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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. james khau says:

    These would have made our lost luggage experience much easier.

  2. Dave from NJ says:

    I always put my business street address (not business name) and business telephone number on my luggage. Never my home address nor my itinerary on the outside of the bag. Why would I advertise where I lived and how long I’d be away for criminals in league with baggage handlers at my departing airport? If lost, I can check my office voice mail remotely easier than a home phone. Have experienced delayed luggage twice – have collected on delayed luggage insurance once when it was routed through LGA. Now I try to pack light and carry on!

  3. kk says:

    Thankfully, my luggage has never been lost. However, my friend was not so lucky when visiting me many summers ago. He had to wait over 24 hours for his bag to be delivered. In the meantime, her had to wear girls’ clothes :-)

  4. Diane says:

    My trip to Jamaica over Christmas. From Montego Bay airport to Negril resort a 15 to 20 min. flight with no stops and only about 6 people on small plane. They lost my luggage and sent it to Kingston. I had a Christams sweater on and was warm. It was the holidays so no one wanted to fly the bag back to Negril. They had to taken my bag to a different plane because only one plane was on the tarmac to Negril.I could never understand as this plane where my bag set was very small, ha.

  5. Rick from Alabama says:

    On a trip to Switzerland my luggage was lost in transit. I always put a copy of my itinerary inside the luggage. It took four days for the luggage to catch up to me and by then I had purchased clothes and supplies I needed to get me through. Luckily I was reimbursed for my expense plus luggage to replace what the airline had damaged.

  6. Betty Morgan says:

    This looks promising. Also use sewn in lables inside all my bags.

  7. Peace of mind while you travel – I LOVE it!

  8. agnes dailey says:

    My daughter in Netherlands wanted to surprise our Dutch son-in-law with a true Maine lobster meal for his February birthday. So,as a Maine native living in Maine, I steamed lobsters, shelled them, “ZZZZip-locked” the pieces, secured the tastey bodies and claws tightly between “blue jel-packs”, and froze the several units. On morning of the overnight trip, the lobster packs went into a thermal picnic bag and stayed safely outside in the “wicked cold” February weather.

    All went well on the trip except for a fact we discovered at Schipol Airport: the lobsters went to Paris while we went to Amsterdam! However, the thermal bag arrived about 36 hours later and All was well! The lobster was still frozen solid, and the son-in law had his birthday wish granted.

    How did this happen. It remains one of those “airline lost-luggage mysteries.” I call the ending a “Delta Miracle!”

  9. Paulo says:

    This will be a great idea in my luggage!


    I always put my name, phone and contact phone, and country I live.
    But since some time ago I put the airlines names and reserve codes of all the flights in the same trip.
    I suppose that if the lugagge gets lost with these data the airlines can identify where you should be at that moment and the contact phone at home it is always the reference that knows everything about your status.
    Once a suitcase didn´t come with us in our return home but it did 2 days after, fortunately.

  11. Debra Mc says:

    I always put a business card inside the luggage in an easy to see spot. That way even if the tags are torn off, it can be identified. I also put more than one tag on the outside. I’ve had even what looks like the strongest tag destroyed by getting caught in machinery during transit/loading/off-loading.

  12. Stephanie Chazalon says:

    My favourite memory is a flight from Toronto to home. We had been delayed for hours and our plane changed and we got on the plane at last and my other half said – next stop home. I replied ‘everything comes in threes’ and I watched out the window while the baggage was being loaded. I watched and men drove one trailer of luggage out near the plane, dropped the trailer and drove off. I looked at all those suitcases that everyone was ignoring and said – want to bet our cases are on that trailer?? We arrived at our home airport 4 hours late and of course, without our luggage. My other half (let’s just call him MUD) then realized he had packed the house keys in his luggage. Yes – that trailer sitting on the tarmac at the Toronto airport. Ah, the joys of waking up the next door neighbour with the spare set of keys at 3 in the morning…..no wonder they moved. Oh yes – the luggage was delivered to us 24 hours later….Air Canada eh??

  13. Anaid says:

    One time I was traveling to Pilot Station, Alaska on business for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service with another employee. We had to take planes to Bethel AK, considered a small city there but would be a town to most people, go to a town called St. Mary’s and then on to our destination, a village. Since we were teaching classes and staying in the village school, we had books and teaching materials, sleeping bags and clothing, and food. These planes also carry a lot of cargo to “the bush”. We got on the plane with two Native Alaskan men. The pilot looked at his clipboard and then asked us if we were the two to St. Mary’s, the assumption being that there are few Gussuks (white people) in Pilot Station. We corrected him, and took off for a typical back country flight. At St. Mary’s there was a lot of shuffling of boxes and bags, which is also typical. But when we got to Pilot Station, none of our stuff was on board! How were we going to sleep in a school with out sleeping bags? It’s not like they’re set up for guests. What would we eat? There is no village store in a place of this size. And how would we teach? We ended up being fed and put up by the school’s principal and we had enough curriculum memorized that we were able to “wing it” until the books arrived later. Problems: my fellow employee had specialized medical needs which were only solved by the luck of others in the village having spare medication; I got my “monthly visit” and the principal’s wife was past that age so didn’t have any supplies…. and we never got the rest of our stuff back. I mean, seriously there were only 4 people on this plane. I can only imagine somewhere in St. Mary’s are two Yupik Men with an odd assortment of clothes.

  14. Dale Zale says:

    In the 1980′s I went on a 3 day Memorial Day trip from Chicago to Myrtle Beach,SC I had one carry one bag that I put my purse. I had planned to bring the luggage onboard, but found out the plane was too small to put it in the over head luggage compartment. I watched them put my luggage in the nose of the small plane. We made a stop in Charlotte,NC and then flew onto Myrtle Beach. Well apparently they mistakenly took my luggage off in Charlotte. When I got to Myrtle Beach and discovered my luggage was in Charlotte the pilot took me to my hotel and promised my luggage would be sent to me the next day. He told the hotel to let me stay there and eat there until my luggage arrived which they did. So here I am with no purse, no ID, and wearing only the dress I had on. I did not get my luggage until the day I was leaving, I looked like hooker walking on the beach in my dress for 2 days! Needless to say I never put my purse in my luggage anymore, a high tech luggage tag would sure have helped me out!

  15. Rena Rosenfeld says:

    my partner and I were going on a cruise to Russia and northern Europe . We were one of the first folks to arrive on the ship. It was very exciting because it was our first sailing. Lo and behold, our luggage never made it on the ship!!!
    While eating dinner that night at sea, a tugboat came upon the ship and our luggage was passed to the staff of the cruise ship!! We watched in total amazement.
    We had a great time.
    Thank You
    Rena Rosenfeld

  16. Ron DeCaro says:

    Returning from a cruise we checked our luggage as usual and upon arriving at our destination only one suitcase appeared. Apparently, the other bag was sent to Puerto Rico. Our destination was Detroit, MI. Three days later, after filling out several pages of required information, the bag was delivered to our house. We were very fortunate.

  17. Joan says:

    I learned the hard way never to put my home address on the outside of my suitcase. I was on a three-month work assignment to China and my huge suitcase was lost. I had nothing when I arrived in China. Three months later, I arrived home to a sutcase covered with eight inches of snow.

  18. vacationtoo says:

    I think its a great idea, if only all the airports could access the information in the chip.

  19. DKSampson says:

    My luggage went to San Jose, but I went to Dallas. After the 3-day conference which I muddled through in a single suit with a change of blouses and undies purchased there, my luggage and I were reunited at my home airport. Needless to say, I perfected the art of packing for a week in a carry-on bag until liquid restrictions and my love of make up and finickiness regarding shampoos forced me to again try checking luggage.

  20. Mary Ann from Chicago says:

    What a great idea!

  21. Clare Neuman says:

    For several years I used to take oranges north and every year the airline used to \lose\ them! I would eventually get them returned, though.

  22. Gloria says:

    I never put my home-addressed luggage tag on my suitcase as I leave on a trip. I use two (one on each handle) disposable tags with the address of my first destination when I am outbound. It may be a cruise ship (give pier info) or a hotel etc. When I am ready to come home, I place the home luggage tags on my suitcase. Just carry a small supply of disposable luggage tags along to use en route if needed, also. Works very well and several baggage handlers have commented to me how smart this idea is.

  23. Hideki Yamada says:

    Oh gosh, these products are awesome. I can certainly use them!

  24. Sophia says:

    I always try to fly light so I can carry on my bags. I have taken a carry on on my last two trips for a two week vacation. The more I travel light the more efficient I become, so now I am going for three weeks and trying the same technique. LIGHT all the way!

  25. Marlene says:

    Quite a few years ago when traveling from CA to GA on Delta A/L, a couple of my luggage didn’t make it to my GA address. However, a couple of days later it was delivered to a motel in this small town where I was able to pick them up. That was in the days when you had no limit on how much luggage you could take with you and since I would eventually move to GA I had taken around seven cases with things to leave in GA, so missing only two wasn’t so bad and all ended well.

  26. Joseph835 says:

    My luggage was only Delayed Once but lost luggage would be a problem this seams like a good idea.

  27. Sandra says:

    I pack light and travel using carry-on only whenever possible – about 95% of the time; including a 10 day trip to Italy! However, I do keep a tag on my luggage; but instead of using my name and address on my luggage tags, I use my email address. Since I always travel with my blackberry and receive email wherever I travel, I can be notified by whoever finds my bags without compromising my security. I also keep a modified copy of my itinerary in my luggage; listing the destinations, places of lodging, and dates [no personal information except name].

  28. Jennifer Bean says:

    i always tuck into the inside of our suitcase the flight information, hotel dates and addresses! Phone number and our cell phone if we have them at our destination.
    .Lucky we have never had a problem on our trips!

  29. SPEEDLADY says:

    Worst lost luggage case I know of happened to my sister. She’s a diplomat and was stationed in Tunis. She flew home to get married, packed her wedding dress and some of the wedding gifts in her luggage for the return flight to Tunis and the airline lost the suitcase. It was never found. The good news is they are still married and happy.

  30. Marilyn says:

    My luggage tale occurred on my honeymoon. On our wedding night we stayed in a local hotel and then proceeded to the airport the next day. At the time, we had little previous air travel experience, so I had booked our honeymoon trip using a travel agent (this was 1985) recommended by my then-fiance and now new husband. He knew her only through others, not from any personal dealings in booking a trip. We checked in our luggage and proceeded to the gate to get seat assignments – this was before the days of booking seats on the internet. The gate agent’s eye grew wider and wider. I said I hoped she could find us 2 seats together since it was our honeymoon. Finally, after 5 minutes or more of tapping her keyboard, she informed me that we were not on the manifest and were not ticketed for the flight. But since I was holding printed tickets (this was long before e-ticketing and email confirmations), and our scheduled flight was sold out, she was getting me on another airline’s flight leaving 2 hours later. I thanked her profusely through my steady stream of tears. We changed terminals, and had an uneventful flight (coming home was another story altogeher). Finally we arrived in the small terminal in Barbados, hopefully seeking all our luggage. Way off to the side behind a little rope sat our lonely bags – luckily no one had decided to remove them to some unknown room or walk away with them. Grateful that they were not lost, we proceeded to our resort, only to discover that they had no record of our stay – for which I also had printed vouchers!! – but they had room for us. Good thing, because 2 days later they were full and some guests were redirected to lesser accomodations. Well, at least we had our shorts and swimsuits – and are still together almost 26 years later!!

  31. Bea Dahlen says:

    We have been very lucky. We travel fairly often for pleasure, and have been separated from our bags on many occasions. They’ve always caught up with us in time. It’s inconvenient, but not catastrophic.

    Norfolk, VA has a relatively small airport, and the baggage claim there is only open sporadically. Getting your luggage back from Norfolk can be a totally frustrating adventure. No one ever answers the phone and if you go to collect your bags just pray that someone will be there during normal business hours. That’s rarely the case.

  32. I have a few things I do: 1. Always, always check the airport code on your luggage before they swoop it away. This is the 3 letter code that denotes the airport (if you are going to MCO/Orlando but see MCI/Kansas City your bag will be taking a trip without you) 2. Attach two luggage tags on the outside – the more indestructible the better. 3. Tape a card with identifying info or your business card in the inside of your bag. 4. Consider buying luggage insurance; many companies give you something to attach to your bag that identifies you.

  33. Phyllis Brittenham says:

    We were at the airport in Miami waiting for our flight. The airplane arrived late. We boarding time came and went we heard our flight crew being paged three times for our flight. We overheard that they went for lunch. Since we left Miami so late we didn’t make our connection in Memphis. Just as we stepped into the airport our flight went from there to left. We were stuck in the Memphis airport for 6 hours and only received a $10 voucher for a meal. When we finally arrived at our final destination our luggage was not waiting for us. We were told it would be delivered in two days. Two days later, still no luggage. Called and was told it would be another two days. Our luggage did finally arrive but it was very beat up.

  34. Julie says:

    I’ve had excellent service from Westjet. They have delivered my luggage directly to my home on two occasions, all in excellent condition.

  35. doreen sheinman says:

    My luggage was lost and after 3 days, when finally found, UPS was not allowed into my deceased parents’ complex for me to retrieve!

  36. carol y l says:

    Sounds like a great idea to have this!
    The worst time was when we went to Germany and my hubby and SIL both didn;t get their luggage. It was kind of funny because they had to come up with something to sleep in-both of them!

  37. Adrienne says:

    We were going on a transatlantic cruise. We got to FL and one bag was missing.
    We set sail without that bag. Of course, it had all my things, shoes, make up, etc. That’s when I learned to cross pack! We found out 2 days later while at sea that the bag went to Denver. Boy was I overjoyed when we were getting off the ship in the Canary Islands (our first port) 5 days later, and my bag was being wheeled on board.

  38. Bonnie says:

    My new dive bag is jinxed. I have used this dive bag three times and each time the bag has gone astray. Last time my bag was lost in Tokyo for more than a week. My continuing flight was to Singapore; before departure I checked with Delta to make sure the bag was on board…yes, it is there, they said. In SIN I checked with Silk Air to ensure that my bag had arrived because the next morning I had a flight to Manado, Indonesia and I would not be going to baggage claim, such is the advice when leaving SIN within 24 hours. Next morning, I checked again…”Oh yes, the bag is here and it will be on your flight.” Arrival in Manado, proved otherwise. Silk Air checked everywhere…two days later I was leaving for the Raja Ampats an even more remote place than Manado. No bag. I had to leave, but Silk assured me they would find the bag. They eventually did…in Tokyo. Ten days later I had my dive gear. Upon reaching home, I watched all the bags come up except mine…four days later my bag was found. It’s a jinx, I am sure.

  39. Geni Chariker says:

    I am going to get one of those tags before I go outside the US!. We Amercians tend to be bigger than our “outside the US” counterparts and replacement clothes can be hard to find in some areas.

    I have always eventually receeived my luggage but there is always a first time of total loss. The reimbursement wouldnot even come close to replacing the contents of teh bag.

  40. Betty Zamost says:

    Like the concepts

  41. Ginger D. says:

    I have a business type card that has only my name and email address on it. I use it when I travel to give out to people I meet and if I want I just write my cell phone number on it. I also use these as luggage tags both inside and in the tag holder. I write my first destination info on it and can change the cards as I go along.
    My bags have been lost but always got to me within 24 hours.

  42. CL says:

    I’ve never had a checked bag get lost (yet). I do have more than one tag on my suitcase (which includes a built-in tag holder). I also keep my itinerary and contact info in the suitcase. Once my special TSA-approved lock disappeared, and I do believe an airport employee or TSA went through my bag to see if there was anything worth stealing. So it bears repeating, do not pack anything valuable or irreplaceable in a checked bag.

  43. Bob W. says:

    We were on our way home (fortunately) from a trip to Cancun. Although we had a non-stop flight to Cancun, our return flight involved a 2 hour stopover in Houston before our final flight to Newark, NJ. Sadly, our bags arrived at Newark airport 2 hours before we did. No doubt our bags went around the baggage carousel many times before airport personnel removed them, minus my wife’s large bag, which had been stolen. That bag contained my wife’s new bathing suits and summer clothes. We were so thankful that the bag didn’t disappear on the trip down!

  44. Ms Cruiser says:

    I place my business card in my lugguage tag rather than writing my personal information on it to prevent possible thieves from getting my home address and phone number.

  45. Pamela says:

    I personally have not had lost luggage, but my cousin was meeting us in Las Vegas. She had a non-stop flight from Detroit to LV and her luggage was lost. She checked that the correct destination was on the luggage tag the airline attached. We were in LV for 5 days in a suite at the Bellagio, and she had no clothes or toiletries. She called the airline several times a day but no luggage. when she arrived home it was sitting on the porch. They apparently don’t open the luggage to see if an itinerary is there. But why couldn’t someone have told her that in her umpteen phone calls?

  46. Francis Loncto says:

    These tags look like they would be really useful. The first time my bags were lost I was on a business trip that lasted a week. The bags got to my hotel the day I was leaving to return home.

  47. Sandra says:

    Our checked luggage was \delayed\ and Hungarian officials wouldn’t transport across border to Romania. We spent two weeks traveling in the same clothes with only medications, night wear and a kit of toiletries and spare white tee-shirt given us by the airline. At night our bedroom looked like a laundry as we rushed to wash our clothes and ready them for the next day.

  48. Teresa says:

    On the shuttle from the parking lot to the airport, an older man took my carry on bag when getting off the shuttle heading to his car. I took his look alike bag into the airport. Prior to check-in I opened my carryon to get my ID out and was shocked to find a suitcase full of men’s underwear! I had no itinerary, no identification, no meds, no money, no credit cards,and no munchie foods for my 7+ hour trip. The airport was three hours from my home, so there was no way to return home for the needed items. Luckily, the airline personnel asked me a bunch of security questions and let me on the plane. A pharmacy at my destination gave me a temp supply of medication, and the friend who was meeting me at my destination helped me out monetarily until we could get to a bank on Monday. The gentleman who took my bag, called my contact info the next day and generously sent my bag to my parent’s home. What a nightmare. That was in 2010, so I’m not sure what would have happened post 9-11. Now all of my bags are adorned with hideous ribbons and flowers tied to the handles.

  49. eileen says:

    I love the Luggage Tag Holders from Favors By Serendipity. I use them for my flight with the itinerary form they email to you when you order the tags, and then I switch out the Ininerary Forms for the Print Yourself Cruise Luggage Tags many cruise lines are doing now before I board the ship. I agree, I don’t use my home information in the intinerary tags. They are sized for the printouts. http://www.fbys.com/tags $2.50 each if you buy more than 4.

  50. Roger Dean Hardy says:

    My Mom and I were Traveling from California to Columbus Georgia and our bags went missing. Thanks God it happened on our way back instead of the trip going to California. Then when we got our bags the next day, my luggage was torn and moms picture that was marked all over FRAGILE!!!! And packaged accordingly was broken. But the airlines replaced everything even though it took a few weeks. I know this happens quite often, but thanks goodness it wasn’t as bad as it could of been!

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