Tommy Lloyd
Author: Tommy Lloyd, Managing Director

Tommy has over 15 years experience within the insurance industry, and his primary focus is helping travellers find the right cover for their medical conditions.

7 min read

Travelling is a privilege we all like to enjoy, and more often than not, there are never any problems when it comes to travelling, but that isn’t always the case. Lost baggage is something many of us wish we didn’t have to experience but probably have at some point, and it can be stressful.

However, there are plenty of things you can do to prevent your bag from getting lost, as well as some tips to take on board if you do have to go through the process of recovering your bag.

In this article, we take a look at what you should do if you lose your bags at the airport, or if the airline loses your bags, as well as some preventative actions you can take before travelling to help keep your bag safe. So if you ever catch yourself worrying about what to do if you lose your luggage, then this article is for you.

Things to Consider Before You Travel

Make Sure Your Bag is Tagged

One of the best ways to make sure your bag is safe when travelling, especially if the luggage is for the hold, but even with carry-on bags, is to make sure your bags are tagged on the inside and outside so they can be tracked back to you easily and quickly if they are lost or delayed. Make sure your tag clearly states your name, address and contact number; place one on the outside and one on the inside, in case the tag on the outside falls off by accident.

Remove Old Tas

If you travel a lot, then it is essential that you remove all old tags that have been placed on the bag from previous flights. These old tags may confuse the baggage handlers and might mean your luggage gets put on the wrong flight or tags get confused.

Make Sure You’re There to Collect Your Bags on Time

Once you have departed from the aircraft, make sure you head to baggage claim as soon as you can. If bags are left on the baggage carousel and another flight needs to be unloaded, then chances are your bag will be removed and taken to a safe area. Try and make sure you are there to collect it at the correct time. In some instances, baggage can be delayed when being unloaded, but you will be made aware of this at the baggage area.

Brit from the blog Travel By Brit has written about this topic on her website and also recommends not to panic as sometimes it can take time for luggage to be processed: “If you get off your flight, head to the baggage claim, and don’t immediately see your bag—don’t panic (yet). It’s not unusual for luggage to be delayed on the tarmac, come in waves to the baggage claim, or switch carousels halfway through luggage delivery. 

Pay close attention to the baggage claim screens and what’s being announced over the loudspeakers. If you’ve been waiting for at least 30–45 minutes and it appears that all the baggage from your flight has already been delivered, find the baggage desk for your airline to report your missing bag.”

Luggage On A Luggage Belt

Make Sure You Take Out Travel Insurance

One of the best ways to make sure you are covered and offer a little extra peace of mind when travelling is to make sure you have the correct travel insurance for your trip, which also includes loss of luggage as part of the plan.

Many of our insurance plans including, travel insurance for pre-existing medical conditions, come with baggage cover, so if you find yourself tackling lost luggage, you’ll feel comfortable in the knowledge that you will at least get the cost of your goods back.

Don't Panic

If you’ve had a safe journey to your chosen destination but head to baggage claim and find that your bag isn’t there, the first thing to do is not panic. It may sound like a simple thing to say, but one of the first reactions most people will have when their luggage doesn’t turn up is to panic.

More often than not, there is a logical explanation for the whereabouts of your bag, so keep calm and try to think logically. Ask people around you if they have seen a bag of your description (showing them the photo you took before you left), check the local area as someone may have removed the bag thinking it was theirs, or ask one of the baggage handlers or staff in the area if they know where it may be.

Contact an Officail

If you have waited at the baggage claim and have searched the surrounding areas, then it might be time to take some form of action. The first thing to do is to head to the nearest baggage office.

They will be able to look up your bags by scanning your stubs to see if they have been delayed and put on another flight or whether they were meant to be on your flight. They will be able to offer further instruction once they have this information.

If the baggage office or Department of Transportation cannot track your bags, then the next thing to do is contact your airline, whether you head to the airline desk within the airport or you ring them, they are responsible for your luggage and can guide you on the next steps that you should take. The most likely course of action is that you will be asked to fill in a claim form in case your luggage is delayed or isn’t found.

Contact Your Insurance Provider

This point only stands if you took out travel insurance before travelling, but if your airline cannot find your bag and declares it lost, then contacting your insurance provider is the next step. Your insurance provider will be able to offer you compensation for your lost bags and goods and advise you on any further steps you can take.

If your airline or insurance company concludes that your luggage has been lost, or, may take some time to find, they have to provide you with like-for-like goods or the money for you to re-buy the equivalent, up to the value of your suitcase and its contents. That way, you can continue your further travels, but this will all be detailed in the terms of your flight booking or your insurance documents.

Losing your luggage doesn’t have to mean the end of your holiday or travel experience and with our range of travel insurance for medical conditions, you can travel without worry and stress. For more tips, guides, and advice, make sure to visit our blog.

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