Off the bat, here are a few things I've learned:
1. Don't travel with a lot of bags.
2. If you're travelling with a lot of bags, keep the important stuff in your carry-ons: passports, prescription medication (with prescription information), irreplaceable data, etc.
3. Document EVERYTHING in your checked bags and carry this with you and keep the information online somewhere. By everything, I mean note the size, color and brand of each checked bag. Then document everything you put in that bag. In the case of clothes, note (as best you can) item type, gender, size, color, cloth (!), brand, date and place of purchase, and price.
4. Buy your plane tickets using a credit card which provides lost baggage or travellers' insurance.
Here are some specific questions I have for other technomads:
1. Anyone else experience CDG over the last two weeks? Anyone else in the same boat? What was your experience.
2. Does lost/delayed luggage often find its way home after 10+ days? How common is this?
3. Beyond the airlines, is it possible/desirable to make contact with the airports themselves in the search for lost luggage?
4. Are there any third-party services which help with baggage recovery?
5. Is US small-claims court a helpful way of resolving these issues after exhausting the processes provided by the airlines?
Thanks in advance, and here's to a save, exciting, enlightening and well-travelled 2011!
my favorite anecdote is photographers who check a flare gun with their
five-figure equipment. (US) airlines have very little interest in the
regulatory nightmare that is losing a firearm. while I personally have
not checked a firearm, I do know it is a relatively straight forward
process and useful for ensuring checked luggage is not lost or stolen.
for international, I've always FedEx'ed important items.