Lost Luggage: Ensure Your Baggage Arrives When You Do

Lost luggage is the third biggest complaint for flyers, but with a recent crackdown on carry-ons, alternative options are limited

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New carry-on size restrictions could cramp your luggage style

Searching for ways to ensure your luggage reaches its destination? You’re not alone

It’s becoming more and more common for the average air traveller to be faced with lost or damaged baggage. As a result, many are packing what they can into their carry-on or finding an alternative solution.

When it comes to airline complaints, baggage issues are No. 3 on the list, not far behind quality of service and flight disruptions. And it’s no wonder, when you see the number of bags that are misplaced every year.

Lost Luggage by the Numbers

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, American airlines lose an average of about 10,000 bags a day. In the U.K., at least 10 passengers per flight lost their checked baggage this summer.

Airlines in Canada aren’t required to report incidents of lost or damaged baggage, so we don’t have exact numbers, unfortunately. But according to the Canadian Transportation Agency, the number of complaints is actually down slightly from last year — so that’s one bright spot in this area.

Still, just the thought that your checked bags might not make it to their final destination has many frequent fliers and even casual tourists trying to take as much onboard as possible.

Carry-on Crackdown

However, Air Canada is planning to start cracking down on carry-ons this fall. That means that the baby stroller or car seat you’re bringing along will count as one of the two carry-on pieces you’re allowed onboard. And don’t forget about size restrictions either — you can get this info directly from your airline.

Your other option for luggage is to use a specialized transportation company. It’s a concept that’s popped up in the last few years, as passengers grow more frustrated with the airlines. These companies will ship your bags (whether it be golf clubs, skis, suitcases or boxes) directly to your destination. Once you arrive, your luggage is delivered — but it’s not cheap. A company like Luggage Free, for example, charges $7 a pound (within Canada), plus a $50 handling fee.

It’s an expensive alternative, but one that might pique your interest if you’ve got some precious cargo that simply has to make it safely and on time.

Claire Newell is the travel media expert for Global BC, host of the travel series Operation: Vacation, best-selling author, spokesperson, wife and mother of two.

Originally published in TVW. For daily programming updates and on-screen Entertainment news, subscribe to the free TVW e-newsletters, or purchase a subscription to the weekly magazine.