Travel expert says luggage may cause more problems on flights

WTOP's Michelle Basch spoke with CBS News travel editor Peter Greenberg about the travel issues that he has seen first-hand.

Travel plans to Europe or Asia after years of COVID-19 restrictions, changing ticket prices and airline employee shortages may be just as difficult to navigate in 2022 as they were in 2020.

Increasingly long lines, flight cancellations, stories of luggage loss and more have had a significant impact on traffic even as travel requirements have waned.



WTOP’s Michelle Basch spoke with CBS News travel editor Peter Greenberg about what airplane riders can do to navigate trying times in the skies.

Greenberg told WTOP that, while airline tickets are falling as predicted — some deals are expected in the coming weeks — those visiting parts of Europe or Asia should think about their luggage and the likelihood of getting stuck.

“I just got back from Europe, and it’s a mess. It’s chaotic, and it’s not going to get better anytime soon,” he said.

Those traveling to Europe may end up losing their bags as airlines stop selling tickets for short and long-haul flights. Some like KLM Royal Dutch Airline are not allowing any bags at all, he said.

“So, right now, the best thing to do is sit out the summer, at least for European flights, and go after September 30,” Greenberg said.

He added that those trying to keep track of their luggage may be tempted to purchase air tags or similar tracking devices for their case. However, those could be less effective than a buyer may expect — some trackers are only effective near Wi-Fi and others require specific types of devices.

Instead, Greenberg suggested a two item solution that is much less costly, if someone can read your handwriting.

“The thing that’s always surefire for me is (to) open your suitcase, get a piece of really strong masking tape and a permanent marker and write on the inside of your bag your name, your cellphone number and your email address,” he said. “If the outer bag tag gets ripped off, they’ll have no idea who the bag belongs to.”

WTOP’s Michelle Basch contributed to this report.

Ivy Lyons

Ivy Lyons is a digital journalist for WTOP.com. Since 2018, they have worked on Capitol Hill, at NBC News in Washington, and with WJLA in Washington.

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