Lost Baggage - What Should I Do

12 Nov 2012 by Olga Brighton

Travel Insurance Tips

One of the most terrible inconveniences you might face during a trip is the lost baggage. You are standing all alone in the middle of an airport and not knowing what to do next. If you are lucky the baggage will be found within 24 hours, but what if you are not lucky?

What should you do first in this case? How to speed up delivery of your baggage?

Be always prepared for unexpected situations such as lost baggage

We never think something bad might happen to us. According to Murphy's Law, such things happen at the most unsuitable moment spoiling the entire trip. Remember that living life is like being in an army. Always be on the alert! So follow the advice and experience of other travellers as follows:

  • Don't pack more than the absolute essentials, do not overload.
  • Always keep one light change of clothes and underwear in carry-on in case of lost luggage.
  • Don’t pack documents, electronics and valuables in the bag you are going to check in.
  • Pack some old clothes you wouldn't mind leaving behind.
  • Finally, don't pack anything you are not ready to lose!

What to do first?

lost and found service

The first thing you should do in this adventure is to turn to the Lost and Found service. Branches of the Lost and Found сompany are present in almost all large airports in the world. You will have to show your punch-out from baggage label and fill a special form. Remember that the form should be composed in two copies: one for you and the other for the airline.

Lost and Found representatives add your information to the global system of finding lost luggage called World Tracer. The system looks for coincidences in the database. If the search is successful Lost and Found representative will inform you about terms of delivering the baggage.

The baggage is usually delivered within 24 hours. Airport workers should send it with the nearest flights. Remember that if the baggage won’t be delivered within 24 hours then your airline company should deliver it to the address you specify.

What if the baggage is not found?

lost backpack

Your things are considered to be officially lost if they are not found within 21 days. If you don’t hear anything from companies within 5 days you will have to create a list of things that were in your bag or backpack. This usually helps to find the bags quicker. If the baggage is definitely lost, your airline company should compensate the losses. Most companies pay for baggage weight, e.g. £20 per 1kg. They don’t care if you carried papers or iPhones. Note that all companies suggest taking all valuables with you to the cabin.

Why the baggage gets lost?

stolen luggage

There are a lot of reasons of this: from eventualities to crimes. The most common reason of the lost is when the registration label gets come off. It might happen during the loading on a plane, transporting to another plane or unloading. The unidentified bag is passed to the Lost and Found service. Sometimes the baggage is lost because of computer bugs or human factor. The worst case is when your bag is stolen.

If the valuable baggage is stolen you usually won’t be able to get back the full cost of it. All airline companies have a maximum limit that could be paid in this case. If you don’t have travel insurance policy you might lose money and your adventure trip won’t be as cool as expected.

Read more: Top Tips on Luggage Security when Travelling

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