While flying, keep a handle on your suitcase with a luggage tag. Picture: Luggage Pros.

Hey you - you with the nondescript black suitcase! Don't let your luggage leave your home tagless. It could be making a one-way trip. 

Luggage tags set your property apart from the masses of indistinguishable bags that spin around on airport conveyor belts. And your bag is far more likely to get lost or picked up by the wrong passenger in its natural state.

Airlines actively encourage passengers to tag their bags before they arrive at the airport. 

For example, Alaska Airlines includes a print-it-yourself luggage tag on its website. "We recommend placing identification on the inside of the baggage, too," the Southwest Airlines website notes.

When it comes to luggage tags, travelers have more options than ever these days. 

There are tags that can track your checked-in suitcases and tags that can make almost any personal statement you care to make. Diana Lambdin Meyer, a travel writer based in Kansas City, Missouri, opts for a personal approach. 

Her husband, Bruce, is a photographer, and she used an online site to have some of the images he captured in their travels made into luggage tags. "We had about 100 printed," she says, "and gave them as Christmas gifts."

But when it comes to ingenuity, Team DIY has an edge. Jeanne Datz Rice, a small-business owner from Honolulu, prefers thick, grosgrain ribbons, in bright orange, for her luggage. "I can find my luggage quite easily," she says.

Laine Wightman, a manager for an engineering firm in Hernando Beach, Florida, uses neon duct tape, which she wraps around her nondescript black bags. "They look very trashy," she admits. "But I can spot them easily in the midst of all the black bags."

Richard Frisbie, a travel writer, takes a similarly drastic approach: He defaces his luggage so it will stand out. 

"I spray paint a random design on my bag so I can spot it across baggage claim areas, buses - anywhere," says Frisbie, who is based in Saugerties, New York.

By next summer, airlines worldwide are expected to adopt new radio-frequency identification technology, or RFID, to improve luggage handling and transfers under the International Air Transport Association's Resolution 753.

This industry-wide agreement mandates that member airlines track baggage at key points in the journey, including passenger handover to the airline, loading onto the aircraft, delivery to the transfer area and return to the passenger. In other words, once it's up and running, the most important tag may be the one your airline attaches to your checked luggage.- The Washington Post.