DEAR ABBY: I work in the Central Baggage Service office for a national airline. I am astonished at the amount of baggage and "lost" articles salvaged every year by the airlines. Every week we receive cameras, eyeglasses, binoculars, expensive pens and pencils, car keys, Bibles, wedding albums, books and every other imaginable article.
It really tears me up to throw away wedding, baby and family reunion pictures after holding them for four weeks -- which is our limit. If we can track down the owners, we return whatever they have left behind, but unfortunately, most of the articles have no identification on them.
In addition, we receive hundreds of pieces of "lost" luggage every year. About half of these we cannot return because the airline baggage tag has come off and there is no other way to track down the owner.
If passengers would put several pieces of identification on the bag -- as well as on the inside of the bag -- we could return it to the owner in a matter of a few hours.
Abby, the airline industry has improved greatly in retrieving lost baggage in the last few years. However, nothing would be lost if all the passengers would label their baggage inside and out -- and this includes carry-on luggage and hanging bags, which some travelers have walked off the plane and left behind! -- CHICAGO
DEAR CHICAGO: Thanks for an important letter. I hope this wakes up a few sleepy travelers.