Luggage Loss Prevention and Size

Luggage is Lost in My Book

Oops, did you know losing luggage is a taboo term in the airline industry? Its mislaid or delayed, but never lost. When I cam back from my 2016 trip, Canada Air mislaid my luggage by about a week. Showed up exactly one week later. It was intact but no explanation.

Now I will tell you what I learned about hating luggage on the last trip. Dealing with the fact that I had to barrow the larger bag from a family member, I did not think about the fact that yes, it was American oversized item. Luckily what I packed fell just under max weight, but the lugging of said case all over Scotland was quite annoying and well, it was a two wheelie affair and not one of the 4 wheelies. My hint: get the 4 wheelie, don’t barrow old busted stuff. The number of times it managed to fall over and trip up train commuters is astounding. I really think it had a magical beastie in it that liked to pull pranks.

That said with grinding teeth on way back, when Air Canada dropped me off finally back in Portland. There was no bag. It took a whole week to show up. Why so annoyed? You know how much Levis cost, right? After this ordeal of which the redhead had steam coming out of ears for a week, and being told there is no such thing as lost luggage, she decided to get tech on it.  Really? So after I came back and started plotting my return trip, (yeah, I was off the plane maybe two hours and decided I had to go back. Barely scratched the surface on Scotland) I was determined to never have this happen again, or know that I did what it takes to make sure I don’t have to wash clothes in a sink every day.


Get Techie with Your Luggage

Luggage tags get torn off. The airlines provide you with their own tags, but there are silverback gorillas working in the luggage sorting area, ogres too. So you know how careful and precise they are. I invested in some recovery tags with a company that allows you to upload pictures of your luggage pre-flight, including pictures of inside as you pack. The scan codes allow them to access your contact data including cell phone number so if you are traveling, you may actually get a call. See if there is an app so you can have it on the phone.

Hint: newer tags have a metal cable tie. This may be better as ball chains can snap. However, make sure you secure the clasp screw tight before you fly, they can loosen with jostling.

So, yeah computer teacher geek here thinks this is not enough. Get a GPS tracking device for your luggage. Yes, you can get one with an app that lets you track where your luggage is, like if it’s sitting in the hold below you on the plane or off in some other part of the maelstrom that is called an airport. At least you know before you get there. Also, try to plan your stay for the landing area airport for a few days before venturing off. Jet lag will hit you and if luggage needs to catch up, you have a chance to get it before your trip is over.

Always pack a few days clothing in your carry-on, and the rest in your checked bag. We should all know this, but many of us don’t do it last minute. That way you can survive a few days. Also if you have to have something immediately, in the carry-on! And check the size allowances before you go, of each airline you are going on.

Buying Luggage?

Okay, so this is a personal thing. Yup, there is no right or wrong way, just is it going to survive and meet size and weight restrictions. For example, on my next trip I know that I am flying on several airlines, but the ones in Europe are the ones with the most restrictions. I will be flying Aer Lingus and KLM. Off to the websites I go. Of course checking out a few articles online would help.

Skyscanner, one of the Euro flight planning sites, has a great article on luggage flight restrictions :

Cabin luggage: Guide to hand baggage sizes and weight restrictions – Great chart on your airlines and baggage dimensions!

Remember, you need to go to each website for carriers to see if baggage requires extra fees. If you pay them in advance you may want to print out a receipt as backup that you paid, especially if you are using a discount service like JustFly. They are a third party. Check one week prior to flight for what you need to do. Be prepared for a possible luggage fee at airport.

Next, will it survive your trip? many people buy luggage as a designer look thing. There are some really fun bags out there. But what’s more important? Function or pretty? I say survival is the thing. You don’t want a case that the hinges bust on the way over and have to go shopping for another at your destination. Save that money for food. You don’t have to spend $200 a case, but some of the better quality cases are expensive. It also depends on how much flying you will be doing. Think of it as an investment. Check out some consumer luggage reports.

Check Out this Luggage Review

Now remember, just because you are in the USA and it says cabin bag size, don’t assume that works for Euro domestic. Look for the dimensions of the carry-on bags per airline. Most European carriers have standardized, but if you are taking one of the matchstick flights, the tiny planes are very limited.

Sizes seem to average at carry-on  (21 inch) 55cm x 25cm x 35cm,  for check in bag, thats right, think Euro. Get away from inches. Hint: You should have a unit conversion app on your phone You. will need it.

Luggage Dimensions

Travel Between The Isles, You May Want to Fly

Traveling in the UK and Ireland is fairly close. There are seas separating the islands and ferries that connect. When I was first planning my crazy eight or infinity itinerary as I call it, I planned on flying in to Glasgow and recovering from jet lag and doing small local things before venturing to Dublin for 4 days. I first thought that it would be a lot of fun to do a ferry trip between the two, and started research on how to do this. I then learned I would have to travel by Scotrail or bus to a ferry  terminal at Cairnryan, Scotland to Belfast. Problem was my loop went from Glasgow to Dublin. This meant two trains and a ferry, eats up most of day. Now, I love trains, and find them to be very efficient in the UK, unless there is a rail strike like I got to have fun with last year. For about two weeks I planned a route with trains and ferries. I like ferries, they can be fun, arriving in a port can be very romantic. Then I remembered a conversation I had with a Glaswegian last year in a cafe and traveling. I mentioned on the next trip I wanted to do islands and hop countries. He said to try looking at some of the cheap air flights between the countries. Often they are cheaper and less hassle, even taking in check in times.

Aha, save money  for other things, and time. Hmmm. Then there is the which airlines, since many of us in the states haven’t heard of the local airlines. What can you do? Go to the airport sites and see which airlines are there. For example, Ryanair who is a competitor of Aer Lingus in Ireland. They fly out of GLA, but do not go to all destinations you may want in Ireland. The larger companies like Virgin of course are in many airports, but may not fly direct or connecting flights. I found a real reasonable flight on what I would call a match stick plane around $50.00. When I added up travel time and fees with ferry and train, bus, I found it to be comparable and saving of time. But there’s a catch.

You need to watch the baggage restrictions on the smaller planes. Before you book, check out the luggage restrictions for all flights you are taking. You are not in the US. This can add to your flight costs. Check their luggage restriction pages. Sometimes flight with bigger airline is the same and don’t charge extra baggage fees.

After looking over baggage fees and restrictions, I opted for Aer Lingus because I had traveled with them before and they treated me well and I did not lose luggage. More on that in another post. Don’t laugh, don’t get caught at airport paying extra fees. Cuts into food budget.

Example: Glasgow Airport has a great page with all airlines and where they service. Armed with this and on online booking like JustFly or other Euro planner, you can then compare pricing.

Smaller Airlines in UK

Ryan Air




Wizz Air