Lost Luggage Checklist: What to Do If Your Luggage Goes Missing

Unable to find your luggage after your flight reaches its final destination?

Unfortunately, your bags may have gone missing in transit, but there are many things that you can do to alleviate this situation.

Here are four tips to help you if your luggage goes missing:

1. Don’t panic.

Although your luggage is missing, it’s unlikely that it’s lost for good.

Thus, panicking if your luggage goes missing won’t do you or the airline any good.

As soon as you discover your luggage is missing, report the incident to the airline immediately.

2. Prepare to negotiate with the airline.

Did you know you may be able to recover “reasonable expenses” from the airline if your luggage goes missing?

That’s right, and if you negotiate properly, you could maximize your return.

Typically, an airline will work with you to ensure your lost luggage is recovered and sent to you as soon as possible. But the airline also may offer to cover various expenses until your luggage arrives.

To optimize your return from the airline, be sure to keep copies of your receipts. That way, you have a paper trail that you can provide to the airline for any essential items you need to purchase (clothing, a toothbrush, etc.).

3. Remain in Touch with the Airline Until Your Luggage Is Recovered.

It could take days, weeks or even months for an airline to recover your luggage.

But those who remain persistent may be able to improve their chances of getting their luggage faster than others.

Don’t be afraid to contact the airline if you ever have concerns or questions about the status of your lost luggage request.

Remember, the longer it takes the airline to recover your lost luggage, the less likely it becomes that the airline will be able to find it. Travelers who stay informed, however, will be able to ensure airline personnel are aware of the missing luggage and are doing everything they can to retrieve it quickly and efficiently.

4. File a Claim If the Airline Officially Declares Your Luggage as Lost.

In the event that the airline cannot locate your luggage, you’ll need to file a claim to ensure you are reimbursed for the cost of items that were included in your bag.

The airline usually will require you to complete a claim form, which means you’ll need to describe exactly what was in your luggage.

In addition, it is important to note that many airlines establish a maximum claim allowance that is indicated on the back of an airline ticket.

This means that if there’s a set limit for a lost luggage reimbursement, you may be unlikely to receive full value for cameras, laptops and other high-priced items that go missing.

When it comes to airline travel, it always is better to err on the side of caution. Therefore, if you have expensive items, you may want to bring them in a carry-on bag.

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