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Provide your copy of the bag tag that you received at check-in, and have the agent look up your information in the computer if possible. When you do this, include every bit of information you can about your bag and your travel plans. Provide a detailed description of the size, color and material of the bag, including any identifying tags.

What to do when your luggage is delayed or lost by an airline

Ensure the report has your local address and contact information, and be sure to get the phone number of the lost luggage desk as well as some type of reference or tracking number. The staff member to whom you are reporting the missing bag had nothing to do with the mishandling, so being rude to him or her will get you nowhere. Many carriers will keep amenity kits on hand in baggage offices to pass out to customers with missing bags, and some will even provide courtesy car seats if your child seat was delayed — which is exactly what happened to me on a trip to New Mexico in April.

In addition, they should provide some reimbursement for reasonable expenses.

My lost bag

One of the most important things to include in your claim is your local address. Do not offer or agree to return to the airport to retrieve your bags. Even if the agent claims it will be on the next flight and asks you to wait in the airport, politely but firmly decline that suggestion. I was a Diamond Medallion member at the time, and Delta does have a partnership with Virgin so, as always, your experience may vary.

However, to help pass the time, you may need to find a store to pick up the essentials you need while your bag is located.

Focus on the bare essentials in the hopes your bag will arrive soon. If you have your original bag tag or a reference number associated with the missing bag report you submitted, you may be able to stay updated online. Department of Transportation. Since these complaints are compiled and reported each month, airlines have an incentive to keep these at a minimum. Even if your bag is eventually located, any hassles or frustrations you encounter during the process should be reported. Airlines may try to limit the reimbursement they provide for reasonable expenses when your bags are delayed, but fortunately there are a handful of credit cards that cover baggage delays in their suite of protection benefits.

Once your bags are delayed by a certain amount of time generally 6 to 12 hours, depending on the card , you can be reimbursed for expenses you incur as a result of the delay.

Baggage issues

As you can see, these cards can add some nice value if your bags are mishandled. However, you typically need to purchase part of or sometimes the entire trip with the card in order for its baggage delay perks to kick in, so be sure to investigate the individual policy to understand what is and is not covered. Generally speaking, an airline will classify your bag as truly lost after 14 to 21 days — though it may happen sooner.

Most claim forms will ask you to list everything that was in the bag, including purchase dates and even original receipts for items over a certain dollar amount.

How to determine if your luggage is lost

This agreement, drafted in and modified as recently as , currently has signatory nations from around the world. This agreement, first adopted in and modified several times since, applies if either your departure point or final destination falls outside the nations that have signed onto the Montreal Convention. As previously mentioned, the above limits are not set payments when an airline loses your bag for good.


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You still need to submit the claim with details of the contents of your luggage. In addition, if an airline has already paid for your expenses while your bag was thought to be delayed, that amount will likely be deducted from your final payout. This is meant to cover your bag and its contents without forcing you to take the time to tally up the replacement value of every single thing. The above advice related to credit cards applies here as well, as many top travel rewards credit cards will cover baggage loss if you paid for some or all of the trip with your card.

Once again, these policies vary widely by issuer and card, so be sure to read the specific policy of the card you used to purchase the trip before submitting a claim and note this coverage is generally secondary, meaning the issuer will pay out after you receive compensation from the airline. The aforementioned tips are applicable when your bag is mishandled, but there are some important steps you can take to minimize the chances of this happening long before you even get to the airport.

Medication, jewelry, electronics, cash … all of it should be in your carry-on bag or personal item. My family lost almost a full day in Australia back in shopping for clothes while we waited on Delta to deliver our bags. Depending on the value of your combined accounts you can potentially get as much as 3.


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  4. Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. Many of the credit card offers that appear on the website are from credit card companies from which ThePointsGuy. After you contact the airline about a baggage problem, you may encounter resistance along the path to getting paid for your claim. The agency has also reminded airlines that they cannot exclude items like computers, cameras or jewelry from their baggage liability on international flights although these exclusions are allowed for domestic flights.

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    Get airline compensation for lost or delayed luggage - Citizens Advice

    He also suggested taking your case to small-claims court if you get an unsatisfactory response from the airline. But for those willing to spend some money for peace of mind, a company called GlobaTrac sells a palm-sized device named Trakdot trakdot. It senses the speed of the plane to deactivate during a flight, then will turn on once the plane slows down, thereby obeying rules prohibiting the use of cellular technology in the air, Cohen said. Share story. In the social-media era, Washington's public lands are being trashed.