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Lost Luggage - Europe

Old Mar 12th, 2007, 12:03 PM
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Lost Luggage - Europe

What's the best way to prevent checked-in luggage from getting lost after a three-stop international flight from the U.S. to Rome (Texas-to-Chicago-to-Madrid-to-Rome)? I'll also be changing air carriers too, which I would assume causes more difficulty (American Airlines to Iberia).

Anyone have any tips or situations to avoid? Should I recheck my luggage in Chicago (since that's the place I'll be making the air carrier switch). Thanks!
ccontreras3 is offline  
Old Mar 12th, 2007, 12:29 PM
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Best advice is don't have checked luggage or complex flight routings

2nd best advice is to plaster your flight details & name all over the INSIDE of your case (yes I known this is America the land that keys forgot)

Don't put home address in your case.
alanRow is offline  
Old Mar 12th, 2007, 05:58 PM
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Not much you can do to prevent it - the contact info in your bag will help them get it to you when they finally do locate it . . .

But carry on only is the best way if this really scares you.
janisj is online now  
Old Mar 12th, 2007, 06:04 PM
Join Date: Dec 2003
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Make sure you have contact info on the inside of the luggage as well as the typical luggage tag. Don't pack anything in your checked luggage that you would be in despair over if it were lost. Make sure your take basic toiletries, but no liquids, in your carry on and a change of clothes in case the luggage doesn't arrive with you. If you can't take an entire change of clothes at least put some underclothes in the carryon so you can freshen up if your luggage is lost. Our luggage has been "misplaced" only two times during our many years of travel and it has always been delivered to our hotel within 24 hours so I would not lose a great deal of sleep over this if you plan accordingly. Have fun.
jdraper is offline  
Old Mar 12th, 2007, 06:12 PM
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" . . . . but no liquids" you can take a limited amount of liquids in carry on. Less than 3 oz each and all must fit in a 1 quart/liter zip-lok baggie.
janisj is online now  
Old Mar 12th, 2007, 06:26 PM
Join Date: Jan 2004
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Here is some info that may reassure you, or maybe not!

Number one rule is NEVER put valuables in your checked luggage.

Number two rule is put a toothbrush, spare pair of underwear, and a shirt in your carry on.

I would guess that you have about a 25% chance of receiving your luggage on time when you get to Rome with that bizarre zig zag routing. There must be a direct flight from Houston to Rome???

hopscotch is offline  
Old Mar 12th, 2007, 06:32 PM
Join Date: Jun 2004
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You might want to check to see if you are on a codeshare flight from Chicago to Madrid. It might be Iberia all the way from Chicago to Rome. (Iberia is a One World member and often codeshares with American.) Technically, the trip should be seamless since both airlines are on the same system, so it's better than if you were going from American to Lufthansa to Alitalia. If you have time, you could carry on from Texas to Chicago and then check your luggage. I've decided it's too much trouble to carry on to Europe anymore, so I just check my bag and hope for the best. I always pack a change of clothes and necessities in my carry-on. If your bag is lost, which does happen sometime, don't stress ... just buy some new stuff.
doug_stallings is offline  
Old Mar 12th, 2007, 06:35 PM
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I would buy insurance. I have learned to do that of late as my luggage has beeen delayed or lost about every other flight in the last two years. I had two claims paid in 2006 alone. Needless to say, carry on anything you really need or of value.
Dude is offline  
Old Mar 12th, 2007, 06:40 PM
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Just check it through in Texas and there's a big chance it will arrive with you in Rome. (don't know why you are being routed through Madrid..OH, that's because you are going on Iberia).
MOST checked through luggage arrives with the passenger.........we just hear about the ones that don't.!
Just put enough things in your carryon to last a couple of days...and for sure your medicine.
You'll be fine.
I just read a cute quote the other day~~~
"Optomists are not always happy,,,they just always think they are going to be happy soon!"
mari5 is offline  
Old Mar 12th, 2007, 10:16 PM
Join Date: Jul 2006
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this question is regarding why don't you do what AlanRow has indicated below? first time travellers leaving for North America & Europe in 4 weeks. we have round the world ticket so are arriving /departing from quite a few airports. are you saying that we change our flight details every time we depart from another airport? what do others do I would have thought just our names and mobile phone no. they could track us down if luggage lost.
thanks Kerry

(2nd best advice is to plaster your flight details & name all over the INSIDE of your case.
Don't put home address in your case.)

64kerry is offline  
Old Mar 12th, 2007, 10:45 PM
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The most important thing is not to lose the documents they give you when you check your luggage in. One of them (I think it's a sticker) provides a code number which is critical for tracing your luggage. Maybe a more informed Fodorite can provide us with info as to how exactly the system works.
worldinabag is offline  
Old Mar 12th, 2007, 10:45 PM
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"I would guess that you have about a 25% chance of receiving your luggage on time when you get to Rome with that bizarre zig zag routing. "

My experience of complex (I can't see what's bizarre about it) routings is that the bags get through 100% of the time. That changing airlines is immaterial, and that code-share changes (eg AA to BA) are no more and no less likely to result in luggage loss than ordinary (eg DL to LH) interline transfers.

Most luggage losses come from:
- some major system catastrophe, like a wildcat strike or sudden weather chaos. In the past year, Heathrow has probably had more of those than anywhere else, but otherwise they're unpredictable so don't waste energy trying to predict them but if you're really worried avoid Heathrow
- Not allowing enough time for connections. Airlines often palm you off with short connections. Don't let them
- It's just not your day. This can happen anywhere, anytime. In my experience, it's happened more often on straightforward A to B flights on mainstream airlines (though more often when Amsterdam's involved than anywhere else) than when there are plane changes. Unpredictable, so just travel prepared
flanneruk is offline  
Old Mar 13th, 2007, 01:39 AM
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I'm tempting fate here , as I fly to London today, but in 40 years with lots of travel , I've never had a lost or late bag. Don't just put you name, etc inside your bag, put your whole itinerary, where you'll be ,when.

I really like my Magellan luggage tags, my itinerary fits inside and the notice is in 8 languages. They are also big and yellow so help identify my bag .
snook is offline  
Old Mar 13th, 2007, 02:08 AM
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Pre-ship your luggage via UPS or Fed Ex. Every company doing international business to shows and such does this.
Get rid of the ubiquitous black luggage. Patagonia has a beautiful orange piece. Use fabric paint to inscribe a large, large name or symbol on your existing luggage.
GSteed is offline  
Old Mar 13th, 2007, 02:27 AM
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Hi CC,

>What's the best way to prevent checked-in luggage from getting lost ....<

You have no control over it.

Neither does the airline.

Luggage is handled by airport employees.

The best you can do is to follow the advice above and make your luggage easily identifiable.

You should be able to check your luggage through from TX to FCO.

Have a nice trip.

ira is offline  
Old Mar 13th, 2007, 11:29 AM
Join Date: Mar 2004
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I don't know how accurate it is, but I recently read some statistics that said that 80% of lost luggage was from curbside check-in and most of the rest was because of incorrect tagging at check-in. I now tolerate the line to check inside and always look at the tag the clerk puts on to make sure it has the correct destination airport code.
Lady is offline  
Old Mar 13th, 2007, 03:48 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
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This won't prevent lost luggage, but it's not a bad idea to have a list somewhere of what you packed in your checked luggage (and value/price paid) in case you have to file a claim. United lost my suitcase on a flight from Los Angeles to Chicago and it's never been returned. I filed a claim a couple of months later with a best guess/remembrance of what I had packed and it's value. I think they had a maximum allowed claim value of $2000.
joboe is offline  
Old Mar 15th, 2007, 07:22 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
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I did only put my office /business contact information inside my one checked bag when going to my destination, but I bought a bright green luggage handle cover secured by Velcro from QVC and I could spot my bag immediately. I never check my bag at curbside-ever and I too check the luggage tags before leaving the counter.

I also only take direct flights. I only had probems with luggage when I had to change I avoid flight changes whenever possible. I pack lightly and I must say that I feel incredible freedom from carrying just necessities (jewelry, prescriptions, makeup and maybe extra underwear--although I only buy lightweight styles that can be washed and dry over night,) and a coat. To me if I have to agonize over losing something-then it STAYS HOME. I also buy travel insurance through Travel Guard just in case.

EuroJen is offline  
Old Mar 15th, 2007, 07:29 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I don't know there's any way to "prevent" luggage from getting lost.

I think the best advice is to have a well thought out piece of carry-on packed, that has everything valuable and/or essential, that could get you thru a few days until a lost bag catches up with you.

I also think staying in your first destination a few days could make getting a delayed bag to you easier.
suze is offline  
Old Mar 15th, 2007, 08:20 AM
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I think I'd check my luggage all the way through, but take precautions, like making sure your checked tag is for the correct destination and make sure you keep all tags. If your bag is not on the carousel, you need that tag so the airline can more quickly locate your bag. Also, putting a detailed itinerary on or in your bag is a great idea. Good luck. Think positive!
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