Why you need a baggage strategy

Why you need a carry-on baggage strategy

For those who missed the BBC News report about the mishandled luggage at Manchester Airport before the weekend, you can catch the initially comical, albeit rather disconcerting footage here. Filmed by a passenger who had spotted her own case being handled with anything but care, the video has gathered pace on social media with over 14k views, causing the contractor Swissport to launch a formal investigation.

It got us thinking about how best to safeguard your precious travel items – be it en route to your destination or worse, travelling home laden with delicate keepsakes. Simon Calder, a freelance travel journalist, who reports for the BBC and The Independent, explained this is not an isolated incident and shared advice for those travelling by air.

Assume you’ll never see it again
Calder advises flyers to plan for this eventuality, despite how unlikely it might seem. While most items of luggage will arrive as they should, some sadly won’t and it’s wise to pack accordingly just in case.

Reduce risk with direct flights
More connections equals more loading and off-loading of baggage in tight time frames, and therefore more risk of damage or luggage being lost in transit. Fewer connections means less risk (and let’s face it, is a much less taxing way to arrive at your destination).

Fix luggage labels both in and outside
Calder advised asking the hypothetical question, “If all the baggage tags are torn off, how will they know this is mine?” Whilst slightly reminiscent of having your mum sew your name into your PE kit at school, a label stuck to the inside of the case will inevitably help in this scenario.

Photograph your luggage and its contents
It might seem overly cautious but if you do need to make a claim, the onus is on you to prove what was in your case and its condition before travel. Taking a minute to snap a quick photo or two will help you to remember what has been lost and save you time in the long run.

Pack all your valuables and breakables in your hand luggage
Simple in theory, but if you’re at the back of the boarding queue and this means your hand luggage needs to go into the hold when they run out of space, make sure you bring a smaller bag to decant your most valuable items into. You’ll be able to take this into the cabin with you and know it’s safe in your own hands.

Calder added, “Beside the increasing financial incentive – with more airlines charging for checked baggage – packing everything into your cabin baggage has plenty of other advantages. No queueing to drop the bags off or pick them up again. And no danger that a fellow passenger will accidentally (or sometimes deliberately) pick up your case from the reclaim carousel.”

You can read Simon’s write up of his BBC report here.

Our tip: Spacious soft-sided cabin cases such as the QUBEd New Zero can help you fit in everything you need for your trip – and if the thought of cramming everything into hand luggage makes you feel claustrophobic, they also come in extra-wide. If you’re travelling further afield and can’t avoid a check-in, a hard sided case such as those in the Novation range help protect your belongings from unexpected knocks.