With improved technology in the aviation industry, airlines are getting better in managing passengers and their valuables, especially when it comes to baggage.
Clearly, most airlines now are about 70 percent less likely to lose luggage than a decade ago. However, there are still unlucky few who will have to jump through hoops to get their luggage back after a flight.
If you ever find yourself among that unlucky few, here are quick steps to dealing with the mishap:
The very first step to finding a bag that does not show up at the baggage claim is to let the airline know as soon as possible.
It may be helpful if you have a couple of pictures of luggage on your phone to show airport staff. Regardless, be sure to know a bag’s brand, size and colour before takeoff. Airlines will need this information when hunting down luggage.
Always ensure you hold onto your claim check (usually a sticker stuck on the back of a boarding pass), as that little barcode could be vital in confirming a bag’s identity.
DON’T LET THEM FORGET ABOUT YOU
If you are dealing with a lost bag, ensure you stay in constant contact with your airline until you are reunited with your suitcase. The word is: “Don’t let them forget about you.” But, do it nicely.
CHECK ON COMPENSATION
You should enquire about airline policy for lost luggage as you may be entitled to some compensation. In instances where a bag is lost for more than 24 hours, airlines may be required to compensate travelers with a clothing allowance.
If it is toiletries that you lose while in transit, airlines usually have small amenity kits with toothpaste, deodorant and soap to hand out.
PREVENT YOUR BAG FROM GETTING LOST
Despite the guides above, still the best way to deal with a lost bag is to make sure it does not happen in the first place. Travelers who are particularly anxious about losing luggage can opt to buy a GPS tracker to stick inside any old suitcase and turn it into a smart suitcase.
Passengers should also know that how you fly matters. Airlines like Qatar and Delta have implemented their own tracking technology inside of luggage stickers that allow passengers to track their bags until the very moment they are reunited.
DON’T FORGET THE ID TAGS
And there are also some more old school tricks. You should make sure every piece of luggage you are checking in has an identification tag with your name and contact information. After handing over a bag to the airline counter, ensure that the luggage sticker has both your correct name and final destination (mistakes can happen).
Caution: “Don’t pack in old suitcases that might break or open before you get to the plane,” “If that happens before your bag makes it to the plane, it will get put aside without question. If your luggage is worn out, replace it to save a lot of headaches.”
On the other side of the equation, if an airline have unclaimed luggage, it is required to spend 90 days trying to reunite the bag with its owner. If after 90 days no one shows up to collect the bag, the airline can resell it.