Airport worker shares hack to prevent lost baggage

@flyontairport/TikTok Tyler Olson/ShutterStock (Licensed)

‘It might end up over there and not get on the plane’: Airport Worker shares hack to prevent lost baggage

‘Such a good PSA.’


Parks Kugle


A baggage handler at the Ontario International Airport shared a simple trick to prevent lost luggage: checking for old stickers from previous travel that may be stuck to your suitcase.

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The hack was filmed and posted by Ontario International Airport (@flyontairport), the official account of the California based airport. Viewed over 247,000 times and liked over 10,000 times, it sparked a light hearted conversation over travel tips.

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@flyontairport Pro Tip: If you dont want your bags to get lost when traveling… remove old stickers from past trips off your luggage. #FlyONT #SoCalSoEasy ♬ Sunshine – WIRA

The video begins with a group of airport workers gathered next to the conveyor belt as suitcases move past them to their designated planes.

“Let’s say you flew American and a month later you flew Southwest,” the baggage handler explains. “Well, there’s a little sticker that goes on for American that tells the computer to go there.”

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He points off camera, apparently to a certain conveyor belt.

“….It scans instead of this one,” he says as he gestures toward a tag on a bag’s handle. “There’s a chance it scans it instead of this one. It might end up over there and not get on the plane.”

Another airport worker walks over to the conveyor belt, pointing at one of the aforementioned stickers as an example.

The Daily Dot reached out to Ontario International Airport via email for further information.

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Many users were grateful for the advice, while some claimed that removing stickers was common knowledge and did not count as a hack.

“I always assumed this was common sense. Airlines won’t even put new stickers on your bag until the old one is off,” a user said.

“Who else leaves them on until the next flight for the desk to pull them?” another user joked.

“Oh my gracious. That’s such a high DUH factor,” a user said.

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“Such a good PSA,” a commenter exclaimed.

“Something I never thought about but makes so much sense,” a user stated.

Losing your bag is not a pleasant experience, but it’s becoming an ever-increasing reality. Labor shortages coupled with wage stagnation only heighten the issues caused by rampant airline mismanagement.

In December 2022, Southwest Airlines had a complete meltdown, stranding millions of passengers across the United States. During the unfolding fiasco, Southwest turned the blame toward their overworked staff instead of their outdated scheduling methods. The disaster ended up costing the company approximately $800 million in lost revenue. A few months later, Southwest was forced to briefly ground 1,750 flights due to a computer glitch.

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These issues are not isolated to a single airline or airport. U.S. Department of Transportation data shows how airlines mishandled bags at an increasing rate from 2021 to 2022. In April of 2022, airlines lost, delayed, damaged, or stole from approximately 220,000 bags of the 40 million they handled.

When traveling it’s best to carry on your luggage whenever possible, but if you’re not able to then checking in beforehand and making sure to remove any tags from previous trips is the best way to ensure your luggage makes it to the destination.

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