You – and your bags – getting there on time

With fewer flights and less luggage to deliver, airlines are doing a better job handling travellers’ bags.

DALLAS — With fewer flights and less luggage to deliver, airlines are doing a better job handling travellers’ bags.

That recent good fortune has been put to the test during the holiday travel season, as planes have been packed with passengers and bags. There are some things you can do to reduce the risk of getting separated from your luggage, and the most important ones must be done long before you get to the airport.

Flying nonstop will improve your chances of getting to your destination with your bag. If you must make a connection, allow enough time to catch the second flight. Don’t be one of those people dashing through the terminal.

“If they have to run, chances are their bags aren’t going to make it,” says Bryan Salzburg of travel website TripAdvisor.com.

One small blessing for connecting passengers: At least you will have already gone through security, which is taking longer at many airports because of new security rules after the attempted Christmas Day bombing of a Northwest jet.

Airlines did a much better job of handling luggage this year than last year, according to the U.S. Transportation Department. The rate of complaints about lost, damaged, delayed or stolen bags was down 26 per cent through October, compared with the same 10 months in 2008.

It helps that airlines are handling fewer bags, because traffic is down and passengers are trying to avoid fees on checked luggage. .

Bags still get lost, and the same airlines tend to wind up at the bottom of government rankings for baggage handling, month after month. Through October, passengers on American Eagle and Atlantic Southeast Airlines were four times more likely to have baggage problems than travellers on AirTran or Hawaiian Airlines.

Tim Smith, a spokesman for Eagle’s parent, AMR Corp., said the relatively poor bag-handling record of regional airlines is due to the typical flight on such carriers — frequent short hops to busy hub airports, with many missed connections to bigger airlines.

Smith says Eagle recently installed new technology on baggage carts at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport to improve bag handling.

Kate Modolo, a spokeswoman for Atlantic Southeast, said the airline gets poor scores because 85 per cent of its flights start, end or stop at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson, the world’s busiest airport.

Besides taking nonstop flights when possible and allowing enough time if you must change planes, experts have other tips to help you avoid becoming a lost-bag victim — and to cope without your luggage, if it does disappear:

l Make your bag easy to identify by tying a coloured ribbon to it to prevent mix-ups at the airport baggage carousel.

l Print an extra copy of your itinerary and put it in your bag. It will help airline personnel reunite you with your lost bag.

l Keep medicines and valuables with you.

l Throw a change of clothes — and anything else you’ll need in the first 24 hours — in your carry-on.

If the worst happens and the airline can’t find your lost bag, U.S. federal regulations say the airlines must cover all expenses related to lost or delayed baggage up to US$3,300 per passenger on domestic flights.

Just Posted

Red Deer city council to consider starting a bike registry

Coun. Buck Buchanan suggested it would help police return recovered stolen property

Rimbey-area landowner believes earthquake damaged his electricity supply

Underground line was damaged at same time quake hit, says landowner

Reliance on equalization not a factor in Quebec’s low productivity rate: author

MONTREAL — Despite low unemployment and a strong economy, Quebec continues to… Continue reading

Air Canada grounds its Boeing Max 8s until at least July 1 to provide certainty

MONTREAL — Air Canada says it intends to remove its grounded Boeing… Continue reading

Toronto stock market hits nearly seven-month high on rise in crude oil price

TORONTO — Canada’s main stock index returned to its highest closing in… Continue reading

WATCH: Celebrating francophone Canadians at the 10th annual Red Deer Winter Carnival

The event was hosted by the Red Deer region of the French-Canadian Association of Alberta Saturday

Andreescu rockets to No. 24 in WTA Tour rankings after Indian Wells title

Canada’s Bianca Andreescu has rocketed to No. 24 in the WTA Tour… Continue reading

Canadian figure skaters looking to reach new heights at world championships

Nam Nguyen, Alaine Chartrand and Kirsten Moore-Towers and Michael Marinaro all have… Continue reading

Man linked to largest art heist in history freed from prison

HARTFORD, Conn. — A reputed Connecticut mobster who federal authorities believe is… Continue reading

Florida Georgia Line, Glorious Sons headline concert series at Canadian Open

HAMILTON — Florida Georgia Line and the Glorious Sons will headline a… Continue reading

Family: Time to shed winter clothes and inhibitions

It has been a long, crazy cold winter. But, if the thermometer… Continue reading

Chelsea Carey rink registers two wins at world women’s curling event

SILKEBORG, Denmark — Canada’s Chelsea Carey rebounded nicely Sunday at the world… Continue reading

Canadian Bianca Andreescu has her first WTA title, winning BNP Paribas Open

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. — Canadian Bianca Andreescu has her first WTA title.… Continue reading

‘Captain Marvel’ soars even higher with stellar 2nd weekend

LOS ANGELES — “Captain Marvel” has continued to dominate the global box… Continue reading

Most Read