Why Losing Your Luggage Is The Year’s Most Underrated Travel Hack

Losing your luggage can be the ultimate in travel frustration, but when flying with this airline it may come with unexpected benefits.

Why Losing Your Luggage Is The Year’s Most Underrated Travel Hack

Image: Cruise Critic

With the news that lost luggage hit record highs this year and a baggage handler’s revelation that all these losses might be passengers’ own fault, you’d be forgiving for finding our headline’s claim — that losing your bags might constitute something of an underrated travel hack — a little leftfield.

However, it seems that if you travel with one particular European airline, this may just be the case. We’ll use a case study of one family’s experience with lost luggage on IcelandAir to perfectly illustrate our point. Talking to CNN, they describe their story as follows…

WATCH: TikTok Travel Influencer Reveals Sneaky Hack For A Free Hotel Lunch

Losing Your Luggage… Twice

Setting off on their travels last December, David G Allan’s family set off on their holidays from the States to Munich, flying with a major US carrier. However, one of their bags didn’t arrive with them in Europe and, as a result, Allan’s wife spent the first week of their trip washing and re-wearing one outfit while the whole family went without jackets and boots.

Anyone who has spent time in Europe during winter will know this is far from ideal and so, in the second week of their trip, they spent a great deal of time trudging around Austrian malls in the hope of replacing their geat. The carrier never even answered calls to their lost luggage phone lines and blanked emails with similarly unrelenting silence.

Iceland’s capital, Reykjavik. Image: Much Better Adventures

They finally got hold of their luggage a whole week after returning home to the States and, while the issues marred last year’s trip they also inspired a different course of action this time around. Heading to Iceland for Thanksgiving this year, Allan’s first decision was to put an AirTag in his bags — smart. He also packed a carry-on with gloves, scarves, etc, just in case lightning did strike twice…

And you better believe it did. After an all-round traumatic flight experience which I won’t relay in full — but involves 10-hour delays and sprinting for connecting flights — Allan and co. found themselves standing at Reykjavik’s lost luggage counter with their AirTags showing bags… in Boston.

The baggage agent handed his family two things. First, a bag containing some basic toiletries to survive their first night. Then, more noteworthy, handed them an address for a shop before saying:

“There you can rent whatever cold weather items you need, and they will charge the airline.”

IcelandAir Representative

The Safest Country In The World

The agent also said they’d text with an update on their lost bags… a tale Allan had heard too many times before. After touching base at their accommodation, the family went along to the named address and, without blinking an eye, were given industrial-grade parkas and Nordic-style socks to keep warm and, before the day was out, they also received a text from IcelandAir saying their bags were en route…

The next day they received a further update saying the bags could be delivered that same day but, as they were out seeing the sites, had to arrange for the following day. When Allan then realised he wouldn’t be able to collect them that day either, he became a little frustrated. Luckily, baggage agent Helga suggested leaving them with the AirBnB host, who themselves replied with some sage words of advice…

“This is fine, Iceland is the safest country in the world.”

AirBnB Host

The next day, Allan and his family returned from a day at the waterfalls to find their bags on the dining table of the AirBnB. His wife got to keep her parka for the remainder of the trip and Allan got to keep his Nordic-style socks for good.

So, while lost luggage may be the bane of many a life, it seems that if you lose your luggage with IcelandAir it may just constitute something of a secret travel hack, not only getting your bags back in recorded time but coming out with a cosy little freebie too. Other carriers take note.