Travel question of the day: Simon Calder on how to keep track of your luggage

Have a travel question that needs answering? Ask our expert Simon Calder

Simon Calder
Friday 12 August 2016 13:30 BST
Put your contact details inside your suitcase; external tags can get torn off
Put your contact details inside your suitcase; external tags can get torn off (Shutterstock/Marcel Derweduwen)

Q We read with interest the major problems with the Heathrow baggage system which affected Terminal 3 last and were relieved to hear this had been “resolved”. But then half the bags on our Vueling flight from Heathrow to La Coruna were left behind. How can this happen?

Name withheld

A Airlines really don’t want to leave luggage behind – reuniting it with the owner typically costs more than the profit earned by flying the passenger. Work is in progress to harness technology to provide “end to end” tracking of baggage. Even when that becomes a reality, glitches in loading bags onto the same plane as their owners will continue to happen.

Generally the more complex the airport the higher the likelihood of things going wrong. Heathrow has certainly been at the centre of a lot of problems recently, though it’s difficult to unravel exactly where the main issues lie.

The best way to avoid your bag going astray is to travel only with cabin baggage. If you do need to check one or more bags in, the best way to be fairly certain you will see your checked baggage again is to make sure your details (name, phone number, email address) are inside the case; assume all external tags/labels will be torn off.

Every day, our travel correspondent, Simon Calder, tackles a reader’s question. Just email yours to or tweet@simoncalder

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