TSA agents sort through luggage in the departure terminal at the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport on December 27, 2021 in Arlington, Virginia. According to media reports, at least 2,600 more flights were canceled Monday amid the surge in coronavirus cases, which have affected the staff within airlines. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Travel this summer has been a nightmare for many people with unprecedented numbers of delays, cancelations lost luggage. We’ve got some lost baggage travel tips that could come in handy if you’re about to take to the skies.

The number of lost luggage during this year’s summer travel season is said to be up some 135% over last year. I saw an interview with a woman who had been traveling overseas with gifts for her family. She finally arrived after numerous delays but her bags didn’t. in fact, they still haven’t and it’s been nearly a month.

Checking the latest statistics from RSW in Fort Myers, 836,379 people traveled through the airport in May. There have been lots of delays with arrivals and departures, however, a majority of the problems with flights involve connections, after you leave Southwest Florida.

DON”T CHECK BAGS

While it’s not always possible, if you can pack lighter and carry on, do it. That way if your flight gets changed or you get stranded overnight, your bags will still be with you.

BUY A TRACKING DEVICE

Some luggage have tracking devices built in. If yours does not, they are easy to find. Think of them like a “find my phone app” on your cell phone. These GPS trackers can help you see where your bag has ended up. While it doesn’t guarantee a quick return, it gives you better tools and information needed when contacting airlines for resolution.

LABEL LUGGAGE

Make your name, and contact information is on the outside of your luggage. Inside, include more detailed information including address and phone number, to make it easier to find you, once your bag IS found.

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS

Airline passengers have rights which include compensation for lost bags and sometimes flight interruptions. This is especially true for some international flights. I once got over $300 back from a flight home from Germany due to an excessive delay. Always read the find print.

I just returned from a trip to Bonaire. Flew direct out of Miami over the 4th of July holiday weekend and thankfully did not have any problems. I wish good travel karma upon you this summer and all year long. Don’t let the problems in the air keep you from getting out and seeing the world.