Lost Luggage: What Should You Do?

Lost Luggage: What Should You Do?

When you check your luggage with the check in agent at the airport, you will receive “checked luggage receipts.” Oftentimes they will stick them to your boarding pass with adhesive, or staple them. You should hold onto them until you have your luggage safe and sound on arrival. Some people throw their boarding pass out the moment they arrive. This is your proof that you checked luggage (although the airline system has it recorded).

When lost luggage is discovered, it is very likely that the airline “knows” it before you do. Once an orphan bag is found riding around a Punta Cana baggage carousel after everyone has left, staff at the airports remove them and put them aside. Sadly, you’re in Hawaii.

You might have noticed this from time to time when traveling. Sometimes, the luggage made it to the plane and the passengers didn’t, because they were drinking in the bar, or, you decided to stand by for an earlier flight, but the bag didn’t make it to the earlier one.

Regardless, the staff will enter the bag into the computer system, and when you arrive and discover that your bag is nowhere to be found on the carousel, just head over to the airline “lost luggage” counter. Present your checked luggage ticket, and chances are they will tell you where your bag is at this moment. They may know whether it is on the next flight, or give you some idea when the next flight will be.

Lost luggage employees are, without a doubt, the most frequently verbally assaulted individuals in the travel business – getting angry with them will do you no good. It’s typical for unseasoned travelers to lash out at the very person that is trying to help you. They will take your cell phone, hotel information, and any other contact information. They will also ask for a description of your bag – try to give a little more information than “black.” If you can name the brand, size, exact colour, it can really help. It’s a good idea to put some unique identifier on it (like a big sticker or bright yellow ribbon), so if it is lost, it is easily recognized and described.

What the airline is not very helpful with is when other passengers pick up your bag thinking it was theirs! This is why uniquely identifying it, and having your contact information on it is crucial to minimizing your losses. The tag can be your saviour to getting your luggage back quickly.

It’s simple, when you’re on a Jamaica vacation, you want your luggage on vacation with you. Here are some tips to help you avoid lost luggage issues:

  • Print clearly or type on your luggage tag
  • use a permanent tag with your home address and home/cell numbers inside a plastic luggage tag
  • Use the airline tag at check in to hand write your hotel name, hotel phone number, cell phone, and the dates you are staying
  • Put a unique identifier on your bag – some people tie a bright and unique scarf to the bag. The more unique, the better. This will avoid people grabbing your luggage by mistake
  • Consider more unique looking bags other than black
  • “Cross-pack” your things with your traveling companions (don’t have all your eggs in one basket – some of yours in his, some of his in yours)
  • Have a partial change of clothes in your carry on (underwear, fresh shirt) just in case
  • Always take enough essential medicines in your carry-on
  • Once you have your luggage reported and a claim check number, you can often monitor the status online.  If you are not far from the airport, you may consider returning to fetch it yourself, but otherwise they will have a courier deliver it. Make sure your concierge and front desk know you are missing a bag and expecting it – they will have it delivered right to your room then.
  • Buy travel insurance, and if your bags are delayed, you can purchase some essentials so that it doesn’t ruin your holiday. You need to call the insurance company first and register the claim. If your luggage is lost completely (rare), the claim amount will be higher, but it likely will not fully replace the value of all your articles. This is why it is always best to dress modestly when traveling, and never take expensive things with you.

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