What Is LOST LUGGAGE and How Does It Work?

By | August 25, 2019
Lost Travel Bags
Lost Travel Bag Replacement

No one ever expects to reach their destination with one item of their travel luggage missing or with lost travel bags.

Almost every traveller, despite the diverse backgrounds they come from, report that losing travel bags is not something unusual. 

Do You Know What Happens To Lost Travel Bags – Travel 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. 

This post is intended to prepare you for that day you are going to lose your travel luggage. 

You never know at some point during your trips you will suddenly 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 happens you will obviously be left puzzled and wondering, ‘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 guide you in the event that you lose your travel luggage.

What Do We Learn From Tracy”s Experiences?

The first thing Tracy did 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 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.

Interesting Research Findings

Research from the Association of European Airlines found out that 85 per cent 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.

Also, 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.

The Montreal Convention (1999)

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.

IATA Policies

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 My lost travel bags-suitcaseproblems. 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.

GREASBY Bargains

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.  

If you have any questions about my post, ‘What Is LOST LUGGAGE and How Does It Work?’ please feel free to leave them below. I will be more than happy to respond as soon as I can.






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16 thoughts on “What Is LOST LUGGAGE and How Does It Work?

  1. Laura Leiner

    I’ve always been afraid to check my luggage.

    I normally just use a carry on to avoid losing my items. Although when I go somewhere for more than a few days, I have to check a bag.

    This article is great, I had no idea they have to compensate you to get new items while you’re luggage is being found.

    I’m glad things have changed, I’ve heard many horror stories about lost luggage.

    I am curious as to why it took 5 years for the Montreal Convention to come into effect. Any ideas why that is?

    1. Femia Post author

      Hi, Laura, thanks so much for sparing your time to read my post,’ What Is LOST LUGGAGE and How Does It Work’ and leave great comments.

      That’s a good question. I think since the Montreal Convention needed to be adopted by many countries, it took time to get everyone on board.

      Also, the countries involved had to be notified first before any changes were effected.

      So, a lot of groundwork had to be done first. 

  2. Cut

    Great post-Femia!

    I personally have never had lost luggage when flying, but every time I do fly it is always a worry of mine.

    I always ask myself when I am packing, “How would this affect me if I lost this.”

    If the loss is too big I carry it in my carry on.

    So that way if the problem does arise I sort of has already coped with it.

    1. Femia Post author

      Hi, there, thanks so much for taking your time to read my post, ‘What Is LOST LUGGAGE and How Does It Work’ and leave a comment.

      You are one of the lucky ones. The good thing is nowadays you can get some compensation if you lose your luggage.

      At least it gives travellers peace of mind.

  3. Milton Flores

    Now I know what happens exactly when your bag is lost.
    This article is very useful and adds more information to us.

    1. Femia


      Thanks so much for the time to read my post, ‘Lost Travel Bag.’

      Also, for leaving some invaluable comments. I appreciate.

      I’m glad to hear that you found this post informative and useful.

  4. Mike

    Ah, I never knew what actually happened to lost luggage!!

    It’s happened to us a couple of time ever and it’s always just arrived on the next flight (usually due to connection errors). 

    Touch wood we’ve never had out luggage auctioned off by “greasy bargains” (defo how I read it first of all!) thanks for explaining all of this!

    1. Femia Post author

      Hi, Mike, I’d like to start off with a big thank you. Thank you for reading my post, ‘What Is LOST LUGGAGE and How Does It Work? and for leaving some awesome feedback.

      I’m really pleased that you found this post informative.

  5. FredEim88

    I learned a thing or two with this article. 

    I didn’t know the airport indeed had an obligation to give you compensation for your “misdirected” luggage.

    That’s a good thing at least. But it’s too little information about this when you’re out on your travel. It was an interesting remark you can actually go to auction and buy yourself luggage. 

    Is it wrong to do it? Maybe you can make a good deal on someone’s lost luggage. Oh well…. 

    You make a good and informative article here. Thanks.

    1. Femia Post author

      Hi, Fredi, I’d like to start off with a big thank you. Thank you for reading my post, ‘What Is LOST LUGGAGE and How Does It Work? and for leaving some awesome feedback.

      I’m so pleased that you found my ppost an informative read.

  6. grea8J

    Losing travel bag is very possible. I have lost folder but not entire luggage. 

    Ah! I pray not to lose travel luggage or bag because I can imagine that it must be so painful.

    This is a great post as it gives us insight into what to do in case such situation happen to us, of course, it does happen at times. Thanks.

    1. Femia Post author

      Hello, I’d like to start off with a big thank you. 

      Thank you for reading my post, ‘What Is LOST LUGGAGE and How Does It Work? and for leaving some wonderful comments.

      I’m pleased to know that this post gives you some insight in relation to what actions to take if you happen to lose your luggage.

  7. Pentrental

    I have heard some unfortunate stories about lost luggage. 

    This type of thing can be a big inconvenience, especially when travelling on a vacation that has been planned for some time. 

    It’s good to be reminded that the traveller should go promptly to the service desk and that in most cases airline staff is able to locate the luggage electronically. 

    The Montreal Convention was great in that it held airlines more accountable for lost luggage. 

    I guess it’s important not to put personal items such as social security cards or cash/credit cards in checked luggage. 

    This is great information to have for any traveller, and I will be referring your post to some traveller friends, great work!

    1. Femia Post author

      Hello, I’d like to start off with a big thank you. 

      Thank you for reading my post, ‘What Is LOST LUGGAGE and How Does It Work? and for leaving some invaluable feedback.

      I’m really pleased to know that you find this article informative. I completely agree with you to avoid putting items like security cards in the suitcases.

  8. Joe

    This is so interesting. I’ve always wondered what happens to lost luggage and how to go about claiming them back. 

    I do travel a lot for work and it would be extremely stressful if that were to happen to me. 

    I’m glad that, through your post, I’ll know what to expect and what exactly to do. 

    1. Femia Post author

      Hi, Joe, I’d like to start off with a big thank you. 

      Thank you for reading my post, ‘What Is LOST LUGGAGE and How Does It Work? and for leaving some awesome feedback.

      I’m glad to hear that you found the information I shared informative.


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