How to handle lost luggage

Whether you’re moving, taking a business trip, or going on a vacation, you will want everything to go according to plan. Many people feel anxious before traveling, especially by airplane. Among other reasons, some fear for their safety and the safety of their belongings. If you have similar concerns, you should prepare in advance. This includes proper packing, labeling, learning how to handle lost luggage, should the need arise, and gathering info on the shipping and logistics companies at your destination. We can help you with that, so keep on reading!

Take the precautions before the flight

Preparation is a key to the successful journey. Therefore, we’ve prepared a few useful tips on how to plan your travel, thus minimizing the risk of having to cope with lost luggage. First of all, you should consider the duration of your stay. If you are taking a longer vacation or moving, a large amount of baggage is inevitable. If you are, however, taking a shorter vacation or a business trip, you may be able to avoid it.

empty luggage carousel
Imagine the feeling of waiting patiently on the carousel and your suitcase never showing up. Let’s prevent this!

Bringing only the overhead luggage

The best option, if the trip isn’t too long is bringing only a hand luggage. It is cheaper, and also much less likely to get lost. When packing a carry-on bag, make sure not to forget any of the essentials.

They will likely include your money, medications, gadgets, spectacles and jewelry for some, and important documents such as your ID, passport, tickets and travel insurance. Airlines will typically not be held responsible if they’re missing. We also recommend packing a change of clothes, in case you have to handle lost luggage. Some airlines may give you a possibility to purchase extra valuation, which isn’t necessary unless you’re traveling with a very high-value luggage.

laptop, spectacles, a watch, phone and tablet
Before you get on a plane, always make sure you’ve packed the essentials in your carry-on bag

Some tips on how to avoid having to handle lost luggage:

  • the only sure way to avoid dealing with losing your luggage is to pack everything in your hand luggage
  • try to book a direct flight, since chances of having to cope with lost luggage are minimal
  • if not, try to book flights with at least few hour in-between
  • arrive at the airport on time, which means a few hours before the departure
  • try to get to know the surroundings of the airport in advance
  • check out the services offered by the logistics companies in Jubail
  • make sure to get travel insurance before you leave
  • besides the classic luggage tag you get at the airport, it would be wise to have your name and number written somewhere inside the bag itself. The easiest solution is to snap a business card inside your luggage
  • owners can often mistake between similar suitcases, so try to purchase a more unique suitcase or make the one you already possess more recognizable
  • you should make a list of your belongings in case you have to handle lost luggage
  • divide belongings between suitcases, if you carry more than one
  • take a photo of your luggage
an open suitcase packed with clothes, beauty products, a camera and a hat
If you have to handle lost luggage, it will be
a lot easier both for you and for the staff to show the picture of your belongings, than to describe them.

If your baggage doesn’t arrive – it is probably just delayed

After landing, head straight to the carousel. If your baggage is nowhere in sight even after waiting patiently, you should find baggage area. You’ll usually find it easily, but at some smaller airports, you can ask any of the employees to give you directions. With some airlines, you can report missing baggage and fill your claim within twenty-four hours, while with others, that time span is much shorter, down to few hours.

When handling lost luggage or just the one that’s delayed, make sure to fill any relevant forms and get the copies of the reports you filed before leaving the airport

Don’t forget to ask for information about reimbursement policies, since they differ from airline to airline. Leave your phone number and the address to which they will deliver your delayed luggage. You’ll almost never have to return to the airport to get your things or pay for the expenses of their delivering. Make sure to ask for guidelines and info about the delivery options.

Further tracing of your luggage also depends on the airline

They will either give you a phone number, or you’ll be able to track it online. Luckily, nowadays the airlines keep better track on bags due to barcoded tags. Typically, bags will come on the next flight, so you won’t have to wait for more than a few hours to one day. In case they ended up on the wrong airport, the process will probably take a couple of days. Even if you had more than one flight and lost your luggage on a connecting itinerary, you’ll have to report it to the final airline, despite of which one’s responsible. During the wait, most airlines will cover your toiletries, change of clothes and expenses for at least that day, so make sure you keep the receipts.

What if your luggage truly is lost?

You can say that you are definitely dealing with the lost luggage after five days to three weeks, when it will officially be considered lost. After a couple of days from your flight, fill out another report. You can usually do it either at the airport or online. After filling the paperwork with the details of the contents of the lost bags and their value, airlines tend to pay only the depreciated value of your belongings, not the full price that you’ve paid while buying them. Although they will ask for receipts, it is highly unlikely that you’ll have them with you. Therefore, you can expect a fair amount of negotiating. It can take weeks to months to reimburse you, and you can get up to 3500 USD. In some cases, you may receive a voucher or a discount for some future flight, instead.

Keep a clear head

Having to handle lost luggage is extremely rare nowadays. There is no need to panic, especially not in advance. Additionally, only under five percent of the delayed bags are truly lost or stolen and cannot be retrieved. All in all, the chances of actually losing your belongings are extremely poor, but with the abovementioned information, we hope that we’ve prepared you even if this happens. Travel safe and good luck!

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