What To Do When An Airline Loses Your Luggage
Nothing is more frustrating than arriving to your destination only to find that your luggage has not done the same. Fortunately, you do have some options. Here’s what you need to do:
Make Your Claim Immediately. File a claim in person with your airline immediately. Calling from your hotel the same day isn’t good enough; you will have more leverage and credibility in the situation if you head straight to lost baggage claims. If your trip involved multiple airlines, the blame falls on the airline that took you to your final destination.
“Delayed” Items Are More Common Than Lost Items. It’s very rare for an airline to totally lose an item. Generally, items simply did not make it onto the plane, or were sent to the wrong destination. In these cases, the airline will generally contact you and let you know that your luggage is due to arrive in a few hours. Luggage equipped with tracking technology, such as — ahem — the Barracuda Carry-On, can also send you a personal notification upon arriving to the luggage carousel, offering extra peace of mind.
If your baggage is delayed, you are generally entitled to a stipend that will help cover the cost of temporarily replacing personal items and (theoretically) compensate for all your trouble. If your item truly is lost, the airline will notify you, and you will be entitled to compensation according to the latest Department of Transportation regulations.
Document everything and be persistent. Airlines are not always as responsible as they should be when it comes to compensating customers when problems arise. This is why it’s important to get your claim documented in writing, and to be firm and persistent. Many airlines will also try to get you to accept compensation in the form of free tickets. If you choose to accept such a deal, pay close attention to any restrictions or blackout dates tied to that free travel.
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