Here’s What To Do If An Airline Loses Your Luggage

by | Jul 28, 2022 | Travel

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. Advertisement“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.”AdvertisementGo 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.”Find out what compensation you’re owed.“Immediately filing a missing bag report with the airline will both prompt them to begin searching for your bag and start the clock for when you’ll be able to claim compensation,” noted Scott Keyes, author of “Take More Vacations” and founder of Scott’s Cheap Flights. “If it’s been missing for between five to 14 days, at that point you’re entitled to reimbursement of the missing bag and its contents, up to $3,800 for domestic flights and $1,780 for international flights.”In addition to talking to the airline, he recommended checking to see if your credit card offers any compensation for delayed or lost baggage as well.Advertisement“Many automatically include this, as long as you used it to pay for the flight,” Keyes noted.If you have travel insurance, read through all the terms regarding luggage.“Travel insurance policies often include coverage for any lost or missing baggage,” Miller said. “After you have filed a claim with the airli …

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