Anyone who regularly travels by air has faced luggage issues at least once. It can happen to everybody as airlines lose luggage quite often.
According to statistics, a passenger's bag is lost every 90 sec and 99 % of lost bags are found. Then why are there so many stories about luggage lost forever? Don't try to find the answer to this question. Let's consider what to do if the airline loses your luggage.
There are no airlines that have never lost luggage. At least one passenger has their luggage lost during almost every flight because of damaged tags, malfunctioning baggage sorting system, handlers' mistakes, etc.
Those passengers who have a transfer flight are more likely to have their luggage lost. The time between flights can be not enough to get their luggage to the next plane. Besides, chances are high that your suitcase will be loaded onto the wrong plane.
What can you do if your luggage is lost? First, don't start to panic. If you don't find your luggage on the conveyor belt, maybe it has not been unloaded from the plane yet. Wait till all the bags are on the conveyor belt.
Some tired passenger could have taken your bag by mistake. It's easy to find out whether someone has taken your bag. If there is an unclaimed bag on the conveyor belt, probably its owner has taken your bag by mistake. Take that bag as it will help you find yours.
How to Find Your Luggage?
If your luggage is lost, contact the Lost & Found office at the airport, which looks for lost luggage and returns it to its owners. You will have to show the luggage voucher and describe your luggage. The luggage tracking officer will provide you with a written loss report. Usually luggage is found within 24 hours after its loss and you will have it back in 3-5 days.
You can also find out where your luggage is via the Internet. All large airports and many airlines use World Tracer which tracks lost or delayed luggage. If your airline cooperates with this service, you can enter your file reference and last name on its site, click “Submit” and you will be able to check the status of your delayed bag.
If your luggage has not been found and returned in 21 days, you can apply for compensation. The compensation usually is $20/kg. If you had gone shopping and there had been a lot of new things in your bag, you can claim larger compensation provided that you have receipts.
If you have problems with obtaining compensation, you can file a lost-baggage lawsuit against the airline.
In order to prevent luggage lost always attach identification tags with your personal data to your bags. Thus, your luggage will be found faster. If you have a transfer flight, make sure that you have at least an hour and a half between flights. Don't fly unreliable airlines.