What To Do If An Airline Loses Your Luggage? Air travel experts share their advice for dealing with missing checked baggage — and minimizing the risk in the first place.
Huffpost.com | By Caroline Bologna | Jul 28, 2022, 05:45 AM EDT
For many years, people felt relatively secure about checking their luggage for a flight. But the chaos of air travel this summer has thrown cold water on that confidence.
The odds of airlines losing your luggage have reportedly “skyrocketed” this year, with massive increases in the numbers of “mishandled” ― i.e., lost, damaged, delayed or pilfered ― bags.
“During the pandemic, many airports and airlines were forced to reduce their workforce in reaction to the restrictions the world was facing,” Alex Miller, founder and CEO of Upgraded Points, told HuffPost. “Now, as these restrictions have been lifted, people are returning to their travels again, leaving airports and airlines struggling to cope with the surge of passengers. This combination of an increased demand, with a shortage of staff, as recruitment hasn’t been able to counterbalance the increase, is leaving many travelers to arrive at their destination without their luggage.”
The result is countless airport photos showing mounds of lost luggage and a lot of frustrated travelers.
Of course, the obvious solution is to pack less and avoid checking a bag, but sometimes that’s just not an option. So what should you do if you find yourself in this situation and end up separated from your bag? Below, experts share their advice.
File a missing bag report.
“The first thing you should do if you notice that your baggage did not arrive at your destination is to report it immediately,” Miller advised. “The airline that you flew on is responsible for ensuring your luggage is delivered to your destination.”
Go to the airline’s baggage desk and have the customer service representative see if they can locate your luggage. It’s possible it was delayed but will arrive on a later flight. Or perhaps it arrived early and was placed in a separate area.
You might also be able to determine your bag’s location on the airline’s mobile app. If the bag is still missing, however, it’s time to file a claim.
“Once you’ve informed airline staff about your missing baggage, it is essential that you file a missing baggage report,” Miller added. “You should provide a detailed description of your luggage, including size, color and material of the bag. The report should also include your current address and contact information so the airline can contact you. You should also keep a note of any reference or tracking number that you receive from the lost luggage desk.”
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