Pack Your Carry-On As If The Airline Would Lose Your Checked Luggage

Pack Your Carry-On As If The Airline Would Lose Your Checked Luggage
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If there’s one thing that’s more frustrating than ridiculously long security lines at the airport, it’s the airline losing your checked bag. There’s no guarantee that it won’t ever happen, so The Points Guys suggests only checking in a bag that you can afford to lose.

In 2012 alone, over 26 million bags were mishandled (lost or damaged). That’s nine people with mishandled bags per every 1,000 passengers. So act like you’re prepared to go your entire trip without your luggage by keeping essential belongings in your carry-on. That is, have important things like medication, credit and bank cards, car keys, and other non-easily replaceable items with you. This might sound like really crazy advice, but it really takes only one experience with lost luggage to take this advice seriously.

Fiascos involving delayed luggage take days or weeks to resolve. Compensations are usually limited to bare essentials and maybe part of the cost of replacing the luggage and contents. We hope you never have to deal with lost or damaged luggage, but if it happens be sure to check with your airline about their policies around compensation.

7 Habits of Highly Experienced Travellers [The Points Guy]
Image by Paul Iwancio.


  • Another hot tip: carry an extra bag (a small foldable one) in case they decide they want to gate check your carry-on so you can put your essentials and valuables in it. I had a flight where they made me gate check my carry on and I managed to get the computer out, but had my hands full and forgot my mobile, and surprise surprise, my bag came back but not my mobile.

  • I dunno. I travelled a lot over a six year period, between 2003 and 2009, and the only time my bag didn’t show up on the carousel, it actually beat me to my hotel. (It got a taxi, I took the train.) That said, I think you’d be crazy to have anything as important as keys or credit/debit cards in your check-in luggage anyway. It just isn’t a secure enough environment and if they see something nice, like an expensive camera, when they are x-raying your bag, it is a simple process to help themselves to it with little chance of being caught. I had a mobile phone taken out of my bag once, now everything of value goes in my carry-on.

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