Lost Baggage – How to Deal With It

It is bad enough to have a checked baggage delayed; a lost one is somewhat unthinkable. So, in case this situation happens to you, what are your best options? This was especially critical as we recently complete a photography trip Grand Canyon where we lost our camera, not fun.
Here are the following steps in reporting lost baggage:

  • If you discovered that your baggage is not among those in the carousel, make a claim immediately. This is most obvious thing to do. Do not, for whatever reason, leave the airport without reporting your missing baggage. Immediately head to the airline baggage window where the clerk on duty should be able to help you out in tracking down your missing baggage.
  • Be sure to provide a very specific description of your bag; it would be best if you can show a picture. You will be given a report form to fill out, make sure that you provide all the necessary information needed and as accurately as you can. Before submitting the form back to the clerk, make sure that you have your own copy.
  • There may be times when there is no one on duty and your next move is to find another airline employee. If there is no one from the airlines that can offer any assistance, your best option is to call the airline and discuss your problem. Make sure to take note of the customer assistant who took your call.
  • Once you are done reporting your missing baggage, you should inquire about the time frame on when your baggage could be delivered to you; you may not receive an accurate time frame though.
  • Inquire about your rights in case the baggage will be declared as lost. You need to know the compensations that are due you.
  • If your baggage has finally been reported as irretrievably lost, there is nothing else you can do but to discuss your options with your airline. One thing is for sure, you are entitled to some compensations and the amount will depend whether you were on a domestic or international flight.

If there are valuables on the lost baggage, do not expect to be compensated for that. You have to understand that airlines have strict regulations about putting valuables on check-in baggage; they simply do not allow that. If you have to take valuables with you, keep them on you hand-carry bag.

Usually, you will be asked to make an itemized list of all the contents of your missing baggage. Be very accurate and honest about it. Also include the estimated value of the suitcase itself.
Claims for a missing baggage and a lost one are two different circumstance and you have to understand that. If your first report was declared missing, then you can also be given compensation until your baggage is found. If, on your first report, you were immediately told that your baggage is lost, then you have to go through the whole process of claiming your lost baggage compensation. If you were told that your baggage was missing and then after a month it was declared lost, then you need to make another claim.

The best you can do in cases like this is to make an immediate report. Do not wait for any miracles. If your baggage is merely delayed then you are still lucky. But if it is really lost then you have to exercise your rights.

TSA Airport Security Tips

My tips to quickly and safely navigate the TSA security.

Unfortunately and I think that we have learned this to the many of signs that are posted around an airport people don’t read the signs.
Sometimes you forget that laptops in your bags and sometimes you forget that bottle of shampoos in your bag. They get that, but the fact is frequent travelers are the ones they really depend on to help them make their jobs easier because you’re the ones that should know better.
So you don’t forget, hear all my tips; here’s the way I like to go through security and I try to do it as fast as possible. First of all; red bag, the red bag is easy to find no matter where it is. Nobody has a red bag. Liquid stuff, remember the 3 ounce rule … actually it’s a little bit more, 3.4 ounces.
I usually carry my wallet, I’ve never been stopped without a wallet.
Make sure when you’re sliding it through that you sort of watch it through, sometimes they’ll push these things all the way back or your bag will fall off, you do not want that to happen. Boarding pass in the phone is the way to go if you have Smartphone. Don’t hold at the line the next time you fly.

Transit Tips – Getting to the Airport

So how do you get to the airport? For many of us it’s not fun, it’s not fast and it’s certainly not cheap. But I’ve got some ideas that will save you money and save you time, let me show you what I mean.
In Milwaukee you can now take Amtrak, that’s right, Amtrak right from down directly to Billy Mitchell Field, during tough rush hour times that makes all the difference. In Chicago you simply hop on the EL, the elevated CTA trains that go from the Loop directly to O’Hare, it’s clean, safe and fast and oh yes, it’s only $1.75, a whole lot better than $40 taxi stuck in traffic.
In New York there’s now finally the Air Train, it goes from, New Jersey and New York to JFK and it really works because it interfaces with the long hour railroad as well as the New York City subway and bus system and if you need to get onto the airport faster, US helicopters just started a new service between Manhattan and the American Airlines terminal at JFK.
The coolest thing about this service is that you check-in your bags and go through a security at the helicopter terminal in Manhattan and the chopper actually lands right at the departure gates, how cool is that? The price; about $160 or a little more than 3 times the taxi ride but about 6 times as fast with no lines of security.
And then of course there’s getting out of the airport, from my money you don’t go to arrivals, that where the police and the attack dogs are. I had upstairs to departures, there’s nobody here, my car picks me up and I am out of town.

Effective Ways to Avoid Flight Travel Delays

If you are traveling by air, the most distressful situation you could face is learning that your flight is delayed; and to think that you were asked to be at the airport at least 2 hours before your flight. We had this happen recently when flying for the Colorado river dory, but we still made it. But flights do get delayed, due to circumstances that are both unexpected and unavoidable. Bad weather delays are usually unexpected, mechanical problems can be unavoidable. The thing is you should realize that the flight will not be cancelled unless it is absolutely necessary. Flight delays are not what airports want to happen on a regular basis. Flights are delayed due to valid reasons and not just to satisfy a whim.
One bad reason for flight cancellation is a flight that has been overbooked. This is a kind of situation when you can really be so angry and frustrated.
If you want to avoid experience travel delays, it is best if you can try some of the measure that can minimize the aggravations.
·       As much as possible avoid airlines with regular delayed flights. These are usually small-time airlines that do not have the advanced flight scheduling systems of bigger airlines. Before you book your flight try to read reviews on the airline and see how they are rated by their previous clients.
·       Find an airline that send notifications through emails, phone calls or text messages. That way, they can get in touch with you even before you head off to the airport. Though expecting this is like expecting for miracles to happen; in reality airlines will wait until the last minute before they announce a flight delay.
·       If you can, try to avoid booking for connecting flights. It may not be an easy task though, for one thing connecting flight options are cheaper the direct flights. Another thing is there may not be any direct flight available going to your destination. If connecting flights are unavoidable, try to get longer layovers. An hour and a half of layover is better than a 45 minute one. With 45 minutes, you may have to spend it deplaning, getting through the connecting gates, and going aboard the next flight. Simply put 45 minutes will not even allow you to visit the restroom.
·       Do not book for the last flights. When your flight is canceled and you are on a last flight, then your option is to either head back home (not a good idea), stay at a hotel (another bad idea) or sleep at the airport (definitely not a comfortable idea). As you can see, there are no good options to choose from if you are ever delayed during a late night flight, so book your flights earlier.
Let us say that you have observed all the necessary measures to avoid travel delays and yet you still find yourself at the airport long after you should have been on air, what can you do then? Well, the first thing you can do is to find about the reason for the delay, which should be announced anyway.
Then try to stay cool, no reason to get so angry since you are not the only one delayed. Also try to be patient; you will be able to fly out eventually. Be on guard of your belongings and do not be too friendly with anyone especially if you are a stranger on that land. And the most important thing you should do is to inform the people that are expecting you that you will be delayed.