I hope you haven`t been in my situation or won`t experience what it`s like when your luggage is delayed, but it`s better to be informed in case it does happen to you. I`ve had my luggage delayed twice on all my travels, which isn`t too bad I guess but it`s still not the way you want to start or finish a trip.
So, what to do when your luggage is delayed?
When you don`t see your luggage straight away, don`t panic. Wait until the carousel has stopped to be sure. When your luggage does not turn up, go to the airline desk that handles delayed, lost and damaged luggage as they will open a file for you. Make sure you have your boarding pass and luggage tags (with barcodes) ready to hand over. You`ll get asked to describe your suitcase: color, brand etc. They`ll provide you with a file number and telephone number so you can follow up later on and then you hope for the best.
At this stage some airlines offer an emergency bag with toiletries, but this depends on the airline, however don`t be afraid to ask for it. Make sure you also ask if the airline offers a voucher or prepaid credit card to buy necessities. Unfortunately the airlines I flew with didn`t provide this, luckily when you have good insurance they will reimburse you for the expense of certain necessary personal effects.
A few tips:
- Make sure your bags are clearly labeled with name/address details, also on the inside
- Have a photo of your luggage so you can show it when they ask for a description
- Keep your valuables in your carry-on, as well as medicines for when something like this happens
- Have an extra outfit in your carry-on so you have something to get you through the first day
- Have your boarding pass and luggage tags ready to speed up the process at the airline desk
- Make sure you write down the reference number or ask for a copy for further reference (either when discussing with the airline or insurance). Having the name of the person that assisted you at the desk is usually a good idea as well
- Ask when you can expect your luggage
- Ask if there is any compensation
- Make sure you keep all the receipts of things you had to buy to get through the first hours/days
- Follow up the next day to see what`s happening
Have you ever had your luggage delayed or – even worse – lost?