What to do if your suitcase goes missing at the airport?

Every day, thousands of items of luggage go missing at airports. In most cases, they are checked-in luggage for a connecting flight, which have been put on the wrong flight due to barcode scanner mistake or a mishandling of the luggage. Those items are often retrieved and sent to their destination a few days later.

What to do if you find yourself in this situation?

Here are three steps to follow, if your luggage get lost at the airport:

  1. Declare

When you’re certain that your luggage won’t arrive on time or has been lost, go directly to your airline counter. You’ll be asked to fill a PIR (Property Irregularity Report) form (you can also fill this form if your luggage has been damage by the airline), in which you’ll be asked to provide your contact details, address, checked-in luggage registration number, flight documents and a description of your luggage.

Do not forget to ask for a receipt.

Luggage are often found within 48 hours. Luggage will be declared lost after 21 days. If your luggage has been found, it’ll be delivered at the address you’ve indicated on PIR.

  1. Get necessities

After filling a declaration, the airline will give you a small bag containing necessities, such as a tooth brush or will give you a financial compensation, if you’ve purchased those items yourself. This might not apply if you’ve lost your luggage on a flight back home.

Do you have travel or luggage insurance? Depending on the plan you’ve chosen, your assistance may send you a suitcase with personal effects or money to buy necessities (clothing, tooth brush…)

  1. Reimbursement

You can ask to be reimbursed up to a set liability, however, only past a certain amount of time. As luggage are considered lost after 21 days, it’s only past this date that you’ll be allowed to make a claim.

In a European Court decree, it is stated that airlines must pay a compensation up to 1.100 euros in case of luggage loss, per luggage and per passenger. Nevertheless, compensation for a shared luggage will only be provided if the travelers can prove that they were using a shared suitcase.

For any addition information regarding compensation, check your airline’s website.

Useful advice to keep in mind

Do not panic if you do not see your luggage at the carousel and go the airlines counter to fill a PIR form. Keep in mind that most luggage is often found.

If someone is coming to pick you up at the airport, warn them that you might be slightly delayed.

If you are travelling with your family, split your belongings in different suitcases, in the event one gets lost, you’ll have spare clothes left when you arrive.

Put your name and contact details on your luggage.

Make your luggage recognizable and distinguishable to make it easier to pick it up at the carousel.

This article was first published by Europ Assistance Belgium. Discover more insight here: http://blog.europ-assistance.be