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msmayor

Checked Bag Receipts are important

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Though nowadays many people avoid checking bags, and when they do no one ever seems to check the numbers on the bag tag to the receipts, but I believe my experience yesterday proved how important those receipts can be.

 

We were scheduled from PHL to Vancouver with a planned layover in Toronto via Air Canada. After checking in, checking two bags, we settled at the gate for the planned 9:30am departure. At 9am, phones all over lit up with the cancellation of the first flight.

 

I'll spare the details of my calls to Air Canada first for alternatives (bleak) then to Holland America who booked my air (promised to somehow get us to Vancouver...said to call back after A.C. rebooked us if their alternative was no good). Bottom line, Air Canada found us a United alternative and rebooked us...only we had a short window of less than an hour to get out checked luggage shuttled. 

 

Having a description of the bags AND the tag number have them the best shot to find it and transfer it.  We boarded the United flight headed to a transfer in Chicago and just prayed the bags made it.

 

They were all there in the carousel in Vancouver, so we'll board Eurodam today with all our stuff. 

 

Moral of the story...don't lose your luggage receipts. They could prove to be very important.

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Definitely don't lose receipts. More and more airlines are putting baggage info on their mobile app, so that's an option too...gives you a step-by-step "Bag checked at DEN, bag loaded at DEN, bag offloaded at SLC, bag loaded at SLC, bag offloaded at SEA" kind of thing, with times. It's great.

 

Another recommendation - before your bag disappears from the check-in desk, make sure the right destination ended up on your bag. I have seen and heard some stories of the wrong bag tag ending on the wrong bag, so your bag accidentally gets tagged to MKE instead of ATL, and the guy next to you has a bag in ATL instead of MKE. Shouldn't happen due to ID checks, but it still does occasionally because...humans are humans.  

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Great advice, thanks so much. I just wish though, there were more secure means of getting our luggage. Last time we were in IAD spotted one of our pieces of luggage being grabbed by a lady who thought it was hers - if I hadn't intervened, she'd have easily carted off with it unknowingly and without anyone double checking to see if it was her bag. It'd be nice if there was a checkpoint looking to make sure everyone was getting their own bags.

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45 minutes ago, Zach1213 said:

Another recommendation - before your bag disappears from the check-in desk, make sure the right destination ended up on your bag. I have seen and heard some stories of the wrong bag tag ending on the wrong bag, so your bag accidentally gets tagged to MKE instead of ATL, and the guy next to you has a bag in ATL instead of MKE. Shouldn't happen due to ID checks, but it still does occasionally because...humans are humans.  

 

Often an issue when kiosk check-in is in play...they print the bag tags at the drop point and sometimes in the scrum the wrong one gets on.  So don't just check your claim stub, but the big three letters on the actual tag.

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36 minutes ago, johnjen said:

It'd be nice if there was a checkpoint looking to make sure everyone was getting their own bags.

 

In a number of airports around the world, you will find still find that.  Here in the USA, they were quite common some years ago, but they were pretty much eliminated due to 1) costs of the checkers and 2) complaints about the lines in getting out of the baggage claim area.

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Great advice,  thanks.  I also take pictures of my bags; to include my name tags, bag color, and my special green tag on top.  That way I have a backup to the claim check. 

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4 hours ago, johnjen said:

Great advice, thanks so much. I just wish though, there were more secure means of getting our luggage. Last time we were in IAD spotted one of our pieces of luggage being grabbed by a lady who thought it was hers - if I hadn't intervened, she'd have easily carted off with it unknowingly and without anyone double checking to see if it was her bag. It'd be nice if there was a checkpoint looking to make sure everyone was getting their own bags.


Back in the day you did need to show the claim checks to a guard to take your bags.  That ended in the late 80's, maybe early 90's.

 

My best advice is to make your bag look different.  Don't buy black or navy bags.  Use a contrasting colored luggage strap, maybe even two, one in each direction.  Buy handle wraps in bright colors with either your last name or "NOT YOURS" embroidered on them.  Make it so foolproof that if anyone does try to take your bag, you'll have a good case to have them arrested for theft as no reasonable person could say it was an accident.

 

 

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14 hours ago, ducklite said:


Back in the day you did need to show the claim checks to a guard to take your bags.  That ended in the late 80's, maybe early 90's.

 

 

Even on domestic US flights, I remember regularly having to do it at MDW by the Southwest baggage claims as recently as 2007ish. Wouldn't let you out of the "fenced" bag claim area without showing it. Now, I am not sure how closely they really checked it (versus just making sure you had one, as opposed to someone coming in off the street and grabbing a bag), but they definitely did it. 

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I'm always checking the status of my bag.    I use the wifi on planes to verify it's been loaded, or not.   :)     Very easy to track.    This is especially essential,  in my case since I fly nonrev.    I make all kinds of  last minute changes etc.     

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On 10/15/2019 at 9:53 AM, msmayor said:

Though nowadays many people avoid checking bags, and when they do no one ever seems to check the numbers on the bag tag to the receipts, but I believe my experience yesterday proved how important those receipts can be.

 

We were scheduled from PHL to Vancouver with a planned layover in Toronto via Air Canada. After checking in, checking two bags, we settled at the gate for the planned 9:30am departure. At 9am, phones all over lit up with the cancellation of the first flight.

 

I'll spare the details of my calls to Air Canada first for alternatives (bleak) then to Holland America who booked my air (promised to somehow get us to Vancouver...said to call back after A.C. rebooked us if their alternative was no good). Bottom line, Air Canada found us a United alternative and rebooked us...only we had a short window of less than an hour to get out checked luggage shuttled. 

 

Having a description of the bags AND the tag number have them the best shot to find it and transfer it.  We boarded the United flight headed to a transfer in Chicago and just prayed the bags made it.

 

They were all there in the carousel in Vancouver, so we'll board Eurodam today with all our stuff. 

 

Moral of the story...don't lose your luggage receipts. They could prove to be very important.

 

The bag receipts aren't really that important, as the airline has the numbers in their system (if they need to re-route you).

 

However.....  When you check in, take a picture of your luggage with your phone, then if you have to describe them, well..  a picture is worth a 1000 words.

 

Lastly, attach something to your bag that will make it look different, a contrasting strap, a bright ribbon, even big stickers on hard shell suitcases. This helps prevent the wrong person from grabbing your bag by mistake.

 

 

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1 hour ago, scottbee said:

Lastly, attach something to your bag that will make it look different, a contrasting strap, a bright ribbon, even big stickers on hard shell suitcases. This helps prevent the wrong person from grabbing your bag by mistake.

 

I heartily endorse these custom tags.  You can customize the colors and name to fit your wishes.  They've been great with both reroute situations and in finding bags in a sea of cases.  Plus the accidental walk-off.

 

http://www.tagsforbags.com/

 

 

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On 10/15/2019 at 2:49 PM, FlyerTalker said:

Often an issue when kiosk check-in is in play...

 

I try to avoid kiosk check-in as much as possible.  And, particularly when I am flying First Class or Business Class.  I am paying for enhanced service and that includes when I check-in for my flight, in my opinion.

On 10/15/2019 at 2:51 PM, FlyerTalker said:

 

In a number of airports around the world, you will find still find that.  Here in the USA, they were quite common some years ago, but they were pretty much eliminated due to 1) costs of the checkers and 2) complaints about the lines in getting out of the baggage claim area.

 

Amtrak does a better job at their baggage claim in checking baggage claim checks against the tags of the luggage than any of the U. S. airlines do.

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On a related note one thing I like about American Airlines is their app which shows when the luggage is loaded on the plane and when it comes off the plane.  One time the app indicated that my luggage was on an earlier flight (unbelievable) but at least I knew before takeoff.

 

On another related note, it is not uncommon for someone to grab the wrong luggage in a cruise ship terminal when disembarking the ship.  We were at one port as someone was coming back to return a piece of luggage that they mistakenly took  and one of those local cruise line reps (they don't work for the cruise line) told me this happens at least once per cruise.

We put ribbon on each piece of luggage hoping that this will help to identify it better so that someone doesn't accidentally take ours and we avoid black colored luggage.

 

Keith

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15 hours ago, Keith1010 said:

On a related note one thing I like about American Airlines is their app which shows when the luggage is loaded on the plane and when it comes off the plane.

Not sure about United, but Delta has this too. Delta also has a 20-minute guarantee for luggage to be delivered at the baggage claim. I've flown American into DFW and waited 45 minutes for luggage to come off of a plane that you could see out the window from the baggage claim.

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On the very few occasions when we check a bag we also take a digital image of the bag.

 

If you do have to make a claim one question is always what does the bag look like.

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On 10/16/2019 at 1:33 PM, scottbee said:

 

The bag receipts aren't really that important, as the airline has the numbers in their system (if they need to re-route you).

 

 

If you ever have an itinerary that includes multiple different flight segments on multiple different airlines (all one ticket and all one airline alliance) and 2 of your 3 bags don't arrive with you, you'll find out how valuable it can be to have both the receipt numbers and a description of each bag, and to know which claim number goes to which bag.

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And to put the capper on this....technically, you need those receipts for your baggage, as that is proof that you a) checked the bag with the airline, and b) are the rightful owner of the bag, and c) are the rightful possessor of any loss/damage/delay claim against the airline.  Though the number may be linked in a reservation system, don't toss those stubs.

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