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When Your Luggage Takes a Trip Without You

This year was the year of luggage problems. Leading up to travel there were so many questions about luggage fees, baggage allowances, checking bags through, etc. To complicate things, most clients were flying multiple airlines, and making multiple connections, so there was not one easy answer.

Despite all the research, calls and advance preparation, when clients arrive at the airport it was any man’s guess what was going to happen, and then when clients landed it was a nail biter as we all waited to see if the luggage, in fact, arrived. And, the times when the luggage did not arrive, despite all the various tracking systems, it is not an easy task to track it down and the tracking tool does work on lost luggage it works on found luggage.

In sharing my woes with colleagues, I was reminded of some very good advice that I now share with my clients:

- Take pictures of your luggage and keep your luggage tags (this is coming from a repeat offender who used to ignore this rule!)

- Carry on essentials and at least one-day worth of clothing

- Buy travel insurance. After so many hours without luggage not only will you be eligible for reimbursement, but the insurance company will get involved in helping you track the luggage and will contact the airlines on your behalf.

- Pack an emergency expandable bag to take items home (sometimes a second bag is less money than overweight penalties.)

- When traveling without status particularly outside the United States pay attention to checked baggage fees. You may find it is less expensive to buy a higher class of service that includes checked bags rather than pay the checked baggage fees.

- Whenever possible – carry on: I recently did this on a trip for six nights and while it was a pain to carry around my bag, the freedom of not worrying about my luggage was such a relief!

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