Why you should always take a photo of your luggage before checking it

Don’t let your trip become a nightmare. When traveling you have to prepare many things: Make a list of everything you need, from clothing to personal products, learn packing techniques, have passport ready, visas and other documents and more… On that long to-do list, since today you should add taking a picture of your luggage before checking it.

Unfortunately, airlines damaging or losing luggage is more common than you imagine, so we must be prepared for any explanation in case it happens to you.

When you arrive at the airport take a picture of your luggage before checking it in. If you can, also take a picture of the inside. This will help you check how it looked before boarding and will make easier the compensation process in case of damage or loss.

«Airlines are required to compensate passengers for reasonable, verifiable, and actual incidental expenses that they may incur while their bags are delayed — subject to the maximum liability limits.», the US Department of Transportation’s website reads. And FYI, those “liability limits” are $3,800 for domestic delays and $1,780 for international. 

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Airlines are free to pay more than the limit but aren’t required to do so. This money can be used to cover the cost of items needed during a trip, like new clothing, toiletries, or other necessary goods.

An extra tip: If you do go out and purchase items while your bag is delayed and before you are granted compensation by the airline, make sure to hold onto the receipts to help with your claim later. 

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If your luggage was lost forever, don’t forget to read with magnifying glass the airline rules that you can easily find on the internet, to claim compensation. A luggage is usually oficially lost five to fourteen days after the flight.

So go ahead, have a little photoshoot of your luggage and a bag tag just in case.