This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

One of the most frustrating experiences of air travel is arriving at your destination to find that your bag didn’t make it. Even worse is then finding out that the airline doesn’t even know where your bag is. Unfortunately, my wife and I have experienced this twice in the last few months. Thankfully, both times we booked with a Citi Prestige Card and were able to score up to $500 in necessary expenses while we waited for our bag to show up.

While arriving without your luggage is a pain to deal with, the numbers show that a lost/delayed bag is actually a rare occurrence. According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), “more than 4 billion bags are carried by airlines globally. Less than 0.43 percent do not arrive with their owners.” In the US, it’s even better. The “mishandled baggage” rate was just to 2.32 per 1,000 passengers (0.232%) in June. But, without baggage tracking, it might be a while before the lost bag is found and recovered.

The IATA and Airlines for America (A4A) are working to make finding lost baggage a lot easier. By June 2018, the IATA member airlines have resolved to track checked baggage “when it is accepted at the airport, loaded onto the aircraft, transferred to the arrival system or put into the transfer system for carriage by another airline.”

IATA

This information would be shared between airlines with interline agreements. This means that if the bag that you checked with American Airlines doesn’t arrive on your Japan Airlines flight, JAL agents will be able to see the history of the checked bag and see where the bag was last scanned.

Thankfully airlines like American Airlines and Delta have already implemented baggage tracking. So, the benefits from this new resolution will most likely be on international trips and on international carriers.

We at TPG applaud these efforts and look forward to them being fully implemented soon. But, until June 2018, here are some tips for preventing a lost checked bag.

Featured image courtesy of Getty Images.

Know before you go.

News and deals straight to your inbox every day.

2018 TPG Award Winner: Mid-Tier Card of the Year
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

NEW INCREASED OFFER: 60,000 Points

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,200

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred named "Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption" - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, June 2018
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
18.24% - 25.24% Variable
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.