It’s that moment of dread: You waited and waited at the baggage carousel, watching as every other person grabbed their bags and went on their merry way. The bags stop coming down. The carousel stops moving. You don’t have your bag! What now?
Unfortunately this is very common. There are so many reasons why a bag can be misplaced. A checked bag goes through so much after it leaves you: X-ray machines, TSA inspections, long conveyor belts, rough baggage handlers, baggage carts. There are opportunities for your bag to either lose its tag, fall off the cart, or get sent on the wrong flight. Sometimes a flight is so full that the airline can’t take everyone’s bags. This is just a small sampling of the possibilities.
When you find yourself in this situation, you need to go find the baggage office for your airline. The baggage agent will help you as best as he can, but here are ways to make things go much faster and smoother:
- Pull out your claim tags and present them to the baggage agent. The tags will probably be stuck to your boarding pass or the envelop your boarding pass came in. The baggage agent will need the numbers and flight information off the tags.
- If you have the address and phone number of where you’re staying, have that info ready. In many cases the airline will deliver the luggage to you once it arrives. Provide a cell phone number if possible so that the airline can easily contact you.
- Be prepared to describe your bag. Most likely there will be a chart where you can pick out the bag that most closely resembles yours. Tell the baggage agent what color the bag is and also let him or her know about anything that makes your bag stand out, such as a bright ribbon. It also helps if you can give the brand name, especially if it’s prominently displayed on your bag.
- The baggage agent might ask you what you packed in your bag. Don’t say “clothes”, which is vague and unhelpful. Everyone packs “clothes” in their bag. Instead mention something that would stand out if anyone happened to look in your bag. Your bright yellow Hawaiian shirt, for example, or the latest Stephen King book.
- It’s okay to be upset, but try to be civil and don’t cuss out the baggage agent. He or she didn’t personally lose your bag for you. Besides, you want this person to help you. Baggage agents won’t really want to be your ally if you abuse them. The more you cooperate with the baggage agent, the better he or she will be able to help you. There’s another reason to be on your good behavior: Airline employees can document what you say. They can also summon airport security if they feel they are being threatened.
- Most airlines provide toiletry kits to passengers with misplaced luggage. If you’re out of things like toothpaste, ask if they have any.
And finally, don’t stress too much. Approximately 98% of bags are returned. If you follow the simple tips below, you will avoid most baggage problems and you’ll make it easier for the airline to get your bag back to you if it is misplaced:
* Always put a name and phone number on the inside and outside of your bag.
* Put a print-out of your itinerary in your bag.
* Tie a bright ribbon or a bit of colored yarn on your bag to make it stand out.
* Pack light and avoid checking any bags at all if you can help it.
* Keep valuables, medications, and extra clothes in your carry-on.
Just follow the above steps and enjoy your flight with little hassle and hindrance as they are all tried and tested methods that have proven to be quite successful. In addition, aside from the important documents, do take care to carry a laste reisikohver along with other luggage to carry the children’s essentials as its of paramount importance to them to avoid their tantrums.