One of the worst things that can happen to you when you are traveling is losing your luggage while you are still at the airport. As you patiently wait in line, checking the carousel for your luggage, it may so happen that while everyone around you has gotten their bags, you still haven’t found yours. After waiting for a couple more minutes, it is safe to assume that your bags are most probably not coming – They’re either delayed or lost.

While this situation may seem terrifying to you, it is something that happens to hundreds of passengers on a daily basis. But that doesn’t make it any easier. You still need to find out how to get your luggage back. But where should you start? Here are a few tips for you to follow in case this ever happens to you.

Report the Incident Immediately

The first and foremost plan of action is to go to the airline baggage section and report your lost luggage the moment you realize it is gone. This way, you will be letting the airline know about the issue so that they can help you find your bags.

At this point, you will need to fill out a report detailing the identification of your baggage. Most airlines also provide you with a reference number so you can track the status of your baggage search online. After doing this, all you can do is wait.

Make a List of Essentials

In most cases, it will take longer than 24 hours to recover your lost baggage. During this time frame, you need to make a list of the essentials you need to buy to be able to survive till your bag is found. For e.g., toiletries, a change of clothing and medication, if necessary, will help you get through this period with a bit of comfort.

Demand Compensation

Some airlines provide you with a clothing allowance if your bag is lost for longer than 24 hours. If your bag cannot be found even after a few days pass, you need to talk to the airline about getting compensation for your lost luggage. Do your homework and read up about the policy of your airline so that you know the amount of compensation you are eligible for in case of permanent loss of your bags.

Plan Ahead – Sign Up for Travel Insurance

While the tips mentioned above will definitely be useful to you in the unfortunate event that the airline loses your luggage, always remember that being forearmed will ease a lot of your stress. The best way to be prepared in advance is to get a travel insurance policy that will secure you and your luggage while you are traveling. If you have a policy, you will no longer need to run around trying to file claims, track your bags or even fight for a refund.

Travel insurance policies essentially cover two types of luggage loss, i.e., permanent loss of luggage wherein you are reimbursed for your lost belongings (up to a pre-specified amount) and temporary loss of luggage wherein you can claim the amount required for purchasing essentials while your bag is in the process of being tracked and returned by the airline. All you have to do to file a claim is to obtain an irregularity report from the airlines and submit it to your insurer.

Additionally, before you start your travel, it is better to take a few precautionary measures. For starters, you can add a tag with your name and number on your bags for ease of identification in case of loss. Further, pack your valuables in a backpack or hand baggage that you will be taking with you. Another way to take care of your luggage is to take a photograph of it before you fly.

To Wrap up…

Your luggage contains all the important items that you choose to carry on your trip. Losing it can be quite troublesome which is why you need to be prepared well in advance and take action immediately. Remember to stay calm throughout this process as getting anxious will not help the situation.