I dropped off some luggage today at the airport into the hold for my flight, the person at the desk attached a part of my baggage tag to my boarding pass so I can identify my bag.

I lost my boarding pass while at the security area, I have it in electronic form so not to worry. Is there an issue with me loosing that part of my bag tag with the number on it? What about if my bag gets on the wrong plane, does this identify it?

  • 1
    As a tip for the future, if you have a boarding pass in electronic form, it's very likely you're carrying a smartphone with a camera. Take a picture of your baggage receipt and now you have that in electronic form too.
    – Max
    Feb 26, 2020 at 10:23

1 Answer 1


In theory, you can be asked to show that receipt when claiming your bags. (I faintly remember having to do this at JFK once.) Also in theory, if your bag is not there, some of the numbers on that receipt will be useful for tracing it. However I have had lost ("delayed") bags on numerous occasions and they've never asked for the tag or the numbers.

In practice you won't end up using that receipt for anything. Even if security demands it to release your bag, some ID proving that your name is the name on the handle tag will clear things up soon enough. If things go wrong, there's a chance it will help, but not having it won't mean you can't have your bag or it will never be found. These things are recorded electronically, not only on your slip of paper.

  • 12
    As an anecdote, the only place I have ever had to show a matching receipt for a checked bag was in a regional airport in Siberia. It seems to be a very rare thing to have to do.
    – Peter M
    Feb 25, 2020 at 0:40
  • I was asked for the tag in Los Angeles once but it was very long ago.
    – badjohn
    Feb 25, 2020 at 8:23
  • 2
    In practice, in most cases the main purpose of the baggage receipt would seem to me as to allow YOU to verify that the bags had indeed been checked in and properly entered into the system. If you'd not even checked a bag in (e.g. accidentally left it in hotel room or back of a taxi or next to a bench you sat on before your check-in desk opened, etc.), you wouldn't have a corresponding tag, and would realise that the missing bag was never even checked in. (If you have a large number of bags this is a more plausible scenario than if you're only checking in one or two)
    – Steve
    Feb 25, 2020 at 8:24
  • 3
    The bag tag is registered into the DCS (Departure Control System), so the airline knows exactly which passenger registered which bag on which plane without any piece of paper -- a necessary measure to know which bags to remove from which plane in case of no-show. The bag tag can expedite the process of asking for a bag (barcode) but should never be necessary. Feb 25, 2020 at 8:26
  • 3
    I have been asked for the tag at Bole (Addis Ababa) but there because of the queue for visa on arrival the baggage has been standing for a long while so there are security issues. It has not happened to me every time though.
    – mdewey
    Feb 25, 2020 at 14:04

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