Subject Matter Experts have product knowledge. Do you ask your dentist about how to lay a concrete footer for building a house? Do you ask a accountant how to do brain surgery? Of course not, those subjects are not the areas of their expertise. So why would you listen to a marketer when they give you generic information about products they are selling that are not in their wheelhouse of knowledge. Our luggage tags are designed in house by flight crews that work in the airport environment everyday. We have seen and used every type of luggage tag product there is. We have seen customer behavior and are experts in the area of travel.
That's why we developed our line of luggage tags that make sense and that are effective in the industry today. We have assembled a great amount of information for you to consider when traveling, not just for luggage and travel accessories but for general knowledge of how the system works in regards to luggage and arriving with them at your destination. This is a common question from all of our customers every day so we have decided to take a deep dive into the subject and give you all the information that we have.
The Airport Environment
So the first question you would probably ask yourself is why would you want or need a luggage tag in the first place. Understanding what goes on at the airport or even the cruise port will help you get those answers and may even enlighten you along the way. There are three basic areas in which you can have issues with your luggage.
Rule #1, people steal stuff, if you let them
Lets say you are coming to the airport and your travel itinerary has several days or even weeks worth of travel. You will most likely have more than one suitcase to bring along on your journey so you will have to check that luggage in at the ticket counter. This basically means you are putting your luggage into the belly of the plane where you will be reunited with it at your destination. In doing so, you put your bags on a conveyer belt that goes down to a sort facility in the bag room and the bags are then sorted by computer to their destinations.
Any time you let your bag out of your site, there is the chance that someone can open it up and remove valuable items that you may have packed. This is your first line of defense. Most people don't realize or blindly trust what goes on behind the scenes. For the most part, the employees that are working are trustworthy individuals, however it only takes one individual to ruin that reputation for the entire work group.
One of the easiest ways to prevent this or slow it down significantly is to put a small luggage lock on the two zippers that open and close your bag. Most thieves will probably not have something that can cut this lock off and will simply move onto an easier suitcase. The locks certainly are not heavy duty, but they definitely improve your odds. Understand this fact, if someone wants into your bag bad enough, they will make it happen.
There are also locking straps that you can buy, but they do not lock so they will do nothing to defer theft. What thieves are looking for are small items that are valuable such as watches, phones, Ipad's etc. These items can be easily removed and taken off the airport property without much attention. The best advice here is to simply not put anything of value in your checked luggage. All of that you would want to keep on your person or pack into a carry on bag that you bring with you on the aircraft.
Wrap it up
There are some airports that have allowed third party vendors to provide a service that wraps your bag in plastic. Most of the ones I have seen are in the Caribbean markets and the vendors go on and on about how your bag is going to be protected from the weather because of what they are doing.
The big selling point is what would happen if your zipper broke and the bag came open. This is more or less what we call "fear marketing" Suitcases are made with heavy duty materials and strong zippers. Do they break? I am sure that you can find someone who will tell you that their broke, but the details of that would be hard to disseminate. Basically the vendors are wrapping your bag in several layers of plastic that is like a plastic wrap you would use in your kitchen. Its basically shrink wrap and is fairly inexpensive. The charge for such a service is around $8-$10 per suitcase.
We have always been under the impression that this was like a tourist trap type of service and often chuckled a few times when I noticed the amount of bags that get wrapped up like baked potatoes. Do you need it? In our opinion, no? Is it a barrier for someone opening your bag? Could be, but you would have to prove that you paid for and had your bag wrapped and those vendors rarely give out any type of receipt. As far as protecting your bag, the real odds of it getting wet are fairly small since bags are only exposed to the weather for a very short time.
Is my luggage being stolen?
Most thieves are not interested in stealing your luggage in the back side of airport operations. It would be hard for an airport worker to get away without being noticed dragging a suitcase with him as he leaves work. They would much rather pick out the valuables and leave the bag much like a pick pocket who steals your wallet and just takes the cash.
The second opportunity is available on the baggage carousel when the plane arrives at its destination. There are a few, not many, but a few people who have decided to steal someone's luggage from the carousel early as luggage first comes out. Again this is a crap shoot with low odds since they are taking the whole suitcase with them. Security and cameras are better at spotting these types of activities and smarter criminals are just not that interested in this low yield endeavor
That about covers the opportunities that lead to theft in the check in process of your gear. The next section talks about the airport environment past security and the aircraft environment as well.
Understanding the airport environment
There is a dynamic at the airport that most people don't understand or may not even give a second thought. That dynamic is alcohol, and the sale of the alcoholic beverages to passengers has been a headache to the airline industry since it began. A lot of people stop at the bar to have a drink before they leave for their flight. Some have more than one which begins the cycle of airline issues. This slight bit of impairment is compounded by a couple more factors that you may not be aware of. The first is, that passenger may order another beverage while on the plane. That's all fine and dandy until you add in the fact that maybe that same passenger may be taking some sort of prescription drug as well. Well when you combine the two and then pressurize those people often times a cork gets popped in there brains and problems arise.
"According to the Department of Transportation, more than a million bags were lost or stolen in 2018, resulting in $1.2 billion missing valuables. Nevertheless, considering the number of people flying that’s 1 in 3333 passengers (or a 0.03% chance)."
The least case scenario is that the passenger is impaired and suddenly every single black suitcase in the overhead bins look the same. This can lead to confusion when its time to deplane and they choose the wrong bag as their own. There is a way to slow this down and we will get to that solution shortly.
Most passengers insist on putting everything in the overhead bins and ignore the space under the seat in front of them. It does not help that airlines now have cashed in and charge you for bringing a carry on bag on your person. But paying for that carry on and putting it under the seat in front of you is probably one of the smartest things you can do to ensure none of your valuables are tampered with or stolen. Its not very convenient, but convenience is for the average passenger that is not informed. So when the seat belt sign gets turned off and everyone jumps up to race off the plane, the odds of you taking your items greatly increase.
What do Flight Attendants do?
Cabin crew has to store their luggage in the cabin along with passenger bags. Often times their bags have been carried off by an ignorant passenger who does not realize they have taken a crew bag by mistake. There is no special storage bin for the crews bags, except for the pilots who have theirs in the cockpit with them. They put a crew tag on their roller boards and we will go into that shortly.
Airlines that charge for carry on bags
Allegiant – Bags are priced by route $10.00 to $75.00
JetBlue (Blue Basic Fares) – No carry-on allowed on the basic fare
United (Basic Economy Fares) – No carry-on allowed on the basic fare
Frontier – $30 – $60
Spirit – Depends on the route $37+
Airlines that do not charge for carry on bags
American Airlines – AA did remove carry-on bags from their basic economy fare but reinstated them
So what is the answer?
Here is where the luggage tags discussion comes into play, you might be thinking that was a lot of information to go through at first, but its important to lay down the foundation before you go out and spend your hard earned cash. Luggage tags are another layer of defense that you can employ to prevent theft and make your bag easy to identify. There are so many designs and products to choose from. Here is where some expert advice comes in handy when you put all the knowledge together of what happens and why.
What Kind of Luggage Tags Should I Buy?
There are thousands of luggage tags out there for sale in every shape, size, color and material. Each will claim they are the best for whatever reason they choose. The real key here is to choose something you like. The need to be able to identify your luggage on the baggage carousel started from two things. The first is most suitcase manufacturers decided to make the majority of their luggage lines in the color black. So here you have a million black bags that all basically look the same.
The second is someone got the bright idea (and we think its grandmothers) to put a piece of red yarn around the handle of their bag thus making it easy to identify. Thus the luggage tag idea was born and improved upon significantly.
Currently there are luggage tags made of rubber, silicone, leather, vinyl, faux leather, and plastic. They all do basically the same thing which is helping you pick out your bag. Most luggage tags have a personal information data card on the back for you to enter your information on in case your bag gets lost. This is the airlines first go to strategy if they misplace your bag and it ends up somewhere it is not supposed to go.
So Which Luggage Tag is Best?
Rather than give you a list of all the luggage tags out there like most blogs do, we will show you what has been working for our company and what sells best. Your mileage may vary. Again we are speaking as pros in the travel industry, not marketers. When we manufacture a new design we actually test it in the airport environment. And we beat the heck out of it to make sure it holds up, durability is important and our flight crews travel for a living. This important fact you will NOT find with any other manufacturer.
This is a faux leather luggage tag that is engraved. It has several things going for it. First of all its red, which makes it stand out like a sore thumb. (thanks grandma!) Second it has a data card for your contact information. Third it has a bit of a comedic approach because it conveys a message that people get right away, this is not yours. Fourth it has matching straps that are easy to use and look really nice. These luggage tags are engraved which means they wont wear off. They look good and come in a variety of colors so you are free to express yourself in any color you like.
The best part is we carry over 150 designs. You wont find that with most sellers on amazon because they don't MAKE their own luggage tags, they buy them from China. At the end of the article we will showcase some of the best selling luggage tags we make and provide a link to where you can get them.
What makes Silicone Luggage Tags Special?
These luggage tags are low cost and really have nothing special to offer. Most are imported so you get the design that some guy or girl at a desk decided was good. They do the job just as well as anything else out there.
Is a personalized Luggage tags really custom?
Personalized luggage tags or custom luggage tags are really not made to order per your specifications. There are a few smaller stores that may do that, but they tend to be more money. When a company offers a personalized luggage tag what they mean is something like a monogram or luggage tag with an initial that matches your name. This would be a good example.
These engineered leather luggage tags are engraved and have amazing details. You can find all sorts of personalized touches that make a luggage tag unique to your personality or to your name. This is what is meant by personalized or custom. These also have a data card on the back for your contact information.
Do I Need Stainless Steel Anything?
There are some manufacturers that have come up with either a stainless steel luggage tag or the strap that holds it on your luggage. Its basically overkill and a bit of a gimmick. Stainless steel holds up to weather and does not rust. If you store your luggage outside in the rain, then it may make a difference, but most travelers do not.
Should I put my phone number and data on the data card?
This is a good question. Again if your bag is misplaced the airline can find you if they look at the data card and contact you. But so can a thief gain your personal information. To be honest most of that is available on the internet with a few clicks so your actual phone number and address is not that big of a deal. There are some that will argue that point, its up to you.
Are Metal Luggage Tags Better?
We started out in the metal luggage tags line and liked the durability of the product. Most metal luggage tags have the graphic on both sides. This does not allow for contact data to be added. It is merely a preference. The biggest selling point is that the colors are bright and it makes it easy to see your suitcase.
Where do I put my luggage tags on my suitcase?
The best place is where it will fit so that you can see it most. This would be the top handle or the side handle. Some people dont like it there so you can get creative. If you order one of our engineered leather luggage tags you will have a wider strap that does not fit inside the small holes of a zipper. The easiest solution is to add a key ring to the zipper and attach it that way.
Where can I get Luggage tags?
Here are some of our most popular luggage tags.
What airline crew members use?
Flight attendants and pilots use luggage tags that are unique and have an aviation theme. Some use luggage tags that are in Spanish so that the Latin culture can read them and figure out that they have the wrong bag. There are lots of luggage tags featuring airplanes, and aviation themes.
To get the most out of your travel experience, pay for a carry on bag and put your valuables in them. If you have to check a bag, put a suitcase lock on them and add a luggage tag for easy recognition. If your bag is lost, contact the airline immediately. Don't spend extra money on wrapping your baggage and pick the best brand of tags that suit your personality.
Check out some of our best gifts for pilots