Lost luggage, useful advice on how to deal with it


No one would ever want to have the experience, but the chances of it happening are very high. Especially to those who love to travel, and to travel often. Losing luggage is certainly a nuisance and a source of anxiety, but those who love to travel must know how to deal with this inconvenience as well. And do it without stress, because the holiday is sacred and shouldn’t be ruined by heavy worries. Knowing how to deal with it, knowing what to do in case of lost luggage is something everyone should learn.

Why is luggage lost?

Why and how do you lose luggage during a trip? Lost luggage is a problem that almost exclusively affects air travellers. In fact, with land vehicles the bags are always under the control of the owners. But traveling by plane requires a “separation” between suitcase and owner. Sometimes, in case of delays or missed connections, suitcases can even travel with different flights! It can happen anywhere, but it happens more often in large airports (for example: Rome, New York, London or Paris).

The luggage can be lost due to errors by the sorting staff, due to homonymy errors, due to delays of the flight on which the bags do travel (if different from that of the owner). Luggage can be lost because the owner made a mistake in filling in the correct address or flight form. Sometimes a piece of luggage is “lost” because it was stolen, even if you will only realize this later. In 90 percent of cases, in short, the error is human. How to remedy this situation?

What to do in case of lost luggage

Give yourself time before worrying. Sometimes the bags are loaded late on the belts… wait at least an hour before worrying. If after an hour your luggage still hasn’t appeared, go to the airline counter and inform them of the problem. You will most likely be redirected to the “Lost & Found” office where unclaimed items are deposited. Lost luggage will almost always be found there in a short time. All you need to do is present your boarding pass and hold luggage receipt.

If the bags are not found at the “Lost & Found”, get ready for a long wait – because they can be returned within 21 days – but in the meantime file a loss report. Together with the complaint you will have to: provide an address and contact information useful for you to be traced; always keep in mind the telephone number of the luggage counter; organize yourself for the wait and a possible extra stay; consult a lawyer for due compensation.

If, after 21 days, there is still no news of the luggage, you will be entitled to compensation, which you can request as follows. Present the PIR document that you had filled out at the time of the complaint to the airline; give the list of objects contained in the lost luggage; give a copy of the flight ticket, plus a copy of the lost baggage slip. The owed compensation can even reach 1500 dollars!

Insure your bags

The best advice, for frequent airplane travelers, is to take out a luggage insurance. This type of policy covers all unforeseen events such as loss, theft or damage to your suitcases. With the help of a good lawyer, study the proposals of these insurances well and choose the one that’s right for you.
Once you decide, however, do not hesitate. Luggage insurance will allow you to have your back covered in case of loss. Above all, it will allow you to skip the most annoying parts, such as always having to chase the airline or the “Lost & Found” employees. The insurance will take care of this. And it will always be the insurance company that will fight for you, for any good compensation.

More helpful tips…

It may seem trivial but an always valid advice is to personalize your luggage as much as possible. It will not prevent the randomness of the loss but could greatly speed up the searching. Let’s face it, a gray suitcase with a black handle will blend in with thousands of similar ones. A colorful suitcase, or with particular prints on, or with something written on it in a felt-tip pen will surely be one of a kind. And easier to find.

The other always valid advice is … try to travel “light”. Except for the inevitable intercontinental journeys, when you go on vacation or travel for business, try to carry as much as possible in hand luggage. Avoid filling your big suitcases with useful and precious things… with the risk of suddenly losing everything.