Dude, where’s my luggage

Have you ever been standing there at the baggage carousel at some airport waiting for your bags…everyone else seems to be picking up their bags and yours are nowhere to be found. You spot what looks like your luggage, in the sea of bags that all look alike, and then… no, that’s not it either. Pretty soon, you’re the last one standing there, and there are two lonely bags going round and round, neither belonging to you.

It’s happened, the airline has lost your luggage. Now what?

Dealing with lost luggage

There are a few things you need to keep in mind if you have to deal with lost luggage.

1. Don’t leave the airport. Report the lost luggage immediately. Once you have the report  in hand, then, and only then should you go home, or go to your hotel.

2. Don’t get upset with the airline employee. The person you are talking to is not personally responsible for losing your bag.

3. Try your best to remember exactly what was in your bags. The airline will probably want a list of the bag’s contents in the lost luggage report. The airline will also want an accurate description of your bag, including any unique identifying marks (stickers, ribbons, colours etc.).

4. Be polite. Politeness in dealing with the situation is always better than exploding in frustration.

5. Follow up on the lost luggage. The airline should keep you informed on what is happening, but don’t just sit back and wait, call and ask if you haven’t heard anything by the following morning.

6. Ask for a toiletries kit. Most airlines will provide you with a courtesy bag with a few basic necessities such as soaps, a razor and so on.

©ohkayeor/flickr.com

Most importantly, don’t panic.  Chances are your luggage is just on a later flight and will arrive within a few hours.  The airline will arrange to deliver your bags directly to your hotel or home, and all will be fine.

A few tips for making it easier to find your luggage on the carousel

  •  Tie a ribbon or brightly coloured string or cord around the handle
  •  Purchase luggage that is easy to identify – fashion is much less important than easy to spot luggage
  • Purchase a luggage belt in a bright colour and strap it around your luggage
  • Put a band of coloured duct tape on the side of the luggage
  • Stick a few travel stickers on the side of the suitcase

 

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