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Coping with Lost Luggage

Sunday, February 10th, 2013

We’ve all felt the intense anxiety that comes with the long wait at the baggage carousel. Every case seems to look like yours, your case always seems to be the last one to appear and you cannot help but think it will never come out. But what do you do if your luggage really is lost? Here’s what to do if you’ve lost your luggage.

Image: Lasse C

Inform the Airline
Your baggage may not come out of the carousel so it is best to speak to the airline as soon as possible. There should be a representative or a help desk for baggage so make sure you have all of your flight details and tickets handy to show them. They will usually ask you to fill out a form giving all the details of your lost baggage. Remember to try and remain calm as your baggage may only be delayed and the airline may be able to track it down for you. However, after a 21 day period has lapsed, your baggage is officially declared lost.

Ask the Airline for Help
The airline may be able to offer some emergency compensation during the 21 day waiting period if you are in need of clothes and toiletries. Try to keep a change of clothes and some toiletries in your cabin bag to ensure you have something in case of lost luggage. Airlines are all different therefore some may offer you a set daily payment over the 21 day waiting period. They may only offer a refund for any expenses you incur while you wait for the luggage to be declared lost. Ensure you keep all receipts for anything you buy in this time.

After the 21 Days
Your baggage is now lost and you have to make a claim to the airline for compensation. Bear in mind that they will rarely offer you the full value of your case and its contents so ensure you include everything in your claim in order to get the maximum amount of compensation. The airline may want to see receipts for very expensive items and will need to see your baggage claim receipt and your flight ticket stubs.

Claim on your Travel Insurance
You can make a claim on your travel insurance for lost or stolen baggage. Inform your holiday representative or hotel who will be able to make a report for you. The travel insurance company will need to be shown proof that you took care of your luggage appropriately during travel and that your baggage was lost due to the fault of someone else. Remember to try and keep receipts of things you have bought after you lost your luggage.

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