Airlines have gotten much better about not loosing your luggage now a days. That does not really comfort you when you are the one without your suitcase.
The best way to ensure return of a lost bag is preparing before you travel.
1. Make sure you have tag inside and outside of the suitcase with your information.
This holds a piece of paper that list all locations you will be staying and phone numbers. When you move several times on a trip it makes it difficult for airlines to find you to return your luggage. Place this on the outside of your luggage.
2. Are you doing multiple countries or traveling every 2 days to another destination? Then use these yellow travel document holders on the outside of your luggage.
3. Know the following information. Keep it on you.
Departure and/or arrival airport
Your name on your ticket
Baggage tag numbers and a photo of your suitcase would be helpful too.
Snap a picture of your luggage before you leave the house on your phone.
4. Another tip is to place a luggage strap around the outside of your luggage in a bright color. That way if you suitcase accidentally comes open, most of your contents will still stay inside.
5. I always use zip ties to secure my luggage. Yes you can use security approved locks but you will not know if anyone entered your luggage and took something . With a zip tie you know if someone got inside your suitcase.
6. You can buy luggage trackers for you trip. They can run anywhere from $15- $80. The problem with these is if it has a lithium battery in it. Just recently they started banning them.
7. Make sure to report your lost bag at the airport where it did not show up.
8. One great tip if an airline looses your bag is to go to their twitter account and talk about how frustrated you are with not having your luggage. No airlines wants this kind of criticism so they will work very quickly to get your bag back. Many will respond to you within minutes. I know a young gal whose luggage was lost for over 2 weeks. A friend told her to go on twitter and it was returned the same day! Try using the following airline twitter accounts to get your point across. Also make sure to keep your emotions in check and your tone acceptable.
Alaska Airlines: @AlaskaAir
American Airlines: @AmericanAir
Delta Air Lines @DeltaAssist
Frontier Airlines: @FlyFrontier
Virgin America: @VirginAmerica