Unique Markings Help Prevent “Bag Swaps”
By Pamela Wilson
Probably the least favorite part of air travel, besides clearing security checks, is waiting for your bags to roll around the carousel at baggage claim.
At most airports a recorded announcement warns you of a possible baggage claim mishaps – picking up someone else’s bag because it resembles your own. The airlines refer to that as 'bag swaps'.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, an average of one in 70 passengers can’t find at least one bag at the end of his trip. While airlines estimate that about 90 percent of lost bags are returned to their owners within 24 hours, no one keeps track of how many are never found.
To help prevent lost bags, many savvy travelers use unique and easy-to-spot tags or markings.
“I put a big piece of bright yellow duct tape on my black carry on,” said Harlan Cottington, who was arriving in Atlanta from New York recently. “I think there are a million that look like mine. I want to make sure I can grab it and go.”
Another traveler tied a tennis ball to her bag. She says she can spot the bouncing ball from yards away. Still others use ribbon or unique tags sold at stationery store. One bright pink plastic tag reads “Shopping Diva.” Others contain bold monograms.
The TSA also offers another suggestion, “Write your name with a metallic
or permanent marker pen. That way your bag will stand out at the baggage
© 2007 Hartsfield-Jackson News. A Publication from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. All rights reserved.