Travel Tips

Travel Tip: One Way You Can Track Your Checked Luggage

The next time you check your bags for a flight and the airline gives you a baggage tag, don’t assume anything.

Specifically, don’t assume it was tagged correctly.

Definitely don’t assume it was put on your flight.

Don’t just go to the gate and board your plane.

Almost every airline of consequence these days scans your bag tag before it’s loaded onto your flight.

It’s scanned again if your bag is connecting to another flight.

The airline knows instantaneously if and when a bag was loaded and where it’s going.

So if you’re going to check your luggage, do what I do.

When you get to the gate, five minutes before they call for boarding, show your bag receipt to the gate agent and ask if he or she can confirm it’s been loaded.

This is especially important if you’re connecting on a second flight.

It’s time consuming and frustrating to get to your destination only to wait 40 minutes for bags that don’t arrive, and another 20 minutes to stand in line filling out a form for lost bags.

Some airlines, such as Delta, offer apps that text you the minute your bag is loaded onto your plane—or if your bag didn’t make it.

But don’t forget to ask at the gate—and don’t assume anything.

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