The Name Game

I read Christopher Reynolds' article ("Airport Baggage Thieves Know All Tricks of Trade," July 12) and in all cases but one, it was very informative. However, your first (tip)--to be sure one's name and address is on the bag--is wrong. One should always tag his name and a c/o address or phone number (I only list my name, city, state and phone number of a business associate). Why? If your bags are going overseas or a long distance, a baggage handler need only write down your address and, knowing you're to be gone for quite a while, can then go to your home and rip it off while no one is there. I know. It happened to me in New York City in 1964.



Christopher Reynolds replies: Police at LAX say they have no preferred policy when it comes to luggage identification, and that many travelers use their home addresses with no problems. However, if you are able to use a business address with your name, police say, that's probably a good idea. If not, you might consider luggage tags with covering flaps on them.

On the other hand, if you under-identify your bag, leaving only a name and a phone number that rings and rings, bomb-conscious airport police may be unable to confirm where it came from. Such luggage, they say, is often slashed open or blown up as a preventive measure.

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