How to avoid luggage theft

Luggage theft is relatively easy at the airport since anyone can pick up any luggage and even walk out confidently. Protecting your luggage from walking out with “the real owners” is a big deal. Experts have suggested a number of tips to help you identify your luggage, whether it’s rolling on a conveyor belt, or rolling away with another passenger.

Be the first to claim your baggage
 Forget little chit-chats on arrival at your destination and head as quick as possible to the conveyor belts to claim your baggage first. Luggage thieves are criminals of opportunity. One of the biggest opportunities comes in the form of luggage that isn’t immediately picked up at baggage claim. By getting there first, you can make sure you deter thieves away. You are certain bag-snatchers would not make a run at you at the airport.

Personalize your luggage
 Even if it requires that you draw graffiti on your luggage for easy identification, do it. Some situations aren’t luggage theft at all, but a case of mistaken luggage instead. On a lighter note basic information on luggage can help reunite you with your luggage faster. In any event, one of the best ways to identify luggage is with your basic information, such as a name and cell phone number. Basic information can help reunite you with your luggage faster. When it is a case of mistaken luggage, if the person who went out with it by mistake is nice enough, he/she can always reach you with the information on your luggage.

Before checking, lock your luggage
 Although locks are not a fail-proof method, locked luggage is less likely to get stolen and broken into than unlocked luggage. When picking out a lock, be sure to find one that is reliable and tested. It is less expensive and better than having to loose valuables because you failed to seal your luggage. An unlocked luggage can easily be entered and stolen from. Avoid such casualties.

Let your baggage stand out
 Do not follow the crowd by carrying bags that are everywhere. If possible, carry bags that are difficult to find in any store. Having a visual cue to your luggage can make it easier to find when you get off the plane, making it easy to determine where your bags are at. Items like colored baggage tags or ribbons can make it easier to pick your bags out, wherever they may end up. You would easily identify your baggage this way.

Originally published at Enroute Nigeria.

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