Nothing undermines a well-planned vacation quite like no-show luggage. When your suitcase fails to appear on the baggage carousel, you’re guaranteed a stressful experience filling out baggage-claim forms and futilely waiting. When it comes to making sure checked bags arrive safely at your destination, you are at the mercy of the airlines. Here are a few tips to give you better odds.
Upgrade Your Luggage Tag
Opt for a smarter luggage tag. Several high-tech brands of tags feature codes or microchips that travellers can use to detect lost bags. SuperSmartTags, for example, contain unique codes with which airline personnel can trace off-track luggage. (Many bags get lost when paper airport tags get ripped off.) You might even consider embroidering your name and phone number on your suitcase, or at least writing it in permanent marker.
Check In Early
Travelers who check in late—whether they arrived at the airport with only minutes to spare or got held up in a meandering check-in line—are more likely to get separated from their bags. Baggage handlers need time to process luggage and load it onto planes. Many experts say that 30 minutes ahead of departure is the cut-off, but it all depends. The earlier you can check in, the better.
Place Your Itinerary Inside Your Bag
Luggage tags can easily be torn off in the rough-and-tumble handling process, but a copy of your itinerary, placed on top of your belongings inside your bag, will almost certainly stay put. Place a copy of your travel plans along with contact information in a prominent place inside any checked bags; if your bag gets delayed, this will make it easier for airline staff to forward your luggage to you.
Ship Your Bags Instead of Checking Them
It sounds a little crazy. But it’s not. This strategy kills two birds: By shipping your luggage, you diminish the chance that it’ll get lost, and you also avoid costly overweight-, oversize-, and checked-bag fees. Sure, it takes longer to arrive but if you plan ahead and ship your belongings to your hotel in advance, you can save money and track your shipment
Take Some Photos
If your bag has gone AWOL and you’re attempting to get it back, photo evidence will help. Take a picture of the outside of your bag to show the airline staff member who is helping you locate it. It’s also wise to take a quick photo of your baggage-claim ticket, in case you lose it. Take a picture of the inside of your bag as well; this will come in handy in case you need to file an insurance claim for your lost belongings.
Use a Luggage Strap
Suitcases, unfortunately, sometimes suffer from a case of mistaken identity at the baggage carousel. This is especially likely to happen when half of your plane is traveling with the same bag. So give your bag a makeover with a colourful luggage strap, some neon duct tape, or whatever your creative little mind can conjure up.
Avoid Short Layovers
Tight layovers increase the likelihood that your bags will go missing. If your flight is late, the window of time for airport staff to transfer your bag from one plane to the next narrows. Pay attention to the length of your layover, especially when booking with an online 3rd party website. Often, these sites sell domestic multi-leg itineraries with layovers of less than an hour, which doesn’t leave any wiggle room in an industry in which flights are frequently delayed.
If you have an international connecting flight, know that you may have to pick up your checked luggage at the baggage claim, clear customs and airport security, and then recheck your bag, all before boarding. This is also the case if you’re arriving in the U.S. from an international destination and then taking a domestic connecting flight. For this reason, it’s important to allow plenty of time—two or more hours, ideally—on international layovers. Confused? Why not let the experts do it all for you. Contact us today and see how we can help with all your travel requirements.
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The role of procurement departments has certainly changed over the years, with value, levels of service and duty of care all becoming significant considerations when taking on a new supplier. However, there is one aspect of the procurement process that has stood the test of time and underpins everything that procurement department’s work towards and that’s cost.
I’m often asked to benchmark against existing practices but what is the best way to do this?
Understanding transaction fees and how they relate to your overall spend is a crucial element in selecting a TMC.
Equipping yourself with as much industry knowledge as possible is the best way to get the procurement process off to a good start. If you’re keen to drive online bookings then, by doing research, you should be able to find a realistic online adoption rate expectation. The volume of online bookings your organisation makes will have a direct impact on the fees you pay, as online bookings are usually charged at a much lower rate than offline bookings.
Don’t focus exclusively on offline fees
In recent years there has been a real drive within the business travel industry to increase the amount of bookings made online. With transaction fees for online bookings being typically lower, this has been a great result for travel buyers. However, the same kind of fees should not apply to offline bookings. When it comes to offline assistance, it really is a case of you get what you pay for. It is imperative you work with your TMC to work out how realistic your online adoption rate really is, if you have a lot of multi-sector long haul travel I’d suggest you will be doing more offline than online but if it is simple point to point low cost travel a higher online adoption is probably realistic.
TMCs do not all have access to the same fares and so will not deliver the same online/offline booking ratios. If you really want to know what it would cost to work with each TMC you need to tailor your analysis based on your research and their figures.
Once you’ve done your calculations, based on a tailored online adoption per TMC, you can then work out what percentage of your total travel spend the transaction fees would equate to. The industry average sits at around 5%, so if you’re preferred TMC comes in less than this, with excellent customer service and a great all-encompassing solution as well, then from a cost perspective they are very much worth considering.
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