Flights: Expert reveals what to do when your checked luggage gets lost

Landing at the airport to discover that your bags have not made the journey is not the way any traveller wants to begin their holiday, and yet it is the unfortunate reality for many. Bags can get lost in transit for all kinds of reasons, and although getting the luggage from your departure gate to your arrival location is technically the airline’s responsibility, other issues on the ground can also come into play. Whether it’s a late check-in, an error on the baggage handler’s part or problems with luggage sorting technology, all too often passengers are waiting at the belt for a bag that simply isn’t going to come. The latest baggage report from SITA reveals that 22.7 million bags were lost or temporarily mislaid globally in 2017.

In most instances, luggage is reported missing whilst under the supervision of airlines

Julian Kearney, CEO of Staysure

Most recently it seems this has been an issue for some travellers flying with easyJet.

Many customers, flying to and from all different destinations, have taken to Twitter to voice their upset at being parted from their luggage-some for the entire duration of their trip.

Rebecca Hurst was jetting off on a trip from Gatwick to Berlin when all four of her bags went missing en route.

Speaking with she said: “When we went to check in on Thursday the 26th sept, the check in desks had broken. So the belts weren’t taking the bags away. We were told to leave them with the staff and they will make sure we got the bags.” (SIC)

However, upon arrival this was not the case. Rebecca and her travelling companion waited at the baggage belt until the screen was finally cleared of the flight.

When they enquired at the missing bags desk they were informed that their luggage did not make it onto the flight, but would be with them soon.

Sadly this was not the case.

“We had a couple of text messages and a few emails,” she said.

“We had to keep checking ourselves on the web page what was happening. We had no way of contacting the courier company as they have no numbers.

“After Friday morning we had no communication to say of the bags had been dispatched or delivered.

“We had to keep calling customer service who had no clue what was happening and kept reading what we could see on the screen.”

Hurst went on to speak on the phone with a supervisor from the company, but retorted that “the level of communication from easyJet was disgraceful.” (SIC)

The passengers did not receive their baggage for the entirety of their trip, and it was not until they arrived at the airport that things became clearer.

“We went to the airport to fly home and went to the baggage claims.

“We asked if they had our bags. They actually managed to track them down to a different hotel. So the courier company sent them to the wrong hotel.

“I had to make a mad dash to the hotel to pick them up and get back to the hotel so we could fly back home again. “ (SIC)

However, a spokesperson from easyJet explained the policy the airline have in place. Speaking with they said: “easyJet flies on average over 1800 flights per day and incidents of lost luggage are extremely low. World Tracer, the independent body used by the industry for luggage tracking, shows easyJet to be one of the best in the industry – with the incidences of delayed luggage at around 0.5 per 1000 bags. 

“Our industry leading ‘Bag Tracker’ tool sends SMS and email updates tracking the bag throughout its journey on the rare occasion things go wrong. We will try and reunite passengers with their luggage as soon as we can and advise passengers to visit for further information.”

So, how can travellers protect themselves incase they do run into this situation?

An expert from Staysure, a travel insurance provider, offered some insight into the options available.

Speaking to, Julian Kearney, CEO of Staysure, said: “In most instances, luggage is reported missing whilst under the supervision of airlines and there is nothing that travellers can do to prevent their luggage going missing whilst in their care.

“In the unfortunate event of this happening, Staysure customers are advised to notify their airline straight away and register the loss by completing any necessary paperwork.

“This will be required in support of any claim made under their Staysure Travel Insurance Policy.”

One good way to make sure your bag is distinguishable is to list your name and number on any bag tag you may have, and ensure minimum impact by packing medication or valuables in your hand luggage.

Of course, those things may be easy to suggest in hindsight, but there are still options if you do find yourself abroad with no luggage.

Kearney says the best thing to do is “keep hold of any airline or any other ticket that confirms your travel arrangements”.

He adds: “As well as finding out what you’re entitled to from your airline, you should check the ‘Delayed Baggage’ section of your Staysure Travel Insurance Policy, for the purchase of essential items if you come unstuck.

“With Comprehensive cover, you would be entitle to buy some emergency toiletries and clothing while the airline tries to reunite you with your bags, so at least you can enjoy your holiday while you wait for your luggage to arrive.”

There is some good news though.

Despite the number of bags that go missing each year, almost all customers are reunited with their things.

According to Staysure statistics last year, the firm only saw 10 per cent of its claim relating to lost luggage, passport and money.

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