With flight and airport traffic reaching record levels, and global airline staffing issues, travelers to the airport can expect long lines, overbooked planes and lost luggage.

So what should you do if the dreaded lost luggage scenario actually happens?

Two employees who work for airports in Toronto and Vancouver recently gave their top tips for avoiding lost luggage. These include:

  • Removing old tags from your luggage, as they could confuse the scanners that direct bags to your flight. Also remove any decoration such as ribbons, rope, string or bows.
  • Not overstuffing your suitcase, as this may cause it to get stuck or misdirected on the belt.
  • Avoiding checking in oddly shaped baggage, such as round suitcases or backpacks with loose straps.
  • Making sure your name and phone number are attached to all bags and suitcases, even carry-on luggage.
  • Speaking of carry-on luggage, try to board early, as once the cabin is full, any excess carry-on bags will be checked.

If your bag has not appeared on the carouse, we recommend the following tips:

  • While this requires some foresight, don’t check any valuables, and try to pack an extra set of clothes in your carry-on.
  • Look immediately for your airline’s baggage office and follow their instructions.
  • Don’t panic — your bag may have just been delayed, and on its way on the next flight in.
  • If your bag is delayed, you’re likely entitled to compensation for replacement items bought while traveling, so make sure to keep all receipts.
  • And if the airline cannot find your luggage, and it’s confirmed missing, you’re entitled to content recompense. Each airline has their own policy, so make sure to check their online policies.