Lost, stolen or damaged baggage – what should you do?

Everyone can identify with the anxious feeling you get when you realise your belongings have been lost or stolen but what should you do if this happens whilst you’re on holiday? Read on to find out what you should do in the event your baggage or personal items are lost, stolen or damaged…

Top tips to remember:

  • File a claim immediately – If your bag is lost in transit, you should notify the airline and get a written report. If you discover your items have been lost or stolen, you must file a police report, in the event you are unable to obtain a written police report, get your hotel to confirm you have reported a loss. In most cases, lost or stolen items must be reported within 24 hours if you plan on claiming. You may be able to claim for any emergency purchases you might need, these include toiletries and items of clothing. So remember to keep all receipts.
  • Know your information – In the event that you do need to deal with the hassles of lost items, it will be a whole lot easier if you carry your contact information with you to give to the airline or police. This means hotel addresses and phone numbers of the hotel or residence where you’ll be staying. The more paperwork and receipts you have will help to support your claim.
  • Don’t panic – If your bag doesn’t show up on the baggage carousel along with the others from your flight, or you discover your items have been stolen, don’t panic. It’s tempting, especially after being on a long flight or being in a foreign country but it’s possible that the bag is being held up. Check with the airline to see if it might already be waiting for you elsewhere.
  • Keep medications, jewellery and valuables in your hand luggage – If you’ve checked in a medication you need to take within the next 24-hours you may be out of luck if your bag can’t be returned to you right away. This can be an uncomfortable and even potentially dangerous situation. While jewellery and other valuables may not affect your health, they can be stolen from your bag and you may not be reimbursed for your stolen items in this event.
  • Securely attach a luggage label to your luggage – Just your name and destination is needed. It’s also a good idea to put a note of your name and contact details inside your bags – just in case the baggage handlers need to open your case if it does go missing in transit. Some other people may have the same luggage as you and may take your bag by accident, not realising it until they get to their destination.
  • Remove old airline tags – Make sure that the airline tag from your previous flight is torn off. A lot of times people will get home from their trip, throw the luggage in the wardrobe and not even think twice about it. Having various airline tags on your bags may confuse the baggage handlers.

Lost luggage doesn’t have to be a constant worry on your next trip. These tips can help reduce the chances of having to deal with the hassle of lost or stolen baggage to make your life a little easier in the event you do. Either way, your trip will benefit from having adequate travel insurance. You can buy single trip travel insurance from 24/7 travel insurance from just £5.32* a small price to pay for your peace of mind on holiday.

*Premium £5.32 includes Insurance Premium Tax based on an individual aged under 55 taking out a Standard Single-trip 24/7 travel insurance policy for 3 days in Europe excluding personal possessions cover and purchased within 14 days of departure date. Cover details and prices are correct at time of going to press (June 2009) and are subject to change.