Baggage handling by airlines is actually at an all-time high on the service delivery scales due to a multiplicity of steps taken to improve service.

Long gone are the days when you would have suspiciously well dressed staff behind the scenes at major airport hubs who would supplement their income with pilfering on a grand scale. Improved security requirements and automated systems have all but eliminated theft.

The greatest cause of “lost” luggage is due to missed connections at transfer points between flights.  If you are on a tight connection there is a fair chance your bag might not make it though sometimes I have been astounded at how some airlines can actually make the impossible happen. This affects around half of all “lost” bags but they usually turn up within 24 hours via the next available flight.

With major advancements in technology, incorrect tagging now accounts for only four per cent of lost luggage so when the agent puts the tag on your bag at check-in make sure you understand that it has been tagged to your correct destination and remember you must reclaim your bags and recheck them at most points of entry of the country that’s your final destination.  Check with the agent!

I actually take a photo with my I-phone of the bag with its tag clearly visible just before the agent sends it on its way down the belt.   This makes it much easier for staff at your destination to start the tracking and claim procedure, should your bag not turn up at your destination.

So many bags look the same and it is so easy for someone to pick up the wrong bag off the reclaim belt at destination so you should put distinctive identification on your bag but nothing that shows any home address as this could be great tip for would be burglars to break into your house as you will be on holiday. When you reclaim your bags make sure the tag on it matches the one on your ticket.

You may notice that in addition to the main tag label many airlines add separate mini-labels to your bag with a barcode. This is just in case the main label gets torn off. For that reason you check your bags thoroughly for any conflicting labels before you start packing. It wouldn’t be much fun if you arrived at your holiday destination only to discover your bags had been sent back to Scotland because they still had the labels from their last trip.

Despite all the best efforts bags still go missing – so where do they end up? Baggage Heaven is the Unclaimed Baggage Centre in Scotsborro Arizona where there are many bargains to be claimed. Airlines conduct an extensive three-month tracing process in an effort to reunite them with their owners.  Claims are paid on these remaining lost bags and only then do the airlines sell the remaining unclaimed baggage property to Unclaimed Baggage Center.  Check out www.unclaimedbaggage.com/