You’ve just reached your holiday destination; you are so excited and can’t wait to hit the pool. The last thing you need to do is to pick up your bag, and you are ready to go. You patiently wait at the luggage claim. Something tells you that it’s taking too long. Then another batch of bags from different flight lands on the platform. You start to lose all hope. An hour later you need to face the truth: your luggage has been lost. Your mood turns from bad to worse, and you don’t feel like holidaying anymore.
We understand your frustration like no one else. No matter if it’s already happened to you, or you are preparing for your next trip, check out this list. You can actually do a lot to avoid losing your stuff at the airport.
Label your luggage
Simple as that. Put a nametag on in with your address and contact number. You can put an additional tag inside the bag. This is the simplest way to identify the owner. Moreover, it makes your bag stand out.
Take only carry-on Luggage
If you are able to pack lightly (and we are sure you can!), don’t buy additional luggage. Travelling with a carry-on bag is much safer, because you can keep an eye on it at all times. Sometimes, even paying for a larger carry-on luggage pays off better. It can not only you save money, but also make sure that your things won’t get lost.
Keep your valuables close
Packing time! Expensive electronics, delicate things and anything valuable to you should go straight in your carry-on luggage. You don’t want to lose any of those things. Have you seen how airport staff treats big bags? Don’t think yours will get any better treatment.
Take a picture
Maybe you think it’s absurd, but what’s the brand of your suitcase? And what’s inside? When lost, you’ll have to provide all that information. If you take a picture, you can just pass it to the customer service, and there will be no mistake.
Review your travel insurance
When obtaining travel insurance, make sure that it includes compensation for delayed flights and lost luggage. If it does, the insurance company will help you retrieve your belongings or compensate you for it.
Check-in on time
Most lost bags are found within 24 hours. They are just delayed. If you check-in late, you may board your plane, but your bag needs more time. When the boarding pass says, “Be there three hours before the flight”, be there. The note is there for a reason: airport staff need time to pack everything inside the plane.
Leave plenty of time between flight connections
Transfers between flights may delay your luggage, as well. When you buy a ticket, sometimes a warning pops up saying that the chosen transfer might be risky. Again: you can get another plane, but your stuff can be left behind.
Track luggage yourself
24/7 monitoring of your luggage can be guaranteed by smart Trackers. The rule here is very simple: you just tag it on your suitcase and synchronize it with a mobile app. Once connected, you can check your bag’s position on a map and receive notifications if it’s out of reach. So, if you lose your bag, you just need to check the last-seen location, and you can clearly see where it went.
Unfortunately, we assume that you are here because your luggage is lost
We know you are probably stressed out of your mind, but take a deep breath and follow our list step-by-step, and you will painlessly go through all the necessary procedures.
Hold on to your bag tag
Keep an eye on the bag tag you received from the airline while checking-in your luggage. It has the most important identification number and is proof that you’re the owner of that particular item.
Fill out a baggage claim at the airport
Rule number one: don’t leave the airport until the airline is notified. No matter how exhausted or upset you are, you need to ride this out. Filling out the Property Irregularity Report is a paper trail of when and where the loss happened.
You will find a claims office or a designated employee in the area of the luggage claim. If not, find the reservation desk, and file the complaint there. The form should always include your name, date and time of flight, flight number and the final destination. It’s also good to provide a delivery address fir when your bag is found. It might be your hotel if you’re on vacation, or your home address if you are returning.
Be nice to the people who are trying to help you. Throughout the day they’ve probably had few cases like yours already, and they do what they can to find your property. Let them do their job!
Itemize the contents of your bags
Remember when we told you to take the picture of the bag? Now is the time to make a list of all the items that were inside. The more details you put in the form, the better.
Apply for a check-in bag fee refund
The airline shouldn’t be paid money to lose your bag. Claim a refund of the check-in fee. Since the bag is missing and didn’t get to the destination, which was the responsibility of the airline, you should be compensated.
Claim for your losses
Moreover, you can ask the airline to compensate you for some of your lost stuff. They can, and should, pay for your necessities, such as toiletries, underwear, a change of clothes, etc. Don’t smile at that Rolex watch though, because that won’t be covered as essential. Check the spending limit first, and remember to keep the receipts as proof of purchase.
Check bag status
Get the contact number and web address for monitoring your bag's progress. You will be able to see right away if the bag has been found without calling client support every hour.
Use the ultimate method
If the airline doesn’t seem to be helpful, hit social media. There’s no better way to get their attention. Unsatisfied clients are their worst PR nightmare. Publish your history on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. They simply can’t ignore it. There’s always a threat that your story will go viral, and they have a reputation to protect.
If you have any other tips, share them with us!