What to do if your travel bag gets exchanged with someone else's bag

Have you ever got your travel bag exchanged with someone else's? Have you ever lost a travel bag with all the important documents in it? Go through the following sections to know what to do if you fall in this type of a trouble.


Everyone who has traveled to various places must have lost their bags at least once. Among them, a few get their bags back and few loose it forever. Well, I once got my travel bag exchanged with another person and had quite a trouble locating both the person and my bag. I have lost my bag quite a few times. But this was the first time, when it got exchanged with someone. I think, since my bag was not lost and just got exchanged, I got it back. This was an incident that happened last year, when I traveled with my family. First, let me tell you what to do to always keep track of your bags. Then in the next section, I will give you tips to track your bag, in case it gets exchanged with somebody else's bag.

Keep your bags at your responsibility

  1. Keep someone in charge : If you are traveling with your family, then there are high chances of having an umpteen number of trolley bags and backpacks. In that case, keep a person in charge of counting the number of bags. This is how, we tracked that one bag was lost. Although the rest of the people who are not in charge of counting will, keep at least one bag with them.
  2. People around you : Take good notice of the people who are coming around you or leaving you. As happened with us that we did not notice the person, with whom our bag exchanged. Had we kept a check on the people coming and sitting beside us and then leaving, then our bag would not have lost in the first place. As far as practicable, take a note of people leaving the seat next to you and leaving. This is in case of people who are carrying trolley bags or suitcases with common color combinations. Such bags are generally kept on the floor and can be easily mistaken and dragged away by other travelers.
  3. Never leave your bags alone : Some people have the tendency to leave the suitcases on the floor and going to the restrooms. Sometimes people travel alone, then they have to leave their suitcases alone. In that case, ask your fellow passengers or travelers to keep an eye on your bag. Leaving your bags alone might give rise to problems. The bag might get exchanged unintentionally with someone, or else it might be marked as a suspicious bag and seized by the policemen.

What to do if your bag gets exchanged unintentionally

  1. Ask the people around : If even after taking care of the above points, your bag gets exchanged, immediately bring this to the notice of all the people or passengers nearby and ask them. Describe the color and other features of the bag to those people and ask if they had seen anybody carrying your bag. You will get half the important information from them. They might have seen the person who was sitting next to you. You might get the description of the probable person who took your bag. That is what happened to me. When I asked an elderly couple sitting close to us, they mentioned that a young man was sitting close to them, who might have left with the bag by mistake. So while referring about him to the ticket counter we had a description to tell. We mentioned at the ticket counter that if such a person with such features comes with the bag, then they should inform us at our phone number.
  2. Check for the exchanged bag : If someone has taken the bag by mistake, he must have left his own bag there. If you look closely, then you will definitely find a bag that is unclaimed and lying near to you. It will obviously be the bag of the person who took your bag by mistake. If you look carefully, then that bag will possess almost similar features as that of your bag. In our case, my bag was a backpack as that of the one exchanged with. The color combinations also were almost similar. I immediately took notice of that bag and checked the side pockets. To my luck, I got the ticket of the ferryboat, which that person was supposed to show at the ferry gate. This was the same ferry, which me and my family were supposed to board. In your case, if you go through the side pockets, you will definitely find either a ticket or an identity card or at least any other important document that will reveal the identity of the person.
  3. Announce the person's name to inform him : There are many cases, where the person who has taken the bag by mistake, realizes this within a couple of minutes and comes back to the place where he has taken it from. In our case that did not happen. So we informed all the persons at the ferry gate. We informed about this exchange at the ticket counter and the waiting room of the ferry ghat. We asked everyone nearby if he was the person of the name the ticket mentions. We told the ticket counter to announce his name to collect his bag from us an give ours in return. You can do all these. If your bag gets exchanged in a running train or cruise, then mere announcing his name by the ticket checker will help. But if your bag gets exchanged at the waiting room like ours, then you must announce the name and this event as quickly as possible. In fact, we scanned the queue waiting to get into the ferryboat and asked each one if he was the person. Finally, hearing the announcement this person came and admitted the mistake. Each one got the respective bags and everyone went back home happily.


So, finally I got my bag back. I can't even imagine what would have happened if I didn't get back. All my identity cards, including my voter card and aadhar card was in that bag. In fact, it also included all these identity cards of my family members. Always these kinds of mistakes are common when you travel. Never panic, think with a cool mind and you will get a solution. Lastly, always take the help of surrounding people, government officials and policemen during this vulnerable situation.

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