What to do when you lose your luggage in another country

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When you go on vacation, the last thing you want to happen is for your luggage to get lost. Whether you accidentally left it at home or at the hotel, or whether it wants to carry on its vacation a little longer, it can make the whole vacation process even more stressful. And unfortunately, it happens to hundreds of people each day. All of us hope it’s not us, but when it’s out of your hands (quite literally), there’s nothing we can do to control it. So what do you do when you lose your luggage in another country?

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Report it lost ASAP

Each airport will have a dedicated team to deal with baggage claims and lost luggage – so instead of waiting at an empty carousel, report your missing luggage immediately. Normally, lost suitcases are normally just delayed or on the next flight, and can be traced and returned to you within a matter of hours. However, if your bags have been sent to another airport, it can take days to be returned to you. The easiest way to make sure they get back to you as quickly and as easily as possible is to file your claim immediately, and give the attendant your name, address and where they can reach you. They should then give you a lost baggage reference number.

Check the bag status

Nearly all airlines will give you the option to check the status of your lost luggage claim on their website. If you haven’t heard from the airline after 24 hours of the bag being reported, you can go online to check the status yourself. If in doubt, call the airline yourself to follow up the claim – many of them are very busy, and your claim may be put at the bottom of the pile. Chase them.

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Claim for your losses

If the airline has lost your bag, they are held responsible, and they suffer the consequences – which is great for you. Because of this, the airline is responsible for reimbursing the lost contents of your bag, within reason. However, be careful. The maximum reimbursement amount varies from airline to airline, so don’t go buying everything x2! The airline should cover your essentials, but always check the limit before you go shopping for replacements. Keep all of your receipts, as you will need these to complete the transaction.

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Negotiate with them

Like any business, airlines don’t want to lose money – and they don’t want to shell out money for their mistakes. Airlines will very seldom offer full reimbursements or refunds for lost luggage, and will always offer you the very least. But we’re not going to stand for that! Firstly, ask for a refund for your checked baggage fee as you should not have to pay for someone to lose your luggage. You paid them to keep it safe, and they didn’t. Secondly, ensure you talk to the manager or supervisor of the lost baggage desk to complain, negotiate and protest their decision. Don’t settle for the lowest price.

Contact your insurance provider

Whenever you travel, you should always get yourself travel insurance. Although this is an extra cost, many of them offer insurance payouts for lost luggage. Contact your insurance provider as soon as you have made your claim, offer them the details and ask them what they can offer you. This will be a bit of extra money in your pocket.

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