Losing or misplacing a bag leaves one with a bad taste at the end of a journey. It robs you of the excitement when one is getting back home to family with goodies.
According to the data released by regulator DGCA, missed baggage continues to be among the top three complaints of fliers in India.
In fact, mishandled baggage is one of the biggest issues with the aviation industry worldwide, costing a whopping $2.3 billion in 2015.
This guide explains what you should do if your baggage is lost during travel or at the airport.
Baggage lost at departure airport
In spite of all the technological advancements, airlines are still handled by humans and mistakes do happen.
Your baggage might have been sent on a wrong flight or may have been left out at the departure airport. There might also be other reasons like a loose packing, wrong label or a suspicious item.
If you cannot find your baggage at the baggage claim area even after a considerable amount of time, try not to panic.
If you are sure that all baggages have arrived and yours is not there, contact your airline representative inside the airport. The airline representative will get you to the lost luggage desk.
You will be asked to complete a Lost Baggage Claim form with a description of the lost item as well as your contact information.
- The airlines typically have ways to track them, and the vast majority of all misplaced luggage is returned eventually. If your bags are on the next flight, you could have them within a few hours.
- If they’ve been sent to the wrong airport, it could take a couple of days or more.
- Many airlines will reimburse any unexpected expenses caused by the loss or delay. Refer to your airlines policy about this compensation.
Baggage lost at arrival airport
Sometimes, it is the passengers who absent-mindedly leave behind their valuables at security counters, rest rooms, etc.
In some cases, another passenger may have taken your baggage by mistake and may have left it somewhere after realising his mistake.
In such scenario, CISF’s lost and found tracking system can be handy:
Tracking lost baggage online
The Central Industrial Security Forces (CISF) which is in charge of airport security at all commercial airports in India, has a section on their website called the “Lost & Found”, which helps travellers to trace the baggage which they missed from an airport.
Here is how you can check it online :
- Visit CISF website (www.cisf.gov.in)
- Click on the “Lost & Found at Airport & Delhi Metro” link (On lower right side of the website)
- On the next page, click on “Airports”
- On the next page, select your Airport from drop-down list
- Select your Date of Travel and click on “Go”
- A list of all Lost & Found items will be shown as well as contact details to collect the item
Claiming lost baggages
The lost and found item may be claimed by the owner and should be in possession of the following documents:
- Copy of Boarding pass / proof of journey
- Copy of Passport / ID card issued by any Government Unit
- Details of the items being claimed.
If the owner cannot be present, an authorised person can claim with a Letter of authorisation from owner, Copy of Boarding pass / proof of journey, Photo ID of owner and Photo ID of the authorised person.
NOTE : Some airports have different procedure for claiming the baggage. Please check on your airport website for the exact procedure.
As a general rule, passengers are advised not to carry valuables such as jewellery, negotiable papers and currency in their checked baggage.
Your airline is not liable for loss/damage to or delay in the delivery of fragile or perishable articles or items of value or importance such as money, jewellery, cameras, electronics/ video/computer or photographic equipment, negotiable papers, securities, heirlooms, antiques, artifacts, work of art, irreplaceable books or publications, manuscripts, business documents, precious metals and other similar valuables or commercial effects.
– Aneesh V / NRICafe.com