Lost or Damaged Luggage? Keep Calm, Here’s What You Can Do


You carefully packed everything on your luggage and you’re excited to explore a new world for your holidays, but just when you were about to exit the airport and officially start your vacation, you realized your luggage is missing! You could be in panic mode at this moment, especially if it’s the first time that it happened to you. Well, it’s great if you haven’t experienced this scenario on your travels. Other travelers have experienced this and it could also possibly happen to you. That being said, it would be best if you know what to do if you face this kind of situation.

Keep Calm

You might think this is absurd. How can you even be calm when everything you need is on that luggage and it’s missing? Panic and anger wouldn’t make the situation better either. Moreover, this could affect your thinking and decision making. If you try to keep calm, it would be easier for you to think of the best solution to do, which we will go through as we move on.

Report the Incident

luggage scanning

Do not leave the area where you reclaim your baggage without having the problem reported. Find an airline staff to let them know what happened. If you can’t find one, there are often help desks that you available in the airport, assisting passengers. A form will be given to you that you need to fill in, which will serve as the report for your missing luggage.

Don’t forget to get your copy as you would need this when making your claim. You would also need the baggage receipt given to you when you checked-in, so be sure to keep them safe. This is not just for your airline claim, but travel insurance agencies would also require these items in case you would file a lost luggage claim with them.

Get the name of the person to whom you reported the missing luggage so you know who to contact in case you encounter any issues with the claim. Leave your contact information as well, so it would be quicker for them to talk to you for the updates.

Request for Cash

Request for Cash

Essential things are probably on that luggage, which you would need for your stay. This is why you can request for cash that you can use for purchasing items that you would need, which you don’t have access to because they are in your bag. Some airlines would ask you to make the purchase using your money and make a refund afterwards.

This doesn’t mean that you can splurge on shopping. Make sure to ask the specific items that are covered, as well as the limit of the amount that they can refund. Keep the receipts of the things you purchased, which are covered for the refund so you would not have problems when making your claims.

If your luggage is found, you usually don’t have to pick it yourself. The airline will deliver it to you, which is at least convenient on your part. However, if your luggage can’t be tracked and it’s completely lost, then you can get compensations. If it’s found but the luggage is damaged, you could still be compensated for this. For damaged things inside the luggage, you may also be compensated, as long as they were not damaged because of improper packing.

File Lost Luggage Report

If your luggage still can’t be found, then you need to file a report for lost luggage. It’s different from the first report that you filed as it’s for a missing luggage. You need to fill up another form for your officially lost luggage.

Airlines have limits on the amount that they can cover. Your form will then be used to estimate the value of the things in your luggage for your compensation. However, don’t expect to get the original price of the items as it would be depreciated value. You may also check with your travel agency for the compensation that you can get.

Having a missing or lost luggage can be frustrating and it’s probably something you don’t want to experience. However, if it ever happens, remember to keep calm and file that needed report.

Photo Attribution:

Featured and 1st image by Bernhard J. Scheuvens aka Bjs (Own work) [CC BY-SA 2.5 (], via Wikimedia Commons

2nd image by User:Mattes derivative work: Cherubino (VTBS-luggage_screening.JPG) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

3rd image by Nad at English Wikipedia (Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons.) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons