The label best fits baggage reclaim an area that involves nearly two million missing bags annually.
Sometimes it is accidental and unfortunately sometimes it is by design – you might not be aware of 68 pieces of mishandled luggage were found in dumpster near George Bush International Airport in 2006.
After a plane lands that’s when “baggage reclaim hell” starts for every passenger.
Imagine you are standing in the long queues at the baggage carousel, but your bag doesn’t show up onto the conveyor. Don’t panic…
Let’s say your luggage is not lost, but merely delayed meaning it will be tracked down within 24 hours. So, you go to the “Lost and Found” office and the only thing they can offer you is a wait. But are you entitled to anything from the airlines?
1. Toiletry kits instead of missing bags
If airline’s employees claim your baggage will be delivered within 24 hours or more, you can ask them to provide you a toiletry kit and some cash for your troubles. But don’t expect them to advertise this service. Airlines usually evade social responsibility for missing bags, so it’s up to you to ask and find out.
2. Credit cards resolve baggage mishaps
Did you book your airline ticket with your credit card? Well done…A lot of credit card companies have a special service named the Baggage Assistance Coverage. You should call them up if your baggage is lost to find out whether they can help you. The majority of credit card companies offer a 24-hour emergency assistance to travelers including flight insurance, baggage protection and roadside assistance.
3. Travel insurance
Travel insurance is not an obvious thing to do and you might not care about it before your trip, but it helps. If you have a lot of expensive things in your luggage, it’s better to insure it because airlines usually refuse to take responsibility for valuables like jewelry, money, heirlooms.
Important tip: If your suitcases fail to follow you to the airport, the insurance company may require some additional documents such as lost-baggage report, checked baggage claim ticket, boarding pass and detailed list of items.
4. Make a lost luggage claim
If something happens with your luggage in the airport, you should fill a special form in the “Lost and Found” office. Make sure you have all phones and e-mail of this department to trace them and your luggage. If your bag gets damaged, fill a special “damage claim” to register all lost or broken items. It will help your insurers.
Important tip: Report any luggage damage before leaving the airport because airline customer service will inspect your bag to confirm a problem.
5. A right of $3300 compensation for delayed bags
If your bags are mishandled there is compensation that a passenger has to be provided according to a legislative basis of Department of Transportation. But airlines usually hide this information to avoid paying you up $3300 per incident. In addition, a baggage fee also has to be reimbursed if your luggage is delayed.
Important tip: It’s better to have this law printed and in your pocket to avoid long discussions with employees.
Here is a real investigation in Los Angeles Airport: