Lost luggage blues

What do you do when your luggage has failed to appear on the conveyor belt?

Lost luggage blues

You’ve arrived at your destination after a long and tiring flight, you’ve watched your fellow passengers retrieve their luggage off the conveyor belt and head out through the doors to begin their holiday, but your bags have failed to appear – what should you do?

Firstly, don’t panic! Nine times out of ten luggage reappears within a day or two and will be delivered to you at your hotel or to your home.

Before you even leave for your trip, check what the weather conditions are going to be at your destination and pack a change of clothes, underwear, and toiletries in your carry on, just in case of this eventuality.

If you have not been so forward thinking and the worst has happened, you will need to make your way to your airline’s office to fill in a P.I.R. (Property Irregularity Report). You need to have the slip from the ticket that was placed around your luggage at check-in. This slip acts as a receipt to help identify your luggage, while also proving that you handed it over at check-in. Additionally, you will be required to supply your contact details, flight number and a description of your luggage.

Ask your airline representative about their reimbursement policies. Most airlines will cover the purchase of necessities to see you through until your luggage is recovered.

If you are one of the unfortunate travellers whose luggage never turns up, you will need to make a written claim with the airline confirming that your luggage has been lost.

If you have travel insurance, a copy of the written claim, along with the P.I.R. and a packing list of the contents of your bags should be attached to your claim.

If you do not have travel insurance covering you for loss of luggage, the Montreal Convention requires airlines to fully compensate travellers to the maximum liability of a fixed amount 1,131 SDR per passenger.

Have you experienced the frustration of lost luggage? How did you cope?


    To make a comment, please register or login
    16th Nov 2014
    Alitalia lost the luggage of about 20 passengers, mine included, on an internal flight from Venice to Genoa. After waiting in the queue to report it for over an hour, they suggested that it might be on the next flight arriving in an hour. Only three of us waited - and were reqrded with our luggage appearing first! Very traumatic though when it fails to appear.
    19th Nov 2014
    Andrea, an explanation of the currency SDR would be useful for many readers here.
    19th Nov 2014
    I was waiting for that to appear, but I'm still waiting. "Please explain" to coin a phrase (!) Andrea,
    21st Nov 2014
    Special Drawing Rights.
    19th Nov 2014
    Delivery of "lost" luggage can prove more difficult than that if you join a coach tour and go to a country area that day, then move on the next morning, especially if you travel into the outback.
    19th Nov 2014
    SDR is approx $1900 by todays exchange rate.
    20th Nov 2014
    And just a suggestion ... Take a photo on your phone or smart device of your checked in bags before you leave .. Makes it easier to give a description of you bag type, size, colour etc
    Easy to have a mind blank when you are frazzled at not having your bags turn up
    21st Nov 2014
    Such a good idea to take photo of bag and luggage claim tags. We were one of dozens that lost their luggage when travelling Air France to Budapest (de Gaul airport Paris is notorious).
    Was able to purchase necessities including clothing - kept all receipts and Air France reimbursed without trouble. They had to chase us up river all the way to Cologne to catch up - it took 14 days

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