Travel Accessories

How Dangerous Are Your Luggage Tags?

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One of the many things I love about travel events such as Frequent Traveler University is the delightfully random conversations and debates you can get into.

Yesterday afternoon it was about luggage tags safety concerns for checked luggage. In the event that your luggage is lost, making your information as accessible as possible for the airline is preferable without encouraging anyone looking for an easy victim to rob or stalk.

Everyone agreed that putting all your personal information (phone number, address, and email) on the back of a basic tag was a terrible idea. Where we disagreed was on the best compromise of convenience and safety.

Several years ago my compromise was putting my name and email or phone number on the tag. That way no one could easily find out where I lived. Except nowadays, it’s pretty easy to find out a lot about a person with just a phone number or email address. So that’s no longer my preferred approach.

Several at the table favored the luggage tag with flaps. You can put your personal information on the inside and the flap keeps it from being immediately visible to anyone glancing at it. Now your main concern would be opportunistic airline/airport personnel taking the initiative to open the flap and photograph or copy down your info.

One person went further – suggesting that you put even more distance between a potential criminal by putting your business card in there. Then the most they would know/could follow you is your workplace which hopefully would have more people around.

This was debated by those who worked in public areas that made them far more accessible than they would be in their neighborhoods and by those who didn’t have business cards or employers who’d be ok with their lost luggage showing up.

So a better option for some but not all, and still not terribly secure.

My current approach for the rare checked bag putting my name on a luggage tag with a flap and a copy of my ticket in the front zipped pocket. So if the airline loses my bag it would be easy to find my information if they were looking but sidetracks the casual observer.

The ideal, which unfortunately none of the airlines I fly offer, is the airline produced luggage tag with a bar code featuring all your information. Technically you’re still at risk from airline employees but to fellow passengers or observers you’re safe.

q bag tag


What is your comfort level with security vs convenience?


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