Many frequent flyers and some ill-fated first time flyers have had lost baggage on a journey. Not that many people lose luggage but if it happens to you it is a big deal. Although 98% of these lost or misplaced bags are usually recovered within a day or two.

How could this even happen? As your bag goes through check in the attendant attaches a tag to identify the bag. This tag contains a bar code and information to recognize you and your flight. Then the bag is sent to Security for screening.

After which, your bag is usually placed on a conveyor belt, where networks of scanners send your baggage to the correct loading area. Workers then sort the luggage to the correct cargo loading areas.

If you are changing planes, at your next stop the crew gets a computer generated list, which tells them which baggage to sort to the baggage claim and which bags to reroute to the next plane.

If everything goes according to plan there will be no mix ups and your suitcases will arrive on schedule. These details make it pretty clear how mistakes could happen.

What is the best way not to lose your luggage? If you only have carryon bags you can make sure there are no mix ups. This will also save you time as you waltz out to your awaiting taxi, while your fellow passengers are still milling about the luggage claim.

Often times a carryon will not have enough room for your things. You may need to check your luggage. In this case there are some things you can do to lesson the chances of your bags getting lost.

Reserve a trip that doesn't have any baggage transfers. Avoid flights that have stops along the way or where you have to swap airplanes.

Get wild with your luggage choices, it not only sets you apart, but it will set your baggage apart, as well. If your case is a solid color or less distinctive put a distinctive tag or ribbon on it.

Avoid confusion by removing any airline tags from any other destination. You don't want any extra variables thrown into the equation. Leave a note in your suitcase with your name, address, and flight and destination. That way if it does get mixed up, or accidently opened, there will be no questions about who it belongs to, and where it is heading.

Check in early to put a stop to last minute rushes and confusion. Also once the attendant tags your bag, do a quick check, to make sure the flight and place listed are correct. Keep your baggage claim ticket someplace where you can find it.

If your case is too full it could accidently open which could cause your things to get lost or even your bag to get lost, if it is held up and misses your flight.

Things you don't want to risk losing should be kept on your person or where you can keep an eye on them in your carryon. There is no reason to create unnecessary risk and temptation. If you follow a few of these common sense tips hopefully you can avert being in the group of people who have had to deal with the hassles of having their suitcases lost.