Travel 101: What to Do If Your Luggage is Lost

Traveling should be fun, whether for business or for pleasure. However, there are a number of unforeseen circumstances that can really throw a wrench in even the most optimistic travel plans. One such unfortunate circumstance is that of losing your luggage. This can happen to anyone – that is, unless you don’t check any luggage. As the odds are that you will have to entrust your precious belongings to an airline or train attendant at some point, it is best to familiarize yourself with the steps you should take in the event that your luggage does not turn up at your travel destination when you do. Here are some pointers for what to do if your luggage is lost while travelling:

Stay where the bag should be. It may be tempting to leave the premises, sleep off your aggravation, and then deal with the issue come morning, but waiting just puts that much more time and distance between you and your bags. Plus, it could be a whole new set of employees working the next day – employees who know nothing about the route you were on. Sure, you may be exhausted from a long trip, but it is important that you stick around, at least long enough to file a report, as soon as you become aware that your bag is missing.

File a claim. Find an employee at the airport (or travel depot) and file a missing luggage claim immediately. Make sure to put all of your contact information in the claim, legibly, so that employees can contact you about your baggage when they do find it. Then keep your phone on you at all times.

What not to do. First of all, while it may be easy to get upset over lost luggage, it is important that you not let your frustrations get the best of you. Don’t make the mistake of getting angry with the employees you are counting on to help you find your luggage; after all, they are not the ones who lost it . . .and you need their help. Second of all, don’t remark about the valuable possessions you had in your suitcase. Most airlines carry only very limited liability for lost/damaged luggage items, so you may just be tipping a thief off, rather than pleading your case.

It’s safe to say that the most important thing you can do when you learn that your luggage is missing is to remind yourself not to panic. After all, it’s nearly impossible to think straight while in a panic, and the odds are that your luggage will turn up eventually. Ninety-eight percent of all lost luggage does. If you follow these tips, you should be in that majority.

About the Author: Hal Godlthwait and his wife booked a fantastic trip through a luxury travel agency. One problem. Their luggage didn’t arrive in paradise with them. Thankfully, it reappeared within 48 hours!

One thought on “Travel 101: What to Do If Your Luggage is Lost”

  1. It happened to me once when another traveler mistakenly claimed my luggage. It was so frustrating but I didn’t let that get in the way and filed the missing luggage immediately. This is a must-read especially to those who are always traveling. Thanks!

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