What's the Point of Checked Luggage Stickers

Discussion in 'Newbies' started by edekba, May 27, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    You know those stickers that they give you when you check bags? I mean when you arrive at your destination, nobody seems to check that you have those before you grab them, nor does anyone check them at the door.

    I really fail to see a point in generating those stickers ...
     
  2. maksim

    maksim Silver Member

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    So you have your bag number when it gets lost. =P Or you are a geek and want to look up the status on your My Delta app on your phone, as you have OCD and want to make sure you bag made it on the flight. =P

    I travel with firearms fairly often, so it gives me piece of mind.
     
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  3. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    I haven't had anyone in the US check my checked bag receipts (but then I don't even recall when I last check bags domestically). But internationally there are certainly airports where they check as you leave the bag claim area. Don't throw them away.
     
  4. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    If the luggage does not get lost then that sticker seems pointless. However, each luggage sticker has a barcode that gets scanned automatically by arrays of barcode readers (there is manual reading backup in case of failure) at various points, which allows the bags to be automatically routed to the correct conveyor belts. That sticker has all of your flight information, and the barcode consists of a 10-digit number that is unique to your luggage. Once the baggage-handling system has read the 10-digit barcode number, your bag can be tracked at all times, so that should it get lost, the airline's baggage handlers can tell you precisely where it was seen last. Should your luggage fail to materialize at destination, that seemingly useless sticker will be your best hope to have it located...;). A common occurrence in the past, delayed baggage has almost been completely eradicated thanks to technological advances that include how to efficiently and reliably scan those stickers and route the bags automatically to the right places....
     
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  5. Counsellor
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    Counsellor Gold Member

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    Not sure if that was tongue-in-cheek, a repeat of some airline's PR release, or your actual experiences. My actual experiences do not bear this out.

    I will say, though, that I have not had luggage permanently lost since one incident in the mid-1980s; delayed, that's unfortunately another story. The good part about the tracking system is that they can usually tell me why my luggage didn't arrive with me, where it currently is, and when it should arrive where I'm staying.
     
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  6. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    I get the stickers on the bags ... but the counterpart that they give you on check-in? I mean Is it really necessary? Can't they email you the bag # if needed ... or something like that? Most airlines have mobile checkin/boarding passes.

    Why still have stickers for bags?
     
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  7. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    No airline PR. I have not had a bag delayed in more than 5 years. Honest. How I can be so sure? Because the last time it happened, I made such a fuss about it that UA made the arrangements to have it delivered to my home, in addition to giving me a "we are sorry" voucher. That was over 5 years ago...:cool:

    P.S. I must also say that I became a much better traveler so that I seldom check bags these days. That may account for my apparent great run with bags not being delayed.:)

    I have never permanently lost a bag, and these days just about every credit card that one uses to buy a ticket has some kind of insurance for lost bag as a benefit...
     
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  8. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Sure it is necessary. It is how you can prove that the bag is yours or even tell them what bag to look for if it is lost (they will just scan your identical copy of the sticker)! Telling them that it is a medium-sized, tan bag will do no good, and you would have to prove that it is your medium-sized, tan bag...:)
     
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  9. viguera
    Original Member

    viguera Gold Member

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    The stickers are awesome when something goes wrong, as people have said.

    I once had my luggage travel ahead of me (which I didn't think was still allowed in this day and age) and when I arrived at SFO -- 2+ hours after my bag -- I went to UA's luggage services and they told me exactly where my bag was after scanning my sticker, not only which holding area but which column in the sea of bags, so it took the whole of 5 seconds to find it after I arrived.
     
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  10. MSYgirl

    MSYgirl Gold Member

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    I check a bag when I go overseas for more than a month at a time. The sticker comes in handy when I arrive and my bag does not. Instead of trying to connect via wi-fi, check email, or find some other way to get my bag number, it's conveniently affixed to the back of my boarding pass. I walk right up to the counter, hand them the part with the sticker, and they can immediately start searching for my bag.

    I have had airlines lose my luggage at home and abroad. At home they will call you to come pick it up (the hour drive is too much for them I guess). When it's been lost at LHR (three times in the last two years), they deliver it to your address in the UK -- usually the next day -- even though I'm two hours from LHR sometimes. It's nice that they do that. :)

    A recent trip to SNA ended with my luggage lost. They scanned my sticker and found it within minutes.

    Despite a few missing bags over the last 4 years, I have never permanently lost luggage. I do occasionally find tags from TSA inside my luggage telling me it was inspected after it was checked in. My notebooks and perfume must be riveting material to investigate (although they were probably checking out my knickers).
     
  11. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    Oki I guess this is a case of stfu because bad stuff hasnt happened to me yet. :)
     
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  12. wombat18
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    wombat18 Silver Member

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    At least you know who to blame when the locks are broken and the notebooks stolen! Seriously, that seems to be the main reason for those tags from the TSA. I can't figure out what triggers their inside look, but be warned that if you checked in late this can cause your bag to miss being loaded onto the same plane as you.
     
  13. Scottrick
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    Scottrick Gold Member

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    The sticker is also very important if they happen to put someone else's tag on your bag. Usually they put the tag on your bag and give the other half to you right away. This means that you have a receipt that tracks THAT BAG. You could also track it using your FF number or PNR.

    But if the machine is printing luggage tags for multiple people and they put someone else's tag on the bag, then your FF number or PNR does no good. They need someone else's FF number or PNR. Oops. But hopefully you have that other person's receipt, too, (because they gave it to you right after attaching the tag) and they can still track the bag.
     
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  14. MSYgirl

    MSYgirl Gold Member

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    I never use locks or put anything valuable in my checked luggage; electronics stay with me as a carry-on. And those notebooks I mentioned are old school paper notebooks, not electronic notebooks. ;) They can steal those, but they will only end up with a headache as a result (unless they really love psychology).
     
  15. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Probably a good idea to glance at that sticker and make sure your name and destination is on it. And to observe what they do with the bag/tag.
     
  16. MSYgirl

    MSYgirl Gold Member

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    Great advice. I usually review the tag they put on my bag before it disappears and make sure the right name and final destination airport is on it, then I check the bag tag they give me to make sure it matches. One time I caught an error where it was tagged for my layover airport, not my final destination. It's worth the few minutes to fix a problem right then and there instead of dealing with misplaced luggage (although it may end up lost anyway).
     
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  17. mikeschu
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    mikeschu Gold Member

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    Back in the late 1990s ABQ had airport employees stationed at the baggage claim exits explicitly to verify the bag stickers/receipts against the checked bag tags. I'm not sure if they still do that.
     
  18. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    OAK did the same. Haven't been there in ages, and I doubt they still do that. But as I said, some foreign airports do it. I know I have scrambled to find my little boarding pass stub when they wanted to see the tag at the exit from customs.
     
  19. SM105

    SM105 Silver Member

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    Leaving aside the "need" for these in today's world, the baggage claim receipt is a required document under the Warsaw and Montreal conventions (which apply to pretty much all international air transportation). The current formats are part of the international ATB/ATB2 standard adopted by IATA. There are industry groups looking to come up with newer and more modern standards and these will probably make some provision for electronic claim receipts, but until that time these are here to stay.

    Carriers that choose not to adopt the IATA standards are of course free to use any sort of system they like, but that rules them out of most forms of interlining and even from using the BRS at many major airports. Considering that the additional cost of printing the claim receipt is zero (it is simply a pull off sticker that is printed at the same time as the bag tag itself), I don't see the benefit of eliminating it.
     
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