Flights for many people involve checking in hold luggage and well as taking hand luggage. Handing over baggage to an airline worker can sometimes spark concern for some plane passengers. What if the suitcase doesn’t make it to the destination? This is an expert’s travel advice.
A travel expert has revealed what you should never do if your luggage is lost.
Rebecca Kingsley, Brand Manager of travel insurance consumer site travelinsuranceexplained.co.uk, explained travellers should never leave the airport without telling the airline and airport about the missing baggage.
This is because you need to go through the formal procedure as otherwise, your travel insurer might not accept the claim.
Kingsley told Express.co.uk: “The first step passengers should take is to contact the airline – most airlines have a dedicated desk at the airport where you can file a Property Irregularity Report (PIR), and provide contact and address details.
“Always ensure that you report your lost luggage and fill in a PIR before you leave the airport, as airlines or your travel insurance may refuse to accept a claim retrospectively.”
There are various ways passengers can reduce the likelihood of losing their luggage.
For starters, it’s worth making your bag distinctive so it sticks out. “Either don’t buy a generic-looking bag, or personalise with your details such as a bright ribbon or attach a distinctive tag,” said Kingsley.
“This reduces the chance of someone else taking your bag mistaking it for their own.”
It’s also well worth labelling your luggage with your contact details.
“The flight label coming off your bag isn’t unheard of, and if this does happen, and there is no contact on the bag, the individual who finds it has absolutely no way of getting back to you,” explained Kingsley.
“Labelling the bag with something simple such as your name and a phone number should be enough.
“Giving your address can also be useful, but some people may not feel comfortable providing that information.”
A more high-tech way of limiting the chances of your bag getting lost is to invest in a bag tracker.
“There has been recent technological development in tracking devices that are very affordable and easy to use,” said Kingsley.
“Mostly linked to an app, these devices just go in your bag and will keep you updated on exactly where your bag is.
“While it may not bring your bag back it can help those trying to locate it and bring your luggage back quicker. You can buy these from £20; well worth the money, just in case!”
Travellers should also avoid checking in late as your bag could be either be denied or it simply won’t make the flight.
“Getting to the airport early is a very simple and effective way of reducing the probability of luggage delay,” Kingsley advised.
Lastly, if you have connecting flights it’s important to leave enough time between them.
“Bags being left behind after a connecting flight are a very common cause of delayed luggage,” said Kingsley.
“If you get a connecting flight very shortly after your first flight it doesn’t give the airport enough time to transfer the bags over to the following flight.
“You have to bear in mind it takes a short while for the airport to process the bag and work out where it has to go.
“Give yourself around two hours to be off the plane and get some (decent) food in the airport!”