Oh Sh*t My Bag Is Gone

Many of us have experienced a delayed bag. Normally this happens when you have a connection before arriving at your final destination or if you check into an airport late and there’s not time to get your bag on the flight.

We have all felt that feeling of dread. You’re waiting at the baggage carousel and then suddenly the conveyor belt stops. The last bag is off and yours is nowhere to be seen.

Most people’s first reaction is run to the baggage office, as you know you’re not the only one with a delayed bag. Filling out the form is quite monotonous. In today’s tech savvy world it seems very dated and antiquated to have to pick out your bag from pictures which usually look nothing like anyone’s suitcase.

Once that is done you are given a claim number. You call up every day hoping that your bag will arrive. Nine times out of 10 it is just on the next flight. Not that you get your bag quite as quickly however as once it’s located it is handed off to a delivery company which does the rounds to your home or hotel.

So no harm done really. The problem is that in this case your bag has been through many hands. And thanks to the TSA you can’t padlock your bags anymore, so you may be surprised to find a few things missing.

And then there’s the worst case scenario. They don’t find your bag. Yes this happens to hundreds of thousands of bags each year. And in all of my travel I’ve had experience lost bag twice, one most recently.

luggageIt feels quite shocking in today’s world that this can really happen. Some airlines tell you that with their apps you’re able to always track your bag. But people are clever and if they want to steal your suitcase it’s always possible.

I thought I was being extra cautious having more than one name tag on at least two parts of my bag – on the outside and a business card on the inside. That didn’t help me.

If this does happen to you you should immediately check to see if you have the right insurance. If you do then you may be okay. It’s a hassle and even filling out a form with the airline take hours of dedication and work but it’s worth it if you’re properly covered for your loss.

First off you have to list every single item in your suitcase and you have to support this with receipts.

Well I certainly don’t have bills from an old wash bag and some socks from two years ago. I suspect you wouldn’t either.

Your credit card’s insurance will not cover you unless you paid for the flight in full with that credit card. Some credit cards will cover you for incidentals while you’re traveling with delayed baggage which is a help, however let’s be honest, there are many factors which insurance companies use to try to get out of paying up. And the airlines have got that pretty covered too.

In general most airlines are masters at not properly compensating you for their errors thanks to something called the Montréal Convention

This covers airlines’ liability and ensures by international treaty that the maximum they need to pay out is $1700. It’s standard, it’s law and there is no wiggle room. If you are an elite frequent-flier you may be able to ask for 25,000 miles as a bonus but that’s about it.

The lesson of this is to pack things in your checked bags that you can live without. If you make expensive purchases on the trip, then pack them in your hand baggage on the way home and try not to take expensive designer clothes with you. Wear your most expensive ones on board and never ever pack jewellery or watches in your suitcase, or the obvious, cash.

Good luck and may all your flights end with both you and your bags arriving at your destination safely and without delay.

Daniel - Living GreenDaniel Green, the Model Cook is a Celebrity Chef known for his healthy approach to food and living  well. With TV, books, magazines and live appearances, Daniel spends his time helping fans to cook better, feel better and live better. He’s also an avid traveler and a self-confessed Foodie.

To contact Daniel or learn more visit www.themodelcook.com or follow on Twitter

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