September 26, 2009

Travel Tips - You're in Singapore and Your Bag is in Sydney!

Worldwide, on average airlines mishandle one in every 100 bags. Most luggage turns up within 24 hours of your arrival. Very rarely is a bag lost forever.

You can do several things to make sure your bag is not mishandled and you are not inconvenienced.

1. When buying a suitcase go for a standard size. Bags with belts and buckles such as rucksacks can become caught up in machinery.

2. Tie a bright ribbon or stick a bright label on your bag. The most common reason bags go astray is because people pick up the wrong bag. Always check the label when you take your bag off the carousel.

3. Label your bag. Not only on the outside but put a label inside. If the label comes off and if a bag is opened it can be identified quickly. Do not put your home address on the outside, only on the inside. Include your on-the-road email address.

4. Check in with plenty of time before your flight. Those last bags are the ones that could go astray. Check the luggage label receipts before you leave check in. There should be one for each piece of checked in baggage. See that it is labeled for the correct destination and then place receipts in a safe place.

5. Leave plenty of time between connecting flights. Over 60% of bags mishandled happens when luggage is transferred from one airline to another or from one flight to another.

6. Pack something distinctive on top like a red shirt or a yellow bag. If your bag does go missing and you are asked to fill in a Passenger Irregularity Report (PIR) you have something distinctive to list which will be recognized immediately when they search for your bag. .

7. Use an approved lock if flying to the USA, or use the bright coloured bag tags which attach to the zip so that you know instantly when you collect your bags if it has been tampered with. It is not common for luggage to be opened and content missing but it does happen

8. Take off all old labels. Check-in staff will do this but do it yourself to guarantee that they do not miss any.

9. Pack a change of underwear and put cosmetics in 100 mil. containers, in your hand luggage so that if you are unfortunate enough to lose your bag you have a change of clothes and essential cosmetics.

10. Check your travel insurance to make certain that any losses will be covered. Airlines pay out on weight not on your granny's heirloom brooch value!

11. Do not pack medication in your checked baggage and do not place expensive jewellery, important documents or items that you cannot proceed with out on arrival in your checked baggage

12. Finally if your bag does go astray, make a friend of the airlines representative they can do a lot towards finding your bag for you.

In more than 20 years in the airline industry, Wendy Johnson sent countless travellers off to discover the world, and learnt plenty of secrets along the way. Now she is putting her knowledge down on paper to share with others.

"Hot Spots to Shop - Bangkok" is the first in Wendy Johnson's Hot Spots to Shop series and is designed to assist both first time travellers and frequent visitors in finding the best shopping in popular and emerging destinations within the Asia-Pacific region.

Hot Spots to Shop book series outlines what is available and where and provides guidance for travellers who need to find specific products or services but have limited time in which to do so, or are having problems with language or cultural barriers that exist for travellers.

The books list shopping centres as well as individual stores and include types of merchandise sold or services offered, trading hours, telephone numbers and other contact details, forms of payment and transport information. Check out

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