Have you seen the videos and images of chaos in airports across the world over the past month? Due to increased demands on a travel industry that hasn’t fully recovered its staffing levels since the pandemic, most airports and airlines are unable to keep up with the amount of people moving through the airport each day. Flights get cancelled every day – if you’re lucky, they might cancel your flight a few weeks in advance, but unlucky travellers have seen their flights cancelled on the same day, when they’re already at the airport. <br> <br> But for the most part, the people who actually get to the airport, do tend to also make it to their destinations. Their luggage, however? Slightly less likely to make it all the way. <br> <br> If you’re on holiday and your luggage has been lost – don’t panic! There is help to be had. Here’s what you should do if you’re one of the unlucky travellers. <br> <br>
Report it to the airline immediately
Luggage isn’t officially considered lost until it’s been lost for 21 days, but if you’re on a weeklong holiday, that’s not likely to be all that helpful. However, airlines do still have a responsibility to help you if your luggage is “delayed” (which is the official designation for the first 21 days, even if they legitimately don’t have a clue where your bag is). By reporting it immediately, you are more likely to get assistance with compensation. <br> <br>
Look at your insurance policy
On the topic of compensation, the reality is that you’re better off making an insurance claim, if you’ve got travel insurance or home insurance that covers lost or delayed luggage. Chances are you’ll get more money that way, and the process will be a lot easier. Not sure what you should look for when booking travel insurance? Check out our top tips here. <br> <br>
What can you claim for?
No matter if you remembered to get insurance or not, you will be able to get assistance with replacing certain items. But be careful, when claiming through the airline this is usually limited to the essentials such as toiletries, underwear and very basic clothing. What you shouldn’t expect is for the airline to cover like-for-like replacements. The highest amount an airline will cover is £1,000 – and normally, it’s a lot less. They also won’t replace anything old with something new, so even if your favourite bikini was fairly pricey when you got it, be careful about replacing it with something equally nice. <br> <br>
What you’ll need
You’ll need certain documents in order to put in a claim with the airline. You passport, boarding card and luggage barcodes are all vital for them to be able to identify the luggage. Make sure to also bring proof that you reported the loss to the airline. Finally, unless the airline immediately gave you vouchers to replace your items, you will also need receipts for everything you’ve had to buy to replace missing items. <br> <br> Losing your luggage isn’t the best way to start your holiday, but it doesn’t have to be a disaster. Our top tip is to keep your swimming costume, anything valuable or anything you’ll need on the first day in your hand luggage – that way, at least you’ll be able to sort it all out from the beach. <br> <br>
If in doubt, check the terms and conditions with the individual airline that you have booked with to find out exactly what they can offer. For more detailed advice on any of these individual topics, have a look at the Citizen’s Advice website.