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If your luggage is not yet found after 21 days, then it is officially considered lost even though it turns up later.
Only a small percentage of luggage are deemed to be lost as many who lost their bags have gotten it back after a day or two.
However, if your bag is indeed lost, then you should file a claim.
In presenting a complaint, you need to know the amount allowed by every airline to include inside your luggage.
In the United States, some domestic flights allow claims up to $3,500 while others offer less.
Knowing the amount of compensation you will get from your lost luggage, can help you to negotiate if your airline does not want to make an upfront payment.
Lost luggage can be very frustrating especially after a long flight. Add the lack of action done by the airport personnel can make the situation worse and infuriation. Here are the steps to make on how to get your luggage.
Global Rate of Lost Luggage on Airlines
With the number of flights and transfers ever increasing, the lost luggage remains to be an issue for the airline sector.
Although some airline charges $100 for one bag, a lot of passengers wind up at their final location without anything they carried with them.
Last 2012, there were 26.04 million items of lost luggage which were tracked by the airline sector.
Even though this total seems like a lot, it’s down virtually 50% from a high in 2007 of approximately 50 million pieces of lost luggage.
Some errors are still being fixed, but several of the broken components are getting fixed. Still, that does not alter the 3-day vacation someone takes without anything, as their airline company failed to transport their luggage.
- In the U.S., there were 1.8 million lost luggage accidents. In short, it’s 3.09 bags for every 1,000 passengers.
- Asia is considered the best region of the globe, accounting for 1.98 mishandled items only per 1,000 passengers.
- The primary cause of delays in luggage is a flight transfer.
- Delayed bagged is the most typical reason for mismanagement of luggage. That accounts for 82.9% of all statistics.
- It’s considered that the sum of lost luggage accounts for almost $2.1 billion yearly in additional one-time chargers to the airline sector.
Why Does Baggage Get Delayed?
The primary reason for this is the tight transfer window.
Whenever flying across the country or around the globe, it’s much cost-efficient for a passenger to include one or two transfers throughout the journey. If a flight is postponed or has a mechanical problem, times can become tight, however. The passenger might run to their next leg, but the luggage might not make it.
That’s why the region of Asia is the top and least amount of mishandled luggage. The majority of flights from there are non-stop, meaning one destination flights only.
On the contrary, the American Eagle in the US has been the worst airline for lost luggage. It charges $60 for two checked bags. Plus, they have a rate of 5.8 lost luggage rates per 1,000 passengers.
Further, according to SITA, there are various reasons why luggage gets delayed.
The most dominant is when bags are lost during a missed connection.
Security concerns, bag switches, ticketing errors are the blame for one in 5 lost luggage. Weight, space or weather, customs, and airport restrictions can all cause bags to be delayed.
Mishandling or failure to load the bag at the arrival station accounts for 4% of incidents. Tagging errors can also cause issues along with the transport of your bags.
- Transfer – Did you know that 51% of lost luggage is because of transfer-related accidents? It usually occurs because of unknown tags that are caused by damaged routing tags. It prevents luggage from being moved automatically to a destination. Airline agents then have to sort luggage by hand, which causes the delay.
- Offloading or Loading Error – Errors can happen in the process of offloading or loading of bags. One issue is a mistake on the tarmac. Luggage can typically be boarded on the plane up to ten minutes before departure. Nevertheless, often there’s a lack of coordination between airplanes coming in and those loading bags.
- Weather – Weather plays a significant role in whether luggage will make it to their destination on time or not. In case you didn’t know yet, the Northern Hemisphere was stricken in December and January by ice and snow. That causes such months to be one of the worst seasons for luggage. Further, the Eyjafjallajökull volcano of Iceland erupted which generated more than 100,000 flight cancellations. That ended in a pile of lost or delayed luggage too.
- Ticketing Error – Often, luggage can be entered with the incorrect airport code by the flight attendant. So make sure that you double check your baggage code to guarantee the attendant labeled the code appropriately. Or else bag and passenger could be headed in opposite routes.
- Failure to Load – You will find different reasons why luggage can fail to be loaded in the original departure destination. For a quick tip, those self-service kiosks result in a higher risk of your luggage being left behind. Make sure that you go straight to the counter to have the attendant process your luggage.
How to Deal with Lost Luggage?
Report It’s Missing
While there’s almost nothing you can do to ensure that your bag is not actually lost, the likelihood of it being returned is high as 3% of lost luggage are unrecoverable.
Once you know your luggage is lost, immediately report it to the baggage kiosk representative.
Many airlines have tracking systems that can help them to locate your bag easily and determine how long it can be returned to you.
See to it that you get Property Irregularity Report with the tracking code of your lost luggage before you leave the airport.
Keep You Cool
While it can be very frustrating to lose your luggage with your valuables in it, it is essential that you keep your cool and do not yell and scream at airline employees.
Keep in mind that the personnel you report your missing bag are not the ones at fault.
Besides, these people can help you find your essential belongings.
Also, if your infuriated, you are not doing others and yourself a favor since you might not provide an accurate and clear description of your lost luggage making it hard to find.
Never Reveal What’s Inside Your Lost Bag
While it may be true that you have a lot of valuables inside your lost bag and you may even itemize what’s inside of it, it does not matter. Many airline companies take not accountability for lost valuables.
Remember that valuables are to be placed inside your carry-on bag not inside a checked bag.
Many airline companies have a disclaimer that takes no responsibility for lost valuables, so you know what to do.
Never Give Up on Your Luggage
Your airline must give you update on your lost luggage, but this-this does not happen to be polite and proactive. Reference the tracking code from Property Irregularity Report in all the correspondence.
Be upfront and straightforward and brief.
You must include all pertinent data such as flight number and the date as well as the time.
If after 21 days your luggage is not yet returned, then you will need to file a claim.
How Can You Prevent Lost Luggage from Happening Again?
- Secure the loose ends of your bag. Did you know that taking off straps or ensuring nothing is dangling off your bag lessens the chances of luggage becoming stuck along the belts used for unloading and loading?
- Itinerary and identification cards. Include a copy of your flight itinerary in front of your luggage or an easy-to-access pocket along with your identification card. The card must include your name, address and contact number in different locations.
- Make your luggage stand out. Putting accents or bright color strips in your bag enables passengers like you to be more descriptive in filing a report on a lost bag. You might find it silly to have a zebra stripped luggage, but it is much easier to locate than those traditional black suitcases.
- If your luggage is lost, ensure to be reimbursed. If you purchased flight insurance, ensure to file a report immediately and get reimbursed. Moreover, there’s a law in the US Department of Transportation that obliges a refund for any luggage fee to be provided to passengers whose bag and the suitcase is lost.
In the majority of cases, lost bags make it to its owners within 24-hour arrival.
All fees incurred in locating and delivering the luggage to you are on the airline, according to the DOT.
So, no matter why your suitcase wanders off, be sure to keep receipts, photos, notes and whatever else will safeguard yours from lost property and money.
It might well be one of those rare cases when you have a massive corporation on the hook.
Also, a tip is to have a secured TSA luggage lock if you don’t anyone opening your luggage while it’s missing.