What To Do If Bags Are Lost At The Airport?

Lost luggage? Contact the airline, request delivery, claim reimbursement, keep receipts, and check credit card benefits for coverage.

Have you ever got that feeling when you don’t see your suitcase at the baggage claim at the airport? This is definitely not how you want to leave the airport. Fortunately, if your luggage is lost, there are steps you can take to get your luggage back and get reimbursed for related expenses. The airline might reimburse you for daily expenses and the replacement value of your lost items, but taking action right away is essential. 

Here are a few steps to take when your luggage is lost.
1. Contact the airline

The first thing you must do is contact the airline. Don’t leave the airport until you speak with an airline representative. Speaking with the baggage claim or check-in desk agent is your fastest option. Call the airline if you cannot find an airline representative.

2. Request delivery to your home or accommodation

Make sure to leave your contact information so the airline can contact you with updates. Most airlines will hand-deliver your luggage to your home or hotel once it arrives. If the agent doesn’t mention this delivery option, ask before you leave the airport. It can save you another trip to the airport just to claim your luggage.

3. Request checked baggage fee reimbursement and Submit a claim to the airline 

Some airlines will reimburse your checked baggage fees once your luggage is delayed at least 12 hours after submitting the claim. That is why time is of the essence. Notifying the airline immediately means the clock starts sooner to receive any reimbursement. Some airlines let you qualify for compensation after your bags are lost for more than 24 hours. At this time, submit the airline’s baggage claim form. This form will ask for the value of your lost contents and any incidental expenses. You will need to list an inventory of the packed items and an approximate value of your luggage. The airline will use this information to determine your compensation for lost and damaged items. Whether you have luggage for business or personal use, it’s a good idea to have photos of your luggage. This way, you can provide pictures to help verify your claim.

4. Keep receipts of incidental expenses

Many airlines will reimburse you up to $50 per day for five days for expenses from your lost or delayed baggage. These expenses can include clothing, toiletries, and a cell phone cable. 

Buy items that you normally buy to replace your current inventory. Doing so makes it more likely that your compensation claim gets approved. You will need to keep a receipt of every purchase in order to receive compensation.

5. Check your credit card benefits

The credit card you used to book your flight might also offer lost or delayed baggage benefits. These benefits might activate sooner than the airline’s and will reimburse any expenses not covered by the airline or a travel insurance provider.

Make sure you read your credit card’s guide to benefits to understand the notification deadlines. You may need to notify your credit card company within 20 days to start the claims process.

 6. Inspect luggage for damage

If the airline finds your bag, immediately inspect it thoroughly for damage. It’s likely the airline will offer to repair or replace your luggage. However, you may need to notify them within 24 hours of receiving your luggage.

You will need to submit another form for the repair process. The airline may also require the original proof of purchase receipt for the damaged suitcase and contents. If you purchased the item online, you can easily print a copy of your purchase receipt to submit the claim. We hope you remember all these when you find yourself in such a situation!