After a long flight to a far away international destination for an important business meeting or making such a long trip to meet a friend or family, imagine getting delayed at the airport because your luggage is lost or delayed or damaged or stolen! Neither a good start or a perfect ending to a trip or vacation! When this happens because of the airlines, visitors have to just wait. A traveler can only minimize these risks from his side but he has no control over anything else than taking precautions. But it helps to know how these circumstances can be handled. Let’s take a look at three travel luggage mishaps:
- Lost luggage
- Stolen luggage
- Delayed luggage
No matter what happens, whether a traveler’s luggage is lost, stolen or delayed, travelers should not panic. Panic and stress simply adds up to the gravity of the situation. Airlines are equipped with ways to track a traveler’s luggage in case they are delayed. A traveler should always file a claim immediately at the airport, along with all the necessary information and contact details. Traveler must always save their luggage tags(received along with boarding pass). If their luggage was left at the departure airport, normally the airlines arranges them to be at the destination by the next flight. They also deliver them to your place of accommodation. If this takes days, airlines reimburse the passengers for the expenses they incur in the meantime. However for details, visitors should contact the responsible airline/airport authorities.
For stolen or lost luggage, airlines offer certain compensation. Baggage insurance also offers compensation till a certain limit. This is a benefit provided by visitor insurance. Different plans offer different compensation limit.
General Tips Before/After Luggage Mishaps Happen
- Stay at the airport and report it: No matter how much tired you are, do not leave the airport. Stay there till you have filed a report about your luggage mishap.
- Keep your calm: Even though you might be under lot of stress over your lost/stolen/damaged luggage, losing your calm would not get it back immediately. Maintain your composure and be polite while talking to the airline representatives.
- Learn how to check the status: Before leaving the airport, understand fully how you can check the status of your complaint/report. Different airlines have different system. Some may ask you to call a certain phone number whereas some have online tracking system.
- Email etiquettes: In your email correspondence with the airlines representatives for the lost/delayed/damaged luggage, always include your claim number. VisitorPlans recommends that language of the email be formal and polite. Make sure to include all necessary information in the email, such as the travel dates, airport where the claim was filed and other information you deem important.
- Know what’s in your bag: During packing, make a written or mental note about the contents of your bag. This itemized list may be needed for filing luggage mishap claims. If possible, take photos when you pack and store them in your email where you can conveniently and quickly access them. Also, as a smart packing tip, do not include valuables in your checked-in bags. If possible, do not travel with valuables but laptops, cameras and other things may not be avoidable, so make sure they don’t go as checked-in baggage. Take them as your carry-on baggage or courier them if possible.
If your baggage is lost and the airport authorities could not get you back beyond certain number of days, you need to file a claim. Following general information is required to report this claim:
- Name of the passenger
- Copy of his ticket receipt and baggage claim tags
- Receipts of the contents of the bag
- Travel date (Departure date from his home country or vice versa)
- Date the luggage was lost
If more information is needed, airport authorities will contact the passenger via email or phone.