No one ever expects to reach their destination with one item of their travel luggage missing. Almost every traveller, despite coming from diverse backgrounds, have reported that losing travel bags and luggage is not something unusual. In fact, it’s inevitable. Le’ts explore what happens to lost luggage.
At some point, as you travel to a resort place, or going on holiday somewhere, something will go wrong causing you to part ways with your beloved luggage. So, the sole purpose of this post is to prepare you for such an eventuality. I am a firm believer of the ‘be- prepared motto.’I am also fully convinced that it pays off in the end if you plan your trip having Plan B in mind, in case Plan A doesn’t work.
It all dependents what stage of your trip you would have reached when all of a sudden you discover that your luggage has gone missing. Losing your Aerolite suitcase on your outbound flight may mean that you are literally left with nothing except the clothes you will be wearing. If that is the case, this will leave you puzzled and wonder ‘What am I going to do next?’
To get a clue, let’s look back at Tracy’s Story. The lessons behind Tracy’s story can certainly give you a guide in the event that you lose your travel luggage.
Just like Tracy did, the first thing that quickly came to her mind was to go to the service desk to launch a complaint. I’m sure every airport has a similar desk for handling inquiries to help out those customers who get stuck after losing their suitcases. So, we need to go and report without delay.
In most cases, the airline staff are able to locate your luggage electronically. If they are not able to do so for some reason, you are better off making arrangements with them so that they will send your travel luggage to you by courier.
If your travel luggage is a suitcase and it’s found later, it’s still the airline’s responsibility to return it to the customer regardless of whether they’ve had compensation or not.
Research from the Association of European Airlines found out that 85 percent of bags that are reported lost are actually not ‘ lost’ in the real sense of the word since most of them were returned to their owners within 48 hours. Such bags are therefore best described as having been “misdirected” instead of using the term ‘were lost’.
If your bag is misdirected on the way out, the airline is obliged to give you money to buy replacement items or reimburse you for purchases that you make to cover yours lose while you wait for your bag.
In addition, the research revealed that some airlines become evasive and pass responsibility to any other airlines that you may have travelled with or to your insurance company. This was put to a halt by the Montreal Convention established in 1999 but came into force in June 2004.
The convention enforced airlines liability for damage or loss of baggage. Airlines were now responsible for customers’ bags that they had allowed them to check in. Passengers were now having fairer compensations and greater protection.
Since IATA is a trade association for the world’s airlines that represents 260 airlines, it has played a big role in the steering of the industry policy on critical aviation issues. In line with this, IATA introduced the InBag program to prevent mishandled baggage.
The programme promotes a good relationship between the airlines and their customers by ensuring they stay in good touch. IATA monitors the programme to see if airlines are alerting their customers of any timetable changes or flight delays. Also, to see if airlines are informing their customers about what’s being done to solve their problems.
What Happens to Lost Luggage that Never Gets Claimed
When lost luggage is not claimed, it leaves airports facing storage problems. The strain of having to keep loads of unwanted suitcases becomes unbearable. For example, the Daily Mail (2016) reported that by law, UK airports keep lost luggage for a maximum of 90 days. After which they are free to do donate unclaimed suitcases to a local auction house.
In the UK, Greasby‘s is the biggest auction house for lost luggage and auctions off 200 suitcases a month. So, for those who are interested and have the nerves, you can actually find a bargain from a complete stranger’s lost luggage. The funny thing though, is that bidders are forbidden from opening the cases before they buy them.
Most of us have travelled on holidays and business trips. We have come across different experiences and if we share, we can all benefit something. Please feel free to leave a comment below or ask any questions you may have. I will be more than happy to respond as soon as I can.