Bus Trips Or Amtrak Trips

We are all usually in a rush when load- ing our luggage on the bus on ski club trips. So, if everyone cooperates and adheres to the few simple guidelines listed below, we should not have any problems with misplaced luggage on bus trips and everyone will be happier.

1. First and foremost, since many of us have the same type or similar looking luggage, please tag your luggage with your name and address. Also, it is suggested that you tag luggage in an unique manner --special tape, colored yarn, bright colored luggage tags, etc. --so that it will be readily recognized by you as your own.

2. You are responsible for seeing that your luggage is put on the bus or train. Don't leave it sitting next to the bus or train and expect that someone else will take responsibility for it. You do not have to put it on the bus or train yourself. Many times that is not possible and often the bus driver or train attendant will want to load the luggage in order to maximize the space in the luggage bay. But, we suggest that you don't get on the bus or train until you see your luggage placed in the luggage bay. This way you will know that nothing was left behind.

3. You are also responsible for making sure that your luggage is removed from the bus or train. Make sure all your luggage is accounted for before heading off to the condo/room/check-in. Again, don't expect someone else to take responsibility for your belongings.

4. If you find that you have, the wrong luggage, contact the person whose luggage you have and make arrangements to get it to them. If you can't locate the owner of the luggage, contact the trip leader.

5. If you have a problem, let the trip leader know as soon as possible so that they can help.

AIR TRAVEL

As with a bus trip, always tag your luggage. The airline will insist upon it. Missing luggage at the end of a flight is a problem on many occasions and is the responsibility of the airline. On many flights, luggage is removed from the plane to meet weight requirements. This is espe- cially true when flying to ski resorts. The combination of smaller planes, weather, altitude, and air temperature all affect a plane's ability to gain lift. Thus luggage is sometimes removed and sent on a later flight.

Do not panic or get upset. Report any missing luggage (you will need to check the bar code of the missing piece) to the airline baggage claim desk. They will handle the problem. Let them know where you are staying (at the beginning of the trip) or your home address (at the end of the trip ). When the luggage is located, it will be delivered to you. Usually, it will arrive later that same day or sometimes the following day. Let them know what is missing (skis, boots, clothing, etc.) and that you will not be able to ski without them. The airline should reimburse you for any expenses (rental of equipment and/or clothing that you will incur. And always keep a set of underwear, socks, a basic toilet kit and your prescription medicines in your carryon. That will get you through the first day of vacation if your luggage is ever lost or delayed.

Film

With the increased security procedures in place in airports today, there are certain things travelers should do to protect their undeveloped film. Some of them are:

* Equipment used to screen checked bags will damage undeveloped film, so never place undeveloped film in checked bags.

*Place film in your carry on baggage or request a hand inspection.

* Carry-on screening equipment may also damage some film if it passes through more than five times. If your film has already passed through security more than five times, if it is higher than ASA 800, if you intend to push process the film or if you intend to underexpose the film, you may request a hand-inspection.

* However, non-U.S. airports may not honor this request, so if you plan to hand- carry undeveloped film on an airplane at an international airport, contact the airport security office at that airport to request a manual inspection.

* To hand check, carry your film in clear canisters or take the film out of solid colored canisters and put it in clear plastic bags to expedite the screening process.

* None of the screening equipment used for checked baggage nor carry-on baggage will affect digital camera images or film that has already been processed, slides, videos, photo compact discs, or picture discs. Other tips and precautions:

*See www.tsa.gov for more detailed information.