A few years ago returning from a consulting assignment in Armenia, flying KLM from Amsterdam to Toronto, I was utterly surprised when my luggage failed to appear on the luggage rack.
I had to fill out a very detailed form and the employee stated that the maximum the airline would pay, in case it could not find the luggage, would be $ 800.00. Fortunately my luggage was delivered intact to my door the following day.
Since then I did some research to find out how luggage get lost and how to avoid such disconcerting problems.
Statistics show that one per cent checked-in luggages get lost – either temporarily, or damaged and recovered, or gone forever. While there has been an improvement over the past two years, it means luggages of 340 passengers of a fully occupied A 340 Airbus aircraft will not show up at the destination.
According to published statistics, 53 per cent of lost luggages get lost during transfers and some 13 per cent are never loaded on the plane.
If you have important documents, or have it loaded on your laptop, make sure it is placed in your carry =on.
Airlines allow 5 kilogrammes of carry-on with strict dimensional measurements. Place all your personal grooming material in your carry-on. If you are on a business trip consider putting on your dress shirt, tie, maybe even a light suit in your carry-on.
If you are traveling to a trade show as a supplier, ship all promotional material in advance with detailed instructions to the hotel as to where to store it, and the name of the receiver hotel.
Buy luggage that stand out among hundreds. Basic black, dark blue, grey are not recommended.
Take a picture of your luggage and give it the tracer at the airline counter.
Always place your identification card clearly on your luggage, and copy on the side as well.
With increasing international air traffic, despite all the inconveniences, more pieces of baggage get lost or stolen.
In Yerevan’s Zavartnots airport, once person verifies your checked-in baggage stub with that attached to the baggage and releases only if both numbers match. This ensures that only the rightful owner will get out of the airport with his/her baggage.
This is not the case in North American or European arrival terminals where they try to save on payroll, and which I believe is the wrong way to saving a small amount and then spent a lot to remedy stolen baggage.