Waiting at the luggage carousel is the last thing any traveler wants to do after a long day of traveling. If it’s obvious that your stuff isn’t arriving, what should you do? Here are some steps to take immediately:
Report it missing. If your luggage doesn’t arrive at its intended destination, the first thing you’ll want to do is head to the airline counter and speak with someone who can direct you toward the lost luggage area. You’ll probably need to show your identification and baggage claim tag information, which will be used to pull up your flight itinerary in order to see where your luggage is. Your contact information may also be requested.
Any bags that inadvertently made it onto the wrong flight will most likely be rerouted to you within a day or two; however, that doesn’t mean you should rely on the airline to find your luggage and then get it to you. Instead, file a missing bag report and get a copy of the report for your records. Also, be sure to ask for a phone number so that you can call someone directly should your luggage not show up on the next flight.
Get your baggage fee refunded. When dealing with lost luggage, make sure you ask for your checked luggage fee to be refunded. Asking for this now, while it’s still on your mind, will save you the hassle of trying to deal with it later. This type of refund is often mailed to customers within a few weeks, so be sure to keep your eye on the mail once you’ve requested a refund.
Seek free delivery. The last thing you want to do is stand around the airport and wait for your luggage to arrive, so ask the airline representative if your luggage will be delivered to your hotel at no cost. Most airlines offer this type of service. If you find yourself in this unfortunate situation, keep in mind that these deliveries can often occur in the middle of the night, so let the hotel staff know that you’re expecting some luggage to arrive—and ask them to hold it for you.
Track expenses. If you have lost luggage protection, now is the time to use it. Some insurers require a certain period of time, such as six hours, for your luggage to arrive before they’ll start paying to replace items. If you’re unsure as to whether or not you’ll be reimbursed, ask your insurer or the airline before making a purchase. And always hold onto receipts.