Having an airline lose your luggage can be one of the many frustrating complications of traveling. Mix in a few rude agents, a couple of delayed flights, شركة-نقل-عفش-الكويت and a stomach full of greasy airport food and you’ve gone from happy-go-lucky traveler to tired, ticked-off passenger! Before you completely lose your cool and take out the entire Delta customer service counter, there are a few things you can do to increase the chances of finding your lost bag and preventing further complication in the future.
What to do When You Lose Your Luggage
After you wait for your luggage on the carousel and it does not appear, look immediately for the airline’s lost luggage counter so that you may report your bag missing as soon as possible. It will often be a small office on the same floor as baggage claim. Have your baggage identification stubs given to you at check-in ready to give the agent. The bag identification stubs were given to you along with your boarding passes at check-in. The agent will use this unique number to try to locate your bag first. It is likely that your bag is on a later flight to your destination because it didn’t make it to the airplane in time for your flight.
If you bag isn’t located on another flight, the agent will initiate a bag search by calling baggage handlers working for the airline to begin tracking it down. Have a photo of your bag and your itinerary available to give the agent. You will then be asked to fill out a claim form that will ask for your personal contact information, information from your itinerary, and a detailed description of your bag. Make sure to keep a copy of this form for yourself.
If the agent tracks your bag and finds that it has reached the carousel, it could be that someone has taken your bag by mistake or someone has stolen your bag. It is time to call the police in this situation. File a police report and hope for the best. The police may not find your bag but filing a report comes in handy when you make a claim to your insurance company (if you have traveler’s insurance).
If the airline fails to find your bag, they will try to replace your bag with the closest match possible (in theory). The reality is that airline policies and fine print will only allow a certain budget to replace the bag. You also may be entitled to a reimbursement for items in the bag that are now floating around in luggage purgatory. Remember to be firm in your request for this reimbursement. They lost your bag, they should reimburse you what you have lost. I don’t want to say get ugly, but definitely don’t be a pushover!
Ways to Avoid Complications if Your Luggage is Lost
Always keep your baggage ID stubs! When you check in at the ticketing counter to get your boarding passes and check your bags, the agent will print out two stickers for your bag with a unique alphanumeric code. One sticker goes on the bag and the stub is given to you. This is a crucial piece of identification information when it comes to finding your lost luggage. Put it somewhere where you will not accidentally throw it away.
Check out traveler’s insurance. Travel insurance is available to cover lost luggage. If your bag is lost, not only will your insurance cover the value of the bag, but the insurance company will often intervene to help search for your bag. Check out to get a free quote.
Take a photograph of your bag and make sure you travel with that photograph. An easy way to ensure that you always have the photos on your person during travel is to take the photos with your cell phone. Make sure to include the bag’s details in the photos. For example, if the bag has a special pattern, make sure and get a close-up shot of the pattern, etc. When you visit the airline’s lost bag counter, the agents will ask you to describe your bag. Having a photo helps give the agent the bet idea of what your bag looks like.
Take a carry-on with you on your trip. Even if you cannot fit everything you need in one small carry-on bag, at least pack a light outfit and whatever else you may need for a day or two in case your luggage gets lost. Don’t forget that you cannot pack any liquids over 3 ounces, though!
If you are traveling with a friend, family, or your spouse, pack half your clothes in your bag and half in your travel companion’s bag. Have him/her do the same. It is very unlikely that the airline will lose both bags! This is a way to ensure that you will have a clean change of clothes for at least a few days.
Make your bag distinctive from other bags. Tie a colored ribbon around your bag so that you or an airline employee searching for your lost bag can easily recognize the bag. Do not use a red ribbon. This is the most common distinctive mark that travelers use. Pick a wacky pattern and have fun with it!