Losing My Luggage

It finally happened.  My luggage didn’t arrive with me at my destination.  It is one of those things that probably will happen to every traveler at some point but a person always thinks, not me, it won’t happen to me.  
<a href="https://pixabay.com/users/Mcability/">Mcability</a> / Pixabay

But it does.

So what do you do?

First things first, you go to the desk at wherever you are supposed to claim your luggage.  (Note: You may be told you do not have to collect it until your final destination, but depending on where you are flying, you may have to claim it to go through customs in some countries.)  Have your luggage tag ready as they are going to need it to check on the status of your luggage.

Wait patiently.

Wait impatiently.

When you have an agent ready to help you, present your tag. They will be able to look up in their system where your bag is.  If it has arrived in your destination but isn’t on the carousel, there may be a back room that unclaimed bags have gone.  Chances are, you have been hanging around the carousel for a while and you have seen the same six bags go around a dozen times.   But maybe somehow it didn’t make it onto the carousel or it’s in the back or somewhere else.   

If it didn’t arrive, then the next step is to figure out where it went and how it is going to get to you.  Hopefully it simply missed a connection and is already hurtling through the air to you.  If this is not the case, then the airline has to figure out what happened to it and what will happen next.
In the case of my luggage, it didn’t even leave home.  And it was 24 hours flying time to my destination not to mention layovers.   But customer service told me it would arrive Friday morning, Africa time.   They asked me if I wanted to pick it up or have it delivered.  I selected delivery as I did not have a vehicle and didn’t want to be paying a cab to go pick up my luggage that they forget to send.  I gave them the name of my hotel and I advised my hotel that the airline would be bringing in my luggage Friday morning.  My hotel took the information from me and they called the airline on my behalf Friday morning as well as I was heading out for the day.

Thankfully my story has a happy ending as my bag arrived.  

I did send an email to my airline, partly due to the lost luggage and partly due to my bag being ripped.  I never got a reply.  Maybe I didn’t send it?  I’m not sure.  But it is a good idea to look into the airlines website and see what they will or won’t cover.  

What my luggage looked like when it arrived - there was a rip 
Words of advice:

You always hear that you should pack a change of clothing in your carry-on.  I forgot.  I wish I hadn’t.  I had been in the same outfit for probably 36 hours by the time I got to my hotel.  At least in Africa, hand washing and hoping for it to dry overnight does not work out well.  I ended up purchasing a few pieces of clothing.  But, where we went, plus size clothing barely existed, I bought pants and a shirt that fit, not that I would necessarily wear in the future.

Carry any medications or important items with you.  This I have always done as medications can not necessarily be replaced at your destination.  Carry them in their original bottles and if you have multiple medications, do not combine them in one bottle to save space.  It isn’t worth it to have them confiscated.

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