And there you go! The plane just has touched the ground. As soon as you came to the terminal, you logged into your travel-app looking for arranging a taxi to reach the destination. Meanwhile, you are hungry, so you are thinking about reaching the food court before leaving the terminal. Your dream tour is just about to begin! Well, first things first; you march towards baggage carousel to collect your backpack. But it seems like forever waiting- other passengers have already collected their bags and the belt slows to a trickle, then stops. Your luggage is nowhere in sight. It’s one of a traveler’s worst nightmares, to lose their travel bag in the airport.
No matter how well the airport security and the authorities help you deal with this issue, when the luggage is not in your custody, you certainly can guarantee you’ll get back what you have lost. Daily, hundreds of holidaymakers who are departing from well-known to cheap airports have to deal with this satiation. To me, it happened not once, not twice, but three times where I arrived but my luggage didn’t. And now, after so many obstacles, over these years I’ve learned how to deal with this. So to help you navigate I’ve compiled a detailed list of what to do when your luggage gets lost.
Even though the situation is really awful, panicking will not help you in any way. Whereas, decisions that are taken under a stressful situation, can backfire most of the time. Chances are that your bag was simply misplaced and can be retrieved after a simple search. Most of the time the mishandled bags are just delayed and only a few are truly lost which needs further investigation. Modern airline security has very sophisticated methods to operate search and rescue, so the chances are that you might get it back sooner than you think. But, even though, you have to follow this below basic process.
Know Your Rights:
It’s important that you know your rights. Every carrier company has certain rules and stipulations that include the rights of the flyers. So the airline has to abide those rules to help you get the lost luggage back or compensate if they failed to retrieve. Even if the bag reaches you with torn, damaged, or missing wheel, you should have the rights to get the payment for repair. But it’s also true that they can be evasive and pass the responsibility to any other airlines you have traveled or to the insurance company. Whatever the final decision is, in all senses, you must be aware of your rights regarding the loss.
Go to the baggage claim office and file a claim:
If your bag is lost or delayed report it to the claim office as early as possible. Include as many details as possible. Filing a complaint won’t take hours. But the important thing is to make sure the paperwork of enlisted complains. If the luggage gets on the wrong flight and if the security personnel successfully located the bag, still ask them to file a report and confirm that you get the proof of the claim. Don’t forget to write down the name of the person who helped you with the report and get a follow-up phone number. Ask them when you can get an update about this claim and if the bag is found then will the airline pay the charge to deliver your bag to your hotel.
Follow up with the airline & Monitor the search for your bag:
The good news is most of the airline allows the customer to keep an eye to track the complaint by a user-generated login access. In most of the cases, if the luggage can’t retrieve within three weeks, it will be declared as lost. But if there is no tracking system that you can monitors while you are on vacation, don’t wait for them to call you to update, be proactive and get the update on your own. Since you have paid the baggage fee to make sure it’ll be there when you reach, you deserve the money back.
So now it’s officially confirmed that your luggage has been lost, it’s time to get a refund for what you have lost. The exact claims process varies by airline, but regulations cap reimbursement at $3,500 per traveler for domestic flights and around $1,600 for most international flights.
Normally you can get a portion of the lost (depreciated amount) unless you have sufficient proof that the lost items were brand-new. There are some other sources that might cover your loss. Some credit card companies provide insurance for purchasing expensive items inside the bag. So before you make the purchase, check your provider for details.
Meanwhile, you must check your credit card balance to know whether you already have got the reimbursement.
The ounce of prevention- Before you hand over your bag:
It’s always better to take the advantages to safeguard your precious bags. Put a copy of your itinerary, take a picture of the luggage and make sure you have got all the receipts of the items that you have purchased which might be beneficial while claiming the refund.
Consider checking in early to avoid separation from your bag. As it takes time, reach ahead of schedule time, the earlier you can check in, the better.
Photo evidence also helps to identify, so take the photo of your bag to show the carrier security personnel who is helping you to locate your lost bag. You can take a snap of the inside of the bag which can help you to claim for the lost items.
If you are traveling in international connecting flight, know that you may have to pick your luggage, check it and process the boarding pass again. According to pro travelers, this process takes near about 2 hours. So make sure you have got adequate and avoid tight layovers to secure your bag. Better to book non-stop flight and book a flight that has a good track record for lost luggage.
If your bag still has the barcode tag on it from the last time you flew, consider removing all barcodes before boarding pass. Give some identifying sign to separate your bag from others or give some additional security layer as tagging them.
Upgrade to Luggage Tag:
Adding travel tag is basically an extra security layer that might lessen the chance of anything being stolen from your luggage. Proper tagging your travel luggage ensures the identification and the written address and contact info helps to get it bad sooner than you think. Since mistake can happen, while handing over the bag, you should ensure, the plastic tag card has both correct name and destination info. So consider purchasing the custom luggage tag for your bag that makes it easier for airlines to trace your bag if it goes missing. Let’s know other benefits of owning a luggage tag.
- In a busy airport, it’s easy to mix-up your belongingness with other that made difficult to spot the bag and it might go out of your sight before you pick it from carousal.
- When your luggage has personal identification, it will remove the chances of confusion and prevent someone from accidentally picking up yours.
- Makes it easy to send to the destination after being lost or delayed
- It also makes your luggage unique and distinguished from others.