We always hold our breath for just a moment when we are in the baggage area of an airport. We know that missing and lost luggage when flying is a more common phenomenon than you would think. After almost 15 years of international travel, visiting well over 100 airports in 60+ countries, we have been fortunate enough never to have a bag go missing.
We returned to the USA from Amsterdam (via London) on British Airways when they lost our luggage. Not just one bag. Not just two bags. But four missing bags.
You can imagine our panic when we were at baggage claim, the conveyor belt came to a halt, and we (along with many others) were told that was it. Not only did our suitcases have all of our clothes in them (thankfully we were heading home and not just starting our trip), but also all of our toiletries, many souvenirs, Christmas gifts, and, perhaps most importantly, a lot of rare Belgian beer from our holiday.
We sprang into action to either be reunited with our bags promptly or, worst case, adequately compensate for all that lost value. So in this one, we wanted to walk through what you should do if you find yourself at an airport baggage claim and an airline has lost your luggage.
Note: This article will include the steps we took for our lost luggage on British Airways; however, most airlines have similar processes albeit possibly with slightly different timescales. When in doubt, always speak to a representative before leaving the airport, find out their recommended steps, and, if possible, get everything in writing and/or in an email with company letterhead for tracking as quickly as possible.