Tips on Checked Baggage for Your Dive Holiday0
You have Planned, Prepared and Paid for your Dive Holiday to one of the World’s Best Dive Destinations for months. Now its time to PACK.
Packing for international travel can be a challenge. Each airline has its own regulations for baggage allowances, and airport security can be difficult to negotiate.
There is also the uncertainty of going to a new place and dealing with a new and possibly unfamiliar environment. The best way to pack for an international trip is to be aware of airport and airline restrictions for carry-on and check-in luggage, and to be adequately prepared for the unexpected.
The following advice from the staff of Scuba Diving Resource should help you avoid many of the common problems that passengers experience with checked luggage and to help start your dive holiday off right.
CUSTOMIZE THE LOOK OF YOUR BAG. MAKE IT EASY TO IDENTIFY
Many bags on a flight may have a similar design. Customize your bag to make it easier to spot on a baggage carousel. This will also keep other passengers from picking up your bag by mistake.
NEVER PUT YOUR ADDRESS ON YOUR BAGGAGE TAG
Your name and address must be on the outside of your baggage but for personal security reasons, you may want to use an address other than your home address. Or, just list a phone number and email address.
PREVENT LOST LUGGAGE
Add your name and address to the inside of every bag in case your luggage tag is accidentally removed in transit. The easiest way for airline employees to find you is to make an extra copy of your itinerary and place it inside your bag. Do this with your carry-on bag also, in case you are forced to check that bag at the last minute.
TAKE PICTURES OF ALL YOUR STUFF WHEN YOU TRAVEL
I take a digital picture of all the clothes, scuba gear, toiletries, gadgets, etc. that I carry with me to my dive destinations. I print it out several times. I leave one at home and I take another with my papers. In case my luggage gets lost, I know exactly what to claim.
USE TSA APPROVED LOCKS ON YOUR BAGGAGE
The TSA (Travel and Safety Administration) developed locks that security officers can open with special master keys. Be sure that you use these TSA-approved locks to keep your baggage safe!
IF YOU DON’T HAVE TSA APPROVED LOCKS ON YOUR LUGGAGE, TRY USING ZIP TIES
The TSA can easily cut them off if they need to inspect your luggage, but they will deter petty theft by baggage handlers since they need to be cut.
CHECK AIRLINE BAGGAGE ALLOWANCES
Carry-on and checked luggage size and weight rules may vary by airline or by flight. Check with your airline before you fly. Typically, international flights have different rules than domestic flights, If the first leg of your trip is a domestic flight, but your destination is overseas, then the international baggage fee rules may apply. Also, your airline may have different rules for different aircraft types. You may be required to check a standard sized carry-on, or even be charged for it by your airline.
BAG FEES MAY BE DIFFERENT FOR EACH PORTION OF YOUR FLIGHT
Baggage fee rules may be different for the outbound and return portions of your trip. For example, for an international flight, the fee rules for someone leaving the country may be different than for a passenger returning to that same country. While your bag fees will likely be the same if you are taking a domestic round trip with the same airline, that may not be the case if you purchased a ticket that involves different airlines for different parts of the trip.
WEIGH LUGGAGE CAREFULLY BEFORE GETTING TO THE AIRPORT
To avoid unnecessary expenses at the airport, or the stress of repacking at the check-in counter, weigh your bags and distribute weight evenly among them before leaving for the airport.
CHECK TO SEE IF YOUR AIRLINE WILL WAIVE YOUR BAGGAGE FEES
Depending your airline or your circumstances, you may not be charged baggage fees. Often, if you are a premium member of your airline’s frequent flyer program, you may be able to check one or more bags for free.
DON’T PACK HAZARDOUS GOODS
There are quite a number of items or materials, some of them not so obvious, that may pose a risk if taken on an aircraft. Check with your airline for its most current restrictions and policies and TSA guidelines for banned or prohibited items. Also check with your airline for any additional restrictions for individual nations.
MAKE SURES THAT THE AIRLINE TAG ON YOUR CHEKED LUGGAGE IS FOR THE CORRECT DESTINATION
Every piece of checked luggage should have a three-letter airport identifier that matches your destination airport. If you are unsure of the code, ask the ticket agent or skycap.
MAKE SURE THAT YOU KEEP THE STUB FROM YOUR CHECKED LUGGAGE
This stub is a critical document that will be needed if your luggage is lost by the airline or if you are trying to prove that you own a piece of luggage
IMMEDIATELY REPORT THE LOSS OF CHECKED LUGGAGE
If your checked bag does not arrive at your destination, immediately report this problem to the baggage agent or to any other available representative from your airline.
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