Home Travel Tips Travel Deals Destinations Trip Reviews Forums Blog
The IndependentTraveler.com Blog

There’s a store in Alabama that’s as big as a city block. It’s called the Unclaimed Baggage Center, and it sells the forsaken contents of lost luggage. Most bags lost by the airlines are eventually returned to their owners. But the missing suitcases that end up on the shelves of the Unclaimed Baggage Center likely lacked sufficient identification.

That piece of paper you grabbed from the airline check-in counter on which you scribbled your address might not be good enough. First, if your bag is lost while you’re on your way to your vacation destination, you’ll want it shipped to your hotel — not to the guy bringing in your mail at your empty house. Additionally, many travel experts advise against revealing your address on your luggage, as this could make your home a target for robbery while you’re on the road.

The solution is to use a smart luggage tag that does more than just display an address and phone number. Below are three high-tech luggage tags that have the power to transform your trip if your luggage gets lost.

What to Do When Your Luggage Is Lost

ReboundTAG Microchip Bag Tags are printed with a barcode that airline personnel can scan in order to identify your luggage and view your itinerary. (The barcode technology isn’t available at all airports.) If a person who doesn’t have access to scanning technology finds your lost luggage, he or she can enter your tag number on the ReboundTAG Web site, and the system will notify you by text message or e-mail. A Microchip Bag Tag costs 34.99 British pounds (about $55.80 as of this posting) and comes with one year’s membership to the ReboundTAG system. Buy it at www.reboundtag.com.

Like the ReboundTAG Microchip Bag Tags, SuperSmartTags feature a code that anyone can use to report your bag online. Once the code for your bag is submitted, you’ll receive a text message, e-mail or phone call explaining that your luggage has been found. Enter your itinerary on the SuperSmartTag site and airport staff will be able to view your travel plans and forward your luggage to your next destination. SuperSmartTag retails for $14.99 AUD (about $15.95 as of this posting) and comes with a three-year membership to the SuperSmartTag system. Buy it at www.supersmarttag.com. (Or win a free one. See below.)

Retriever TagsMagellan’s Retriever Tags
These tags aren’t outfitted with special codes or microchips. But they’re simple enough to work. The vinyl tag encapsulates instructions written in eight languages (English, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Chinese, French and German) that tell baggage agents to check the itinerary inside your bag and send your luggage to your next destination, as opposed to shipping it back to your home address while you’re en route to Tahiti. Buy it at www.magellans.com for $8.95.

– written by Caroline Costello

113 Responses to “3 High-Tech Luggage Tags That Will Save Your Trip”

  1. Claire Pickman says:

    I went with my husband on a vacation to St. Lucia on American
    airlines. We arrived with one of my bags and one of his bags. I had no bathing suit and he had no shorts or underwear. Since the next flight wasn’t arrive until the next day we had to wait until then to see if the bags would arrive. They did. However, the airlines disclosed that this always happens. Why I don’t know.

    Recently my daughter, my young granddaughter and I went to Spain connecting through Heathrow. We arrived in Heathrow, but the stroller we were using did not arrive with us thus when we arrived in Barcelona no stroller appeared at the airport. Again, they told us this always happens! We held our breath until the next day when it was delivered to us.
    In both cases we were very inconvienced which I did not even express in this comment.

  2. SA says:

    SuperSmartTags would certainly help get my lost bag back to me. I place a 3×5 card inside of the suitcase with a friends phone number and the hotel phone where I will be staying during my trip. Always carry-on at least 2 undie changes and 1 blouse/top and night clothes. Then cross my fingers the suitcase doesn’t get misplaced. Never, Ever, pack anything of value.

  3. Caroline Hanson says:

    I went to Greece, but my luggage stayed in NYC! I had not packed any extra clothes in my carry on! At the airport, no one seemed to speak English, and i knew only a very few words of Greek. Try explaining that your luggage was not on the plane. Finally, they seemed to understand. It did catch up with me at my hotel the next day! Thank goodness.

  4. Judy says:

    My luggage took 8 days to catch up to me on a cruise and I have the cruise line to thank for getting it to me. Seems my luggage was left in Toronto while I made my way to Paris, spent 2 nights there, and found out at the airport that my suitcase was on its way to Paris and I was leaving Paris for Rome. Air Canada asked for my hotel in Rome which was the cruise ship, they asked for my cell phone number and didn’t have one, so their solution was to pick up my suitcase in Rome when the cruise ship returned after a 12 day cruise to Greece. When I reported my dilemma to the pursers desk, they took all my information, photocopied my handle cover and contents list and before bed that evening they informed me that my bag would catch up to me in Istanbul, some 6 days into the cruise. But it did arrive!

  5. S J Foster says:

    Flying from Cleveland to Denver for a visit with friends, my luggage was lost. It was finally returned to me one week later, an hour before I was due to leave for the airport. Upon checking it in, I mentioned that it had been lost for a week and to please take good care of it. The reply, “Oh, don’t worry. Lightening never strikes twice.” As you can guess, it did strike again and the luggage was lost forever.

  6. Meagan says:

    When I returned from Italy my luggage was no where to be found. Three days, it was still no where to be found, even though I called daily to check in on it. Finally after demanding answers on the third day, they tracked it down en route to parent’s house (I was in college at the time and the luggage tag still said my old address). Needless to say I finally got it back, but I also learned to make sure that my addresses are always up to date.

    I worry about the luggage tag systems above though–what if it takes them three days to get the luggage to where you are vacationing, and by that time you have already left? Then you are back in the mainland and your luggage is stuck on an island? No bueno!

  7. Kim says:

    The article Caroline Costello wrote, above, states: There’s a store in Alabama that’s as big as a city block. It’s called the Unclaimed Baggage Center, and it sells the forsaken contents of lost luggage.\n
    I watched a 60 minutes episode last year where the show’s host was wandering around the UNCLAIMED BAGGAGE CENTER while interviewing the folks working there. Guess what?!?! Morley opened about a dozen bags from several different airlines and to his (and my!) astonishment, several bags DID have the owner’s name and address and phone number on a piece of paper INSIDE the bag! In fact, Morley called the 3 or 4 folks that had their contact information INSIDE their LOST luggage and every one of them answered the phone!!! All these years I’ve put my contact info inside my bags AND have encouraged everyone I know to do so, then I found out that the airlines don’t even bother to check the inside of the bags for contact information!!! I was floored!!! No, this tells me that the airlines wouldn’t bother scanning a special tag, either. Not only that, but I’d be out an additional $16 – $56 that I’d spent on the tag itself!

    I ALWAYS put a change of clothes and two changes of underwear in my carry-on! That way, you can always wash one set while you wear the other. Perhaps this won’t be the suit or cocktail dress and heels that you need, but at least you won’t be naked or smelly/dirty! :)

  8. John Bard says:

    We were flying back to our winter home landed in Orlando, and no bag. We got one but not the other. Reported the lost bag and went home. Later the eveing got a call that our back showed up. It was delivered to us the next morning. John

  9. Jennifer says:

    When my husband and I travel together, we pack 1/2 our clothes in each suitcase. That way, if only one arrives, we each have at least 1/2 of what we intended to have. That buys a little more time while the lost luggage is located. Also, always pack toiletries, a change of clothes, and anything irreplacable in the carry on.

  10. Traveller says:

    I simply write my name, cell number and email on the outside of my brighly colored luggage in black permanent ink large block letters. My bags returned after a month in Europe because of an email I received alerting me to where they landed.

  11. Paul says:

    I was leaving Rota Spain enroute to Abu Dhabi. My flight from Madrid was late departing and then late arriving at Heathrow. British Immigration and customs decided that was a good day to pull and inspect all the shuttle buses. This caused a HUGE backlog of folks waiting to transfer to other terminals. My flight to Abu Dhabi was leaving soon so some of us got called to the front of the line. The plane we left on was parked directly accross from the one we just got off! When I received in Abu Dhabi and cleared customs all the planes luggage was already lined up on the floor at baggage claim and a small Indian man was walking around calling my name. Neither of my bags had made the transfer at Heathrow. One bag arrived and was delivered the next day. The second bag took another 4 days to show. Like others I always carry a change of clothes now in my carry on along with some hotel sized soap and shampoo just in case.

  12. K Ray says:

    I always use the Magellan’s tags shown above. We do a lot of international traveling, and often lose a bag……. once in Paris for 7 days. Once for 2 weeks; the bag arrived the day after we returned home, to our front porch. With the Magellan’s tags, we have always been reunited with our bags.

  13. Madhu says:

    These Luggage Tags are best for traveling anywhere with security.I lost my luggage in my previous trip. Recently i purchased luggage, in my trip my luggage arrived lately with a branded tag. I am sure that Magellan’s Retriever Tags will help us to get our luggage back securely. These tags aren’t outfitted with special codes or microchips. But they’re simple enough to work. Send your luggage to your next destination.This time i should purchase a quality tag. Thanks for sharing

Leave a Reply