Safety first? At the airlines alone, an average of 13 out of 1000 suitcases are lost (in 2007, more than one million). Most travellers attach a luggage label with their name and address on it. This way, the airline company or another party can return their suitcase if it’s wrongly delivered. However, not only is this of little use (is that where you need your luggage?), but it’s often downright dangerous. Read below why and what you can do about it.
- Auction of luggage lost in airports
A few years ago, travellers were discouraged to store their home address on their GPS devices. There were active gangs who broke into cars abroad and examined the GPS device to find out where the owners lived. They then knew that their house was empty, and they passed this information on to their colleagues in the home country of the traveller.
However, it’s enough just to walk around the departure hall of any airport for a while and take snapshots of the luggage labels. As a burglar, you’d be getting a long shopping list of houses that you know will be empty the following week(s) and that you can pay a visit to without being disturbed!
Anyway, written luggage labels are of little use. Just think what you normally write on your label. Is this really the place where you need your lost luggage to be delivered to, for each leg of your trip?
What are my options then?
Option 1: Write only your phone number or email
You might decide to limit your details on your luggage tag to your phone number or email address. But today, any savvy burglar can, based on this data, easily find your home address. Furthermore, when you lose something abroad, the finder needs to call a foreign phone number, and they can’t be sure the person on the other end will even be able to speak their language. Chances are slim that they’ll want to spend any of their own money to return your item to you.
Option 2: Write the address of your destination
This is more discreet, but is of course only useful upon departure to the destination and not upon return, or for local trips. Few people change the label for each travel segment. It’s only useful if your luggage is found by the transportation company, any other finder will be unlikely to want to go to the trouble of sending it to the destination address.
Option 3: Use a Spotty safe luggage tag!
This solves all our problems:
- The tag is anonymous. No one can simply read the label or scan it to obtain your personal details. Even the finder won’t know your name or address; Spotty will make sure that all of the necessary information gets to you.
- Your found luggage won’t simply be sent to a fixed address. You can communicate with the finder anonymously so that you can agree on how best to get your luggage back.
- The finder looks up the code via their smartphone or computer and communicates with you online, so there are no communication costs for the finder, or for you.
- The Spotty web pages that the finder will see are in a variety of languages, so the finder won’t be frightened off.
And it gives you the additional comfort that you’ll never again have to change the address on your luggage tag!