When you’re on a trip, nothing can be more frustrating than losing your luggage. One moment you’re standing at baggage claim waiting for your luggage and the next moment you’re panicking because it’s nowhere to be found. You can’t help but feel terrible and helpless.
There are ways to prevent such a scenario from happening; but sometimes, despite our best efforts, these things still happen outside of our control. We need to prepare ourselves for that possibility, and we can do that by arming ourselves with the knowledge on what to do when we’ve lost our luggage.
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What to Do When You’ve Lost Your Luggage
1. Familiarize yourself with your rights. Every passenger who flies on a plane has certain rights to lost luggage, according to the Aviation Consumer Baggage Protection and Enforcement. Such knowledge is important to have when you’re talking with airline or airport personnel so you would know what to say to defend your rights as a passenger.
2. Don’t lose your bag tag as it holds the information that will get your luggage from one airport to another. The airline personnel will usually hand you something in the form of a bag or stub, which they will then stick on your boarding pass. Don’t throw it away as you can use that tag to recover your luggage if it gets lost.
3. Do not leave the airport, no matter how tired you might feel. After a long flight, you’d like nothing better than to rest in your hotel room and postpone having to deal with the problem of lost luggage until the next day. It is crucial that you file a claim for lost luggage before anything else so the airlines can immediately deal with it and start the search for your missing baggage.
4. Be persistent and make regular follow-ups with the airline after you’ve filed the claim and headed to your hotel or destination. As early as the next morning, call them for an update and don’t give up until you finally get a hold of your bag.
5. If you’ve filed a claim but yet your baggage has not been returned to you after several days or even weeks, you can go ahead and file a complaint with the US Department of Transportation. Do this only as a last resort in case nothing has been resolved.
6. Buy travel insurance. Travel insurance can help to recompense you for any lost luggage, so before you go on your trip, make sure you arrange for one. As they say, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
7. Invest in a tracking device. What this gadget does is it tracks the exact location of an object on a map using GPS, cellular, Bluetooth, and WiFi technology. You can simply attach the device to the interior of your luggage, and in the event that the worst does happen, you can access the tracker via an app or an online portal to find out where your bags are so you can quickly recover them. When you’re traveling, anything can happen, so you need to be prepared for both the good and the bad.