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What To Do When Your Bag or Luggage Goes Missing During Your Travels

lost luggage at the airport

Not having your personal belongings or valuables within your possession can be a very distressing situation. You may experience greater stress if your baggage goes missing during a trip away from home as you may feel disadvantageous in unfamiliar territory.

There are three most probable reasons that your bag/luggage is missing: The baggage was accidentally dropped/left somewhere, you were robbed, or your stuff were sent to a different location. In all situations, try to calm any panic you may feel and seek help from authorities especially those who speak a language you are fluent in. The following is the breakdown of the aforementioned:

1. Baggage accidentally dropped/left behind

Recall when the last time that you had your belonging with you was. Then try to retrace your steps and actions. Search along that path and hopefully you will find your belongings without disturbance. If the item is missing from that recollected place, try to see if there is a CCTV in that area that could help you and the authorities find who had taken it. Also, if there is a service in that area, check with the “lost and found” counter. File a report with the police and authorities in that area should your bag or luggage have been picked up by a stranger and no attempt of return was made. This is a theft case.

2. Robbed

If you have the stamina and strength, and the robber is without a dangerous weapon nor has not gotten far yet, you may give chase and play the hero in your own holiday. However, if not, try to get and recall as much information of the robber as possible. What was he/she wearing? What color was their hair? Built and height? Did they get away on a vehicle? What color, model and license plate did that vehicle have? Next, head down to the nearest police station or tourist police station and report the incident. Give them the location and time of the incident, followed by descriptions of the robber. Try to remember all your belongings contained in that bag/luggage.

3. Rerouted bag/luggage

It is always a good idea to mark your luggage in a unique way AND to have your name and details attached there. It is best if such uniqueness is difficult to remove. If you are thinking of tying a ribbon/string, this method has become so wide-spread that it is no longer unique. How about a unique and bright-colored bag tag? Custom-made design on your luggage’s exterior? In this way, it is easier to describe your luggage. If your luggage was sent to the wrong room by the bellhop, immediately inform the front desk and it should not take long for you to retrieve your belongings. However, if your luggage had been transferred to the wrong airplane, then it might be 1-4 days before you can obtain your luggage, depending on which destination it had arrived in. The tag placed on your luggage when checked in should alert the airport staff in the wrong destination to inform the relevant authorities and send your luggage in the right direction. In the meanwhile, you will have to purchase necessities to sustain you until that time. Tip – It is always good to have basic essentials in a carry-on bag when traveling to an unknown destination or if you have no contacts to help you there.

In either situation, should your wallet and travel documents be amongst those stolen, you would need to contact and go to your embassy in that country. Should necessary medications be in the missing baggage, go to the nearest hospital to inform them of the situation and that you will need to obtain another supply of your medication. If you have evidence or documents relating to your missing bag or luggage or to your medication needs, do show them to the hospital too. Give the hospital staff the name and contact number of your doctor to facilitate the procedure.

When possible, contact your loved ones and inform them of your situation. They may be able to assist you in your dilemma. Even if they are unable to, they would be able to give you comfort in your situation. It is always a good idea to purchase travel insurance on trips overseas to ease the financial and emotional burden that may occur in these unfortunate incidents. We never want these things to happen, but can never really predict the future. So pack and prepare your luggage and bags well, bear these tips in mind and enjoy a safe and enjoyable trip.


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