Luggage: Travellers should always check this before flying or risk huge consequence

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13 shares, 87 points

Passengers jetting off on holiday may want to take luggage with them, which will need to be checked in to the aeroplane’s hold. With this comes a set of unique issues which can arise if things go wrong. From bags exceeding the luggage weight and size allowance to damaged bags, sometimes worst-case scenarios happen.

One of the worst of these is luggage going missing – though it turns out there is a way passengers can reduce the risk.

In a digital world, the paper bag tags printed at check-in can seem a bit dated, but they are crucial in ensuring your bag goes to the correct destination.

The adhesive label, known as an automated baggage tag (ABT), includes the destination of your luggage.

Mirroring the information included on the ABT is the stub, which is placed on the bag to help identify it if the luggage tag gets lost.

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Luggage: Passengers should always check luggage tags before travel (Image: Getty Images)

Countdown blunder: Rachel Riley's huge mistake after replacing Carol Vorderman exposed

Luggage: Bag tags contain information about the bag, its owner and where it is going (Image: Getty Images)

A counterpart ticket, holding the luggage information and a bar code, is also printed and handed to the passenger.

It is vital travellers keep a hold of this stub.

In some situations, bags can go missing or are sent to the wrong location.

The counterpart ticket could be the difference between luggage being returned or being lost forever.

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The information on the passenger stub can be used to locate the suitcase and reunite it with its owner should it unexpectedly go missing.

A travel expert from The Points Guy UK said: “On the rare occasions that I do travel with large luggage, I closely examine both the claim tags and the bag tags themselves.

“And you always should, too.”

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Luggage: Leaving old tags on bags could mean they get sent to the wrong destination by mistake (Image: Getty Images)

However, it isn’t just errors at check-in that can result in lost luggage.

It turns out that passengers themselves can be to blame if they forget to remove old bag tags.

One travel expert on Reddit explained this small oversight confuse scanners and send your bag to the wrong location.

They said: “Not a secret, just common sense; the reason some bags miss their flight or get misrouted is because passengers don’t remove old tags.

“It confuses handlers as well as the conveyor belt scanners. I see it happen all the time.”

While baggage handers are frequently told to double-check the dates on luggage tags, the fast-paced nature of the job means sometimes mistakes can be made.

In fact, the latest baggage report from SITA revealed that 22.7 million bags were lost or temporarily mislaid globally.

According to SITA, there are several common reasons why luggage goes missing such as ticketing errors, bag switches, airport or customs restrictions, failure to load the bag or security issues.


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