Lost your luggage? You’re in the majority

If nothing’s ever happened to your luggage on holiday, then you’re in the distinct minority; according to a poll by travel add-ons company HolidayExtras.com.

A shocking 63 per cent of British travellers have had their luggage damaged by baggage handlers – in almost half those cases, more than once.

27 per cent of those polled said their luggage had been damaged ‘a handful of times’, and a really unlucky two per cent said it had happened to them ‘countless times’.

“Travellers who need to stay before their flight from London Heathrow really couldn’t do better than to opt for a restful night’s stay at a Comfort Hotel and take advantage of our Free English Breakfast offer”.

Even worse, 10 per cent of people said they had had something stolen from their bag, or that their entire bag had been lost.

Women seemed to worry more than men about keeping their bags secure – 28 per cent said they always locked their suitcase, compared with 18 per cent of men.

HolidayExtras.com’s travel insurance covers travellers for up to £1,500 of lost or damaged luggage – both the luggage itself and the contents.

The company will also forward £100 to cover emergency supplies if someone’s luggage is lost.

Andrea Clayton, head of insurance at Holiday Extras.com, had these tips for travellers:

  • If your luggage contains any valuables, they should be covered by your home contents insurance if they’re lost. However, it’s probably best to leave them at home.
  • Make sure your case is in good condition so it’s not so easy for it to get damaged. Ensure the wheels are secure and the straps are tucked in so nothing can get caught.
  • Unless you have distinctive luggage, put a distinguishing mark on your suitcase, like a piece of coloured ribbon, so you know it’s yours. You can buy straps to put around your luggage with your surname on, and can even have your case shrink-wrapped at the airport after it’s been security checked. There is a charge for this – a cheaper alternative is to padlock it.
  • If you’re travelling with someone else, or taking more than one suitcase yourself, split things like clothes and medication between the two cases so if one gets lost, you still have the other one.
  • Keep your hand luggage with you all the time – even if you just put it down for a minute, that’s enough time for someone to take it.