It used to be quite a tradition to keep stickers from destinations you'd been on your luggage after your travels, rather than ripping them off, building up souvenirs over time. This seems to me like a fun idea. However, I haven't seen it as much recently.
I think there are four main types of baggage sticker:
- "Fun" stickers with no meaning to airport personnel. These seem harmless and I assume you could add them/leave them in place.
- Miscellaneous security stickers specific to various airports/airlines. Again, many people seem to be able to leave them in place.
- Regular large bag tags, usually looped round the handle. I normally remove these after each trip, and I assume not doing so could confuse things.
- Mini barcode stickers (I'm not sure what the official name is), to act as a "backup" for the regular bag tags, stuck directly to the luggage. Again, I normally remove these.
(and of course your baggage receipt, which is normally attached to your boarding pass or given to you separately)
I noticed the other day someone with mini barcode stickers all over the outside of their bag. However, I understand that many airports these days have automated scanners that read these. If I was to start the same habit, would my bag end up in the wrong place one day? What about the other types, especially the regular bag tags?