Home Tips and Tricks 8 Photos You Should Always Take Every Time You Fly

8 Photos You Should Always Take Every Time You Fly

by SharonKurheg

“Pictures, or it didn’t happen.”

In this day and age, it’s easy to take pictures of almost anything, at almost any time. Those quick and easy photos you can take with your phone are a great way to remember the good times that happened in your travels. But they’re also helpful to prove that something really did happen. Especially during your travels. This is why when you fly, you should always take photos of:

The stuff in your bags

You want to hope that your stuff won’t get stolen or lost, but sometimes it happens, even as early into your flight as at the TSA checkpoint. Or you may even leave something valuable (like electronics) there by mistake. If you take a photo of your valuables, you have proof that (A) they were in your bag and/or (B) they weren’t damaged when you gave the airline your bags.

Remember that if you have anything particularly valuable or breakable, you should try everything you can to keep it with you in your carry-on. Airlines will reimburse you for broken items up to a certain value but there are hoops to jump through and frankly, sometimes you want the actual item, not reimbursement. Anyway, here are some pointers on how to pack things so there’s less chance of breakage.

Your luggage when you check-in

If the airline damages your luggage, you’re going to want proof of the before and after, so the airline can’t claim that your bag already had that big dent in it. Take a photo of all six sides of your suitcase(s) before giving them to the workers at the check-in desk.

Your baggage tag

If you’re like me, you get the baggage tag from the check-in desk and shove it in a pocket. Then it mindlessly goes into a side pocket of one of your carry-ons when you have to empty your pockets to go through the TSA checkpoint. After that, who knows if you’ll throw it out by mistake or if you just don’t remember where it is.

If your bag is lost, you’re going to need that baggage tag. If you’ve taken a picture of it, it’s easy to find on your phone. Just make sure that all the letters and numbers are very legible.

Your boarding pass

Don’t post it online for everyone to see (here’s why), but if you have a problem with the airline and need to create a claim, you’re probably going to need your boarding pass.

The paper version, like the baggage tag, is too easy to lose or throw out. And even if you use their app, at least do a screen capture of your boarding pass since the apps don’t store them forever.

You at the gate

If you have a photo of you at the gate, especially with the date and time stamp, you can prove you were at the gate at whatever time. Should the airline need to bump someone and choose them based on who arrived last, you have proof that you were there with plenty of time to spare.

Your food and beverage, along with receipts

You have to have bought a certain type of ticket AND be stuck at the airport for a long, long time in order to be reimbursed for the money you spend on food and beverage. But if you get to that unfortunate point, having proof of what you consumed, as well as how much it cost could help with reimbursement. This is especially so if you’re in the EU, where reimbursement and compensation begin at the 3-hour mark. Make sure to get a good clear shot of your receipt, including the date and time.

How long you’re stuck on the plane

If you’re flying on a U.S. carrier in the U.S., you must be allowed to deplane after waiting on the tarmac for 3 hours (in the EU it’s 5 hours) or you may be eligible for compensation. So take a photo of how long you’re stuck there (use a timestamp).

You, once you land, if you’re late

This won’t do anything if you’re in the U.S., but if you’re flying in an EU carrier over the EU and have a flight delay that causes you to land over 3 hours late, you might be eligible for compensation. So if you’re that delayed, take a pic with a timestamp when you land.

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary


caveman January 30, 2020 - 9:29 am

Nice advice but too much work. I dont think I can do that although I agree to everything that you said

Lee @ BaldThoughts January 30, 2020 - 11:46 am

Great list. I would add that you should also take a photo of where you park your car so that it is easier to find when you return from a trip.

SharonKurheg January 30, 2020 - 11:48 am

Oooooooh, YES!

Jinxed_K January 30, 2020 - 1:34 pm

I do this all the time, especially in the giant multi story parking garages at airports or train stations.
Not necessarily a photo of the car itself, but the placard that shows the floor and section you’re parked in.

joeheg February 21, 2021 - 10:47 pm

Since we usually park at an off-site lot, they provide a card with our parking location. I guess we should start taking a picture of that as well.

WAE February 20, 2021 - 7:06 pm

Here’s another potential item for this excellent list: A picture of the license plate of any taxi you take to/from the airport. Try to get the name and phone number of the taxi company in the shot (or take a separate picture).

If you leave something behind, this information can help you get it back much more quickly. Think it can’t happen to you? Read up on the guy who left his Stradivarius (antique violin worth $4M [yes, million]) in his taxi!

Skeeties April 13, 2021 - 8:47 am

I had taken a picture of our taxi driver’s Medallion card because he was so nice. It turned out my husband left his laptop bag inside the cab (black bag – dark interior – bad combo). We showed the photo to the Bellman and he knew just who we needed!

Carl WV February 21, 2021 - 5:09 am

Add me for pics of where I park at the airport, casino, etc.. I also get a pic of the hotel room number, as I have had to ask a time or two. And pics of any blemishes on the rental car that may later be questioned.

DaninMCI February 21, 2021 - 6:47 am

All good advice but make sure to use a time stamp photo app for all this. I would add taking quick photos of all four corners of your rental car and the odometer when you drop that off as well.

Christian February 21, 2021 - 3:58 pm

I was wondering about the time stamp. Any suggested apps?

Carl WV February 21, 2021 - 5:13 pm

On my iphone I just view the photo and do a screen shot. The time, date, and place all show when viewing the photo. No app needed,

DaninMCI February 22, 2021 - 7:11 am

I use the Time Stamp Camera Android app and I think I have the same one on my company iPhone. It’s simple and works well. I’ll post the link to the play store but not sure it will work. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.jeyluta.timestampcamerafree&hl=en

Christian February 21, 2021 - 4:01 pm

I take a picture of the back of my credit cards I’m taking along, with the numbers except the last 4 digits covered by my thumb. That gives me a bank’s phone number and card reference in case my cards are lost or stolen.


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