When you check in at the airport, you always hope that won’t be the last time you see your luggage, but just how safe are your valuables after they go on the conveyor belt?
Most of the time, your case and its contents will be 94.27%* safe and only have a few marks and scuffs on them due to the stacking and handling procedure. But there are times when your case comes out either badly damaged, torn or in some cases, missing entirely. Not the best start to your holiday!
Research from SITA, the makers of the World Tracer System, found that 21.6 million bags were mishandled (lost or temporarily mislaid) in 2016 (down from 23.3m in 2015), a figure that translates as 5.73* bags per 1,000 passengers. But since 2007, the number of bags lost per 1,000 passengers is down from 18.88 to 5.73, a fall of 70 per cent. It’s just irritating if you should fall into the 5.73 category and need to make a claim.
Reducing the chances of your suitcases being damaged or going missing is key. There are many ways you can look after your case, even if it isn’t with you and you can do this before you leave the house or hotel.
- Choose the right sort of case – There are advantages to soft cases. They are easier to store in overhead compartments and tend to be much lighter, giving you the opportunity to put more items inside. But they are susceptible to getting ripped and the zips can burst open far easier than a hard-shell case would. Hard-shell cases are stronger but flimsy. Luggage can break or crack under pressure so make sure you buy a good quality case.
- Don’t overpack your case – Just because your case can zip up, it doesn’t mean that it’s secure. In fact, chances are the zip is more likely to pull apart when it is being handled or being pushed around on the machinery, sending your pants, towels and toothbrush from one side of the airport to the other. Having a full case will make this even more likely!
- Pack fragile items well - Bottles from duty free and suntan lotion are just some of the many additional items people have in their cases. But with a lack of care when it comes to packing, you could find the entire contents of your bag ruined by not taking precautions. Bubble wrap, and packing paper are ideal to take with you before you set off from the UK, limiting the chances of your clothes getting ruined by a smashed bottle of Merlot.
- Protect your case – When you arrive at the airport, you can wrap your bag in a protective clingfilm for a small fee. This might be an ideal way of protecting the fabric or hard shell of the suitcase from scuff and scratches, especially if it is an expensive designer bag. You can also take some clingfilm wrap with you on holiday to save money if you happen to have multiple cases.
- Track your bag – There are so many ways to help keep tabs on your luggage as soon as it leaves your side. Companies such as ReboundTAG, who have developed a tracking tag, use a radio frequency identification (RFID) microchip, an NFC microchip, a QR code and a printed unique ID - all on one tag so that it works in every airport. Wherever you are travelling, ensure you microchip your luggage so that it does not get lost. You can sign up for a free account on some Airport loyalty schemes or pay for a tag on consumer sites.
When you book your holiday, make sure you have adequate travel insurance which covers the loss or damage of your luggage. Also check the excess on the policy, because you will need to cover this amount before a claim is paid out.
Another important note is that some policies won’t include items such as golf bags and clubs so make sure you get additional cover to prevent you from landing in the rough.
Book your holiday and travel insurance with payingtoomuch.com for peace of mind that you will be covered from the moment you book. Call us on 01243 213213 for holidays and 01243 784000 for travel insurance.