avoid Losing Connecting Flights Baggage

By Leah Rendon; Updated June 08, 2017

Avoid lost luggage: tips for connecting with your baggage

How to Avoid Losing Connecting Flights Baggage

You’ve just arrived at your final destination, but you don’t see your luggage on the airport baggage carousel. It’s one of those stomach-dropping moments that can turn even the most anticipated trip into a colossal headache. The odds of an airline losing or misplacing your luggage increases when your itinerary includes a connecting flight. Rather than vowing to book non-stop flights only in the future, use some of these tools and tips to lessen the probability of your checked bag missing its connection.

Q: Why do airlines lose luggage?

A: It’s pretty simple – baggage handlers need time to transfer your luggage from aircraft to aircraft. If your flight is late or if your layover is tight on time, the handlers might not make the transfer before your next plane takes off. As a result, you should try to avoid short layovers. Make certain you book flights that give plenty of time for you and your luggage to make the connection. Other causes for lost luggage can include anything from the airline attendant typing in the wrong airport code to the routing label getting ripped off your luggage during transport.

Q: Is the airline always responsible for transferring my baggage?

A: While the airline is typically in charge of luggage transfers, don’t assume that’s always the case. In fact, in some international airports, you may be responsible for retrieving and rechecking your own luggage. Ask ahead of time if you’ll need to attend to your own bags.

Q: How should I prepare my luggage for an itinerary with a connecting flight?

A: Make certain you prominently display your itinerary and contact information inside your bag. If your ID tag is destroyed before or after your connecting flights, the airline workers can still easily track you down. Prepare for the worst-case scenario and take a photo of all your bag’s contents. If the bag is lost for good, you’ll have a record of all your missing items, so the airline can properly compensate you for the loss of your possessions.

Q: How should I pack for an itinerary with a connecting flight?

A: Keep all of your valuable items, such as passports and medications, in your carry-on bag. If your checked bag does get lost or misplaced between connecting flights, you won’t be without your essential items.

Q: Is any kind of technology available that can help me find my lost luggage?

A: Some luggage tags and the luggage itself have tracking devices equipped with GPS technology. If your bag misses your connecting flight or gets stuck somewhere in no man’s land, you can help the airline track down its location via its attached tracking device.

Q: What are some common-sense tips to prevent my luggage from getting lost during connecting flights?

A: Double-check the accuracy of the routing label and luggage tag on your bags. The routing label should include the final airport in your multi-leg journey, and the tags should highlight your name and contain up-to-date contact information. Make certain you remove old airline tags, which can, understandably, confuse baggage handlers and may result in your luggage being sent to the wrong city.

About the Author

Leah Rendon