So You Lost Your Luggage…Now What?

** FILE ** In this Nov. 21, 2007 file photo, travelers line up to get their luggage in the Southwest Airlines baggage claim at the San Jose International airport in San Jose, Calif. It's time to think of the inside of your carry-on suitcase as real estate: Make the most of what you've got, keep it functional and make neatness count.  The carry-on bag could be the solution to some of the summer travel season's likely woes,  including checked baggage fees on American Airlines and possibly other carriers, but it also has the potential to cause headaches. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, file)

Losing a suitcase is a traveler’s worst nightmare. But it’s not the end of the world and there’s a few things you can do to get it back.


Before you go on vacation

Take pictures

While packing for a trip take pictures of your suitcase and its contents. By having photos not only is it easier to estimate the value of your belongings but you can show the airline the exact bag that is missing instead of just another black suitcase.

Know your travel insurance

Every airline has a different policy when it comes to lost bags. Airlines will only cover a certain amount of a claim so don’t expect them to cover everything in a lost bag. To make sure that you are not left replacing everything on your own look into purchasing a travel insurance plan. Most plans will cover a larger amount than airlines do and are easy to purchase in advance.

So your luggage doesn’t show up

Don’t panic and don’t leave the airport!

Report it missing.airline-check-in-counter-5446312.jpg

As soon as your bag doesn’t show up report it lost before you leave the airport. Your bag could have been delayed or simply put on another flight. The sooner an airline knows your bag is missing the sooner they can begin searching for it in their system. Depending on where the bag is will depend on when you will get it back. This means that it could take a few hours or a few days for you to get the luggage back.

Not delayed but actually LOST

If a bag has actually been lost by an airline then a claim for damages needs to be made. This is a value of the items in your bag (this is where pictures are helpful). However don’t expect to get back the full value of your items as depreciation of items are factored in. Being persistent is good but do not be rude as that will only make the situation worse. Understand that each airline has a different policy and varying rates of how much is covered.

At the Florence Airport, the Lost and Found office is the place to help you get the process going. If your bag doesn’t show up on the conveyor belt the lost and found office, which is located inside the baggage claim area, will begin the search for the luggage. Make sure to know the address of where you are staying to make sure that they have a place to deliver your luggage once it’s found.

Get your refund!

In the United States, if you paid a fee to check your bag then the airline must refund you. However, with international flights the policies vary for each airline so check the baggage policies (Delta, United, American, Alitalia, SwissAir) before you go.

Before you leave the airport don’t forget to:

-Get the reference number of your claim

-Get contact information to keep up with the progress of the search

*If your luggage shows up damaged you can also negotiate with the airline for them to cover the costs of the damage.


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