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What to do about misplaced or delayed baggage

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Have you ever ever waited on the baggage declare to search out out your checked baggage didn't make it on the airplane? And even worse, nobody may even inform you the place they’re? It's irritating and be fairly a trouble to cope with, particularly in the event you're on a shorter journey or packed a selected outfit for an occasion like a marriage.

If this occurs to you, don’t fear, the world isn’t ending (even when it seems like it’s!). There are steps you may take to help in getting your baggage again extra rapidly. And methods you will get reimbursed for any crucial out-of-pocket bills you would possibly incur as a result of your delayed or misplaced baggage. (Trace: Having a bank card that comes with baggage delay protection helps.)

Right here’s what it’s good to know.

(Picture by fizkes / Shutterstock)

Tips on how to report lacking baggage

Right here’s what you need to do when you may’t find your bag after a flight:

1. Find the suitable baggage desk

It’s best to report your delayed or lacking bag with the airline that operated your closing flight. The airline with which you took your closing flight is answerable for your baggage. However notice that in the event you occur to be flying right into a small airport, there won’t be separate baggage desks, however one contract company that handles claims for a number of airways. Once more, simply you should definitely reference the service you flew the final leg of your flight with.

2. File a report

Let the desk attendant know the scenario and supply your copy of the bag tag that you simply obtained at check-in. The agent can use that to lookup your info within the pc.

Whenever you file the report you should definitely embrace the entire info you may about your bag and your journey plans. You’ll be able to embrace issues like an in depth description of the bags, together with the colour, materials, and so forth. Additionally, you should definitely present your native deal with and call information. And get some kind of reference quantity earlier than leaving the airport.

3. Ask what the airline will cowl

Every airline handles misplaced and delayed baggage claims somewhat in a different way. In truth, generally it will possibly even rely on the agent you get. So you should definitely all the time be courteous and affected person, and it's in all probability extra probably you'll find yourself with a positive final result.

Whenever you file your delayed or misplaced baggage report, ask the agent what sort of compensation the airline can present. I've been supplied a loaner stroller and automobile seat earlier than when my baggage have been delayed for 24 hours within the Hong Kong airport.

No matter what they’ll or can't give you within the second, they need to be capable to clarify the final tips, together with whether or not or not you're eligible for a refund of any checked baggage charges you paid.

What to do in case your bag is misplaced or delayed

Keep calm and be well mannered

A very powerful tip I can provide is to stay calm and courteous. This will get a great distance on the subject of coping with customer support representatives. Heck, they could even throw in an additional amenity equipment from top notch if they’ll inform you're being cheap concerning the scenario.

Buy groceries and hold receipts

After you have a transparent understanding of what sort of bills will and gained't be reimbursed, head out to buy these crucial objects – and keep in mind to maintain your receipts!

Issues like toiletries, over-the-counter drugs, and underwear are often deemed "crucial." The airways and bank card firms probably gained’t reimburse you for issues like a flowery new purse or high-end footwear.

Positive, in case your baggage does find yourself being misplaced perpetually, and also you had some dearer objects in your bag, you may file a declare to attempt to get your a reimbursement. However in the event you simply want to carry your self over for a day till your delayed baggage arrives, don't go loopy together with your purchases.

Proceed to trace your bag

It's additionally value attempting to verify your bag’s standing on the airline’s app (if that’s an choice). You could possibly see in the event you're baggage is on the way in which. But when not, proceed with submitting your declare.

Escalate via different channels (if crucial)

When you're having a tough time getting updates both on-line or via the native airport, take into account reaching out to the airline via different channels. Contacting customer support via a social channel like Twitter may be extremely efficient. When you’ve got elite standing with the airline, it's value checking to see if they’ve a devoted customer support group to assist these with standing. They can pace issues alongside.

As a final resort, if it has been 24+ hours with none updates, you possibly can file a declare with the U.S. Division of Transportation (DOT). This can draw extra consideration to your case as a result of airways are always attempting to maintain these types of experiences to a minimal.

Social media may be an effective way to attach with an airline if one thing goes unsuitable. (Picture by Worawee Meepian / Shutterstock)

Submit a misplaced baggage declare

If it's decided that your bag is actually misplaced (which often occurs after 14 to 21 days of it being lacking), you may file a declare towards the airline for misplaced (fairly than delayed) baggage. This often permits for increased compensation as a result of there are particular guidelines in place that govern the problem of misplaced baggage, just like the U.S. Code of Federal Laws.

You’ll must submit a wholly new declare, on condition that the bag is misplaced versus delayed. And most declare types will ask you to listing all of the objects that have been in your bag, together with buy dates, they usually’ll even ask for authentic buy receipts in the event that they’re out there.

They'll take this information and are available decide the quantity of compensation to which you're entitled.

Airways that compensate you for misplaced or delayed baggage

Right here’s a have a look at the delayed baggage insurance policies from every of the key U.S. airways:


Permits the acquisition of "important and cheap objects you want whereas your baggage is lacking."


Permits reimbursement “for objects you want instantly whereas away from house with out your baggage.”


Permits “cheap expense reimbursement” of usually $ 50 per day for the primary 5 days.


Permits “reimbursement for bills” based mostly on acceptable proof of declare.

Additionally notice that each Alaska and Delta provide a baggage assure, whereby they'll provide you with 2,500 miles in case your baggage aren't delivered to the carousel inside 20 minutes of arrival. So in the event you're flying with both of these airways you should definitely file a baggage assure declare, too.

Tips on how to use bank card baggage delay protection

You may get baggage delay protection whenever you pay in your journey with playing cards like:

The knowledge for the Ink Enterprise Most well-liked card has been collected independently by Million Mile Secrets and techniques. The cardboard particulars on this web page haven’t been reviewed or offered by the cardboard issuer.

Most often, your baggage should be delayed 6+ hours for the protection to take impact. The exception is with sure Citi playing cards, which cowl you after 3+ hours.

This protection will solely reimburse you as much as a sure restrict for crucial purchases, like a telephone charger or toiletries, when you wait in your baggage to reach. So in the event you don’t make any purchases whereas ready in your baggage, you gained’t get any profit from this protection.

I like to recommend studying your card’s phrases & situations to see what’s coated for bag delays.

Methods to cut back the possibilities of misplaced or delayed baggage

Pack mild

One surefire approach to ensure your bag is rarely delayed or misplaced is to keep away from checking a bag. When you grasp the strategies of packing mild, you’ll be capable to simply carry a carryon and can keep away from the trouble of misplaced and delayed baggage altogether.

Keep away from difficult itineraries

Typically that is simpler mentioned than performed, however in the event you can take as few stops as doable alongside the way in which, you could lower the percentages of your baggage getting misplaced.

You could possibly save a buck by piecing collectively legs on a number of carriers, however this complicates issues on the subject of monitoring your baggage. And it makes it simpler for one airline responsible the opposite in case your baggage goes lacking.

Preserve sure objects in your carry-on

It's all the time sensible to maintain necessities in your stick with it. Issues like medicines and electronics needn’t be checked – you don’t need to threat these going lacking. So even in the event you're checking your baggage, plan to take a stick with it with you so you may hold your necessities and valuables with you.

Backside line

When you're ever confronted coping with delayed or misplaced baggage, don't fret. There are steps you may take to assist get your belongings again. And different methods you will get reimbursed for any crucial bills you will have.

Airways have insurance policies in place on the subject of delayed and misplaced baggage. It’s best to be capable to talk about with them the method and the compensation out there to you. Plus, a number of bank cards include baggage delay protection. This will turn out to be useful if you must buy necessities whereas ready in your baggage to reach.

Have you ever ever needed to cope with delayed or misplaced baggage? What was the result?

Editorial notice: We're the Million Mile Secrets and techniques group. And we're pleased with our content material, opinions and evaluation, and of our reader's feedback. These haven’t been reviewed, permitted or endorsed by any of the airways, lodges, or bank card issuers which we frequently write about. And that's simply how we prefer it! 🙂

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