The Truth About Luggage Myths

Finding out the truth about an urban legend or a long-held belief sometimes surprises us. This is especially true about myths long believed to be true by the public at large. For example:

  • * Myth: Lightning never strikes the same place twice.
  • Truth: Lightning does strike the same place twice. A case in point is the Empire State Building which gets hit by lightning as much as 100 times a year.
  • Myth: The biggest desert on earth is the Sahara.
  • Truth: Antarctica is the biggest desert on earth. Geologists define deserts as regions so arid because of little or no precipitation making living conditions hostile for animal and plant life. A region doesn’t have to be sandy and hot to qualify as a desert.

Myths About Luggage

luggage conveyor belt

According to Luggage Direct, traveling by air with check-in luggage has its share of myths too, and whose truths are just as surprising as the examples given above. These luggage myths have been around for quite some time and have been believed to be true by many unsuspecting travelers.

Just like urban legends, luggage myths spread via word of mouth. As the information is handed down from one person to another, some crucial facts are misinterpreted or lost in the process.This cycle is repeated over and over again until what is left is a statement devoid of facts.

Luggage myths currently in circulation are either half true or totally unfounded. Some travelers – especially those first-timers who get hold of these myths about luggage and believe them to be true – end up experiencing all sorts of travel inconveniences.

The following are some of the common myths currently circulating in the luggage world. Travelers should take these luggage myths with a grain of salt to avoid going to the trouble of insisting on a claim based on unfounded luggage myths.

Myth Number 1: Your lost luggage will be delivered to you as soon as it is found.

Truth: The general rule is that airlines do not deliver luggage lost on an international flight. Only those bags lost on domestic flights are delivered to their owners.

Most airlines would not think twice about returning any lost luggage lost either in an international or domestic flight. They would gladly walk the extra mile to give their patrons the best service possible. What constrains airlines on delivering lost luggage from an international flight is that Customs require the presence of the owner when the bags are cleared through Customs.

Myth Number 2: Shipping luggage is more expensive than checking luggage.

Truth: Shipping your luggage is actually cheaper than checking especially if it consists of more than one bag. Besides being less expensive, shipping your luggage saves you from the hassle of hauling heavy luggage, waiting in check-in lines, and waiting for it at the other end.

Myth Number 3: If your connecting flight is booked with another airline, your luggage will be automatically accepted by the other airline.

Truth: The statement is only true when your connecting airline implements the same luggage weight allowance as your previous airline.

You will most likely be charged an excess baggage fee if your luggage exceeds the weight limit of your connecting airline. Some airlines may even refuse to accept the overweight luggage completely. Passengers with connecting flights with another carrier should check the luggage allowance rules of the second airline they will be flying with.

Myth Number 4: Airlines offer similar baggage allowances.

Truth: Baggage allowance policies of major carriers tend to be similar. However, budget carriers offer varying baggage allowances. Some will not even allow passengers to check in excess pieces. Those low-cost carriers that accept excess luggage either charge a flat rate per extra checked bag or charge a fee for every extra kilogram or pound as the case may be.

Myth Number 5: Airlines reimburse the cost of all the items in a lost piece of luggage.

Truth: If the cost of all items lost falls within the specified limit set by the airline, you can expect a full reimbursement. Any amount exceeding the limitation will not be reimbursed. Passengers whose luggage contents cost more than these limits should make sure they are covered under their travel or homeowners insurance.

Reimbursement for lost luggage also depends on the type of flight a passenger takes. For domestic flights in the US, airlines may offer compensation up to a maximum of US$3,300 per bag, but in many other countries the compensation is much less. For luggage lost on an international flight, airlines subscribe to the Warsaw Convention which requires carriers to compensate passengers US$640 per lost checked bag and US$400 per passenger for unchecked bags.

Myth Number 6: Travelling on more than one airline gets your luggage booked through.

Truth: Travelers should be aware that not all airlines have ticketing and interlining agreements. If you happen to be taking multiple flights with two different carriers with no interline agreement, you will have to pick up your luggage yourself at the transit airport and check it in with the next airline.

These are the main luggage myths associated with air travel, but there are others around too. To avoid being inconvenienced when traveling, it is important to be aware of the luggage rules and regulations for each airline when making travel bookings. That way you won’t be in for nasty surprises if an item of luggage goes astray.

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