Monday, February 26, 2018

All About Luggage Tags

According to the Travel Consumer Reports issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation, most folks face less than a one percent chance that a major airline will misplace your luggage. But it does happen.

Courtesy of Kate Aspen® Lucky Elephant Luggage Tag

When planning a trip, don't overlook the importance of luggage tags.  Today with the ease of Etickets, many people tend to overlook the importance of luggage tags and end up scribbling their names on a paper tag at the airport.  It is best to fill out your luggage tags before leaving home because the information included on these tags can sometimes make or break the most carefully planned out trip and can literally be a lifesaver for your belongings.

Information to Include:


Make sure you write your name in a clear legible fashion.  If you are traveling with more than one bag, make sure your name is on each bag.  If you are flying, the name on the luggage tag should be the same name as on your boarding pass.

Hotel or Destination Phone Number

Many travelers include the hotel phone number on luggage tags especially if they don't travel with a cell phone or are in an area where there is limited cell phone access.  Don't forget to include the country code if you are traveling out of the country. This website will give you an up to date listing of all country codes.

Courtesy Zazzle Luggage Tag

Cell Phone Number

If you carry a cell phone and can be contacted on it in the area to which you are traveling, this is often the best way for the airlines to reach you. If you are traveling out of the country, be sure to include the country code in addition to the area code and phone number.

Email Address

If you have access to your email this can be helpful.  Emails also provide a paper trail of confirmation and reference information regarding your lost luggage. If you are nervous about giving out your everyday email address, create a special account.


Luggage Tag No-Nos 

So many people at the airport see your luggage tag so it is important to limit the amount of personal information you put on it.

Home Contact Information

Most travel experts will tell you that it is not a good idea to put your home contact information on luggage tags such as your home address while you are away in order to avoid a home robbery. Try a work address if you feel you need an address or a PO box.

Home Phone 

Seasoned travelers recommend not using a home phone number since a potential thief could use a reverse lookup website to find the corresponding address. Instead, use a cell phone number which will be more advantageous if the airline is contacting you for the return of lost luggage. 

Courtesy of Highwind Cruise Luggage Tags

Type of Tag

Another piece of advice is to purchase a luggage tag that has a flap that covers your contact information. This will make your information more difficult to glean when you are traveling.

Inside the Suitcase

As an extra precaution, it is always a good idea to tape your contact information including your name as it appears on your boarding pass, your cell phone number and email on the inside top of the suitcase.  This "inside" information will certainly come in handy if your luggage tag is lost. 

Friday, February 2, 2018

Travel Tip -Homeland Security Real ID Program Update

Starting in 2018 the rules change for what airline passengers can use as acceptable forms of identification. Fortunately non-compliant states have received an extension through October 10, 2018 which means travelers from those states can still use driver's licenses for identification, at least for now.

Once the program is in full effect travelers will need to show a passport, a state-issued Enhanced Driver’s License (EDL) or another TSA approved form of ID to board a domestic aircraft. If you do not comply you will not be permitted through security.  Connecticut is compliant with the REAL ID Act.    The Department of Homeland Security Real ID Act sets minimum security standards and prohibits Federal agencies from accepting driver’s licenses and ID cards from states that do not currently meet those standards.

The roll-out of the program has taken place over the past several years. The reason some states are still not compliant is that while the law is mandated and governs what Federal agencies can accept as identification, participation by states is voluntary.

There is no doubt that this can be confusing for travelers. To see how the most current changes, extensions, and rules apply to you, check the Department of  Homeland Security website for the status of your state regarding the Real ID program. To be on the safe side, be sure you travel with a passport or another acceptable form of ID at all times.  To review the Frequently Asked Questions about the Real ID program click here