Jet-setters and once-in-a-while-travelers alike have a common travel nightmare—losing their luggage while on the go. Not only is it annoying, it is also an inconvenience, not only to you but also to the airline that may or may not have misplaced your luggage.
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There are a few reasons these things happen, and each year, tens of thousands of travelers lose their luggage and never find it again. After all, after a certain period, missing luggage is as good as gone. Most carriers, for instance, donate the contents to charities after 90 days.
But how do you actually lose your luggage? Here are some reasons, as stated by some officials from various airlines:
The Label Gets Destroyed
Cause: Upon check-in, your bags get attached with a printed routing label, but on the way to storage, the label could be damaged or torn off the bag. Then there are instances that owners forget to fill in the identification card, which makes it generally impossible for most airlines to track the luggage to the right flight.
Effect: When the missing tag passes through the TSA and reaches the busy distribution area, it will just stay there because there is no way to determine the owner and the luggage destination.
What to do: If you arrive at the destination and your bag is nowhere to be seen, complain at the baggage-service counter and give a complete description of your bag and they will then be able to search for it, but it may take quite a while to do so. In the meantime, get yourselves some clothes to change into and continue on with your business.
You Forgot About Your Luggage Upon Landing
Cause: You may have been preoccupied with something or are simply forgetful or that you have a lot of bags and forgot about one of them, but sometimes, you don’t realize that you have missing luggage until you actually get home.
Effect: If an airline employee found your luggage, he or she probably stowed it away.
What to do: Call the airline and give a full description of your luggage, including the flight number that you were on so that they can start searching.
The Wrong Destination Code Was Typed In
Cause: After handing in your luggage, the bag-check attendant accidentally inputs the wrong destination code.
Effect: If there is no ID tag with your identification details, it is likely that employees will not be able to figure out where your bag is supposed to go. However, if your identification details are made available, the airline employees will likely figure out where your bag is supposed to go and send it there.
What to do: In this situation, you can file a lost-baggage report, which includes giving a detailed description. An agent files it to the system so that others will be on the lookout for any unclaimed bags that fit the description. Once your bag sits in your airline carrier’s holding area, someone will have to wait for it to be properly identified.
Your Bag Is Loaded on the Wrong Plane
Cause: Everything is okay, you check your bag in properly with the proper tags, the employee at the baggage check-in managed to input the right codes; but when your bag goes around the conveyor belt, an employee at the back puts it on the wrong baggage cart and ends up loading it on the wrong plane.
Effect: When the bag goes to a wrong city but is properly tagged, an attendant or airline employee will likely notice the last bag on the carousel, so he or she can notify an attendant on the right destination.
What to do: At this point, all you have to do is wait. Once the airline notices their mistake, they will re-route your bag to your actual destination, hopefully, without further delay. They will then deliver it to your destination or even directly to your home.