The second rule of flying is to seriously label your luggage. You cannot put too many labels on to a bag that is going to be checked in. I take the precaution of also having luggage that is recognisable from a considerable distance, my current case being all colours of the rainbow which I found by chance at a handbag shop in Port Douglas, Far North Queensland!  Bright colourful luggage means you will be able to spot it when it comes in at completely different carousel to the one you are waiting by and also gives you a good description to give to the man who is totally disinterested in finding your luggage after it has not arrived from Paris or Heathrow, or wherever you changed planes at.  I remain convinced that Paris CDG only moves the luggage from Terminal One to Terminal Two once a day – and vice versa – after numerous occasions of having a no-show of luggage at my final destination. So now when I go via Paris CDG I take my luggage off at Terminal One and then lug it across to Terminal 2 myself – not easy with a wheelchair though my luggage has four wheels and can be pushed with one finger ! A vital necessity for the handicapped.
What you can take in your hand luggage has also changed massively over the years and it is necessary for all of us to conform. The liquids ban has me mystified. You can’t take liquids through security, but you can purchase them by the litre in Duty Free and then take them on the plane. Sales of such innocent stuff as water must have rocketed airside, and surely if you were inclined to blow up the plane, you would take whatever you needed in bottles of less than 100mls ? I had a clearish bottle of Oil of Olay confiscated at Security just he other day when they could see that it only had a half inch left in the bottom which I thought I would use up on my two week trip. But the label said it had 250ml originally in it, so it was over the limit. Had I bothered to decant it into a smaller bottle, etc. etc……. but life is too short for that as is taking the rules and regulations that far.
The first time I went to Australia, I phoned up Singapore Airlines to find out how I could take my pre-filled syringes of Humira and Methotrexate  (for my RA) with me. They said I could take the liquid in the aircraft fridge, but not the syringes.  A long discussion followed on what the words ‘pre-filled’ meant, but I eventually ended up wrapping the syringes in ice packs, putting them in my hold luggage and hoping for the best !
The absolute opposite of all this paranoia can be found at Adelaide Airport in Oz where (possibly due to the nearness of the Barossa Valley) you are allowed to carry up to six bottles of wine on to any internal flight as long as you haven’t unscrewed the lid for an early impromptu wine tasting and don’t put it in the overhead locker. The bottles are gently laid down at check-in and scanned with no trouble at all.
The two times my husband has taken me to stay at some of the most expensive hotels in the world – the Burj al Arab in Dubai for our 30th Wedding anniversary and The Residence in Tunisia (just because he was missing me after two month’s away !) I have arrived with only the clothes I had been wearing all day and no sign of my luggage anywhere. Admittedly these sort of hotels have everything provided in their bathrooms from dressing gowns to moisturiser, but it’s a clean pair of knickers you really want and a fresh t-shirt that hasn’t been flying for the last 24 hours ! The only shops you will find nearby are Designer Shops of the Burberry and Gucci variety and the cost of a pair of extremely flimsy knickers is likely to bring on a heart attack at the very least ! Also those Designer Shops have never heard of a size 16 and the size they label ‘extra large’ would be hard pushed to fit an 8 year old in.
So whilst sticking all those labels on your luggage, put a pair of spare knickers in your hand luggage and pray your handbag doesn’t get searched at security and your smalls displayed to one and all on that moving belt ! Lost luggage does eventually turn up, usually just after you get back from shopping for new clothes to wear !

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