Airlines have made big strides in reducing the number of delayed bags or lost. However, there is still about less than 1% bags that are delayed/lost. In this post, we will go through a few tips on how to avoid baggage delays and our experience with a baggage delay when travelling with Etihad Airways.
- Always make sure to carry any valuables/electronics along with you in the carry on baggage.
- Tighter transit times increases the risk of baggage delays, avoid them if possible
- Always pack a pair of clothes, prescription medicine, important documents in your carry on baggage.
- Keep a list of the items you are packing in the check-in baggage. You will be required to provide the description of items in the event of a baggage delay/loss.
- Add travel itinerary/business card in your baggage in the event your tags are damaged.
On the day of travel:
- Check-in early and drop of your bags within the specified time, late check-in increases the risk of baggage delays.
- Check the baggage tags to make sure the flight numbers and destination is correctly noted.
- Keep your baggage receipts safely.
- If you are checking-in high valued items, consider purchasing travel insurance.
- Consider taking a picture of baggage to identify easily.
At the destination airport:
- Once you disembark the plane, head directly to the baggage carousel to avoid any potential theft of your bags. Note that airlines are no longer responsible once you leave the airport without filing a complaint
- If you found that your baggage have not arrived, head to the respective airline representative/counter to file a report. Verify if you are eligible for the compensation from the airline (you may not be able to collect the compensation until the bags are delivered to you)
- It is important to be relaxed and polite during the conversation. If you ask nicely, there is every chance that the airline will do everything possible to help you.
Key links to track your delayed/lost baggage
Here are links to most major airlines that operate from/to India. You could
Our Experience with a baggage delay while travelling with Etihad Airways
We recently experience a baggage delay when we travelled from San Francisco – Abu Dhabi – Hyderabad. We are a group of 4 (3 in Business and 1 in Economy) and found that our baggage did not arrive Hyderabad in the same flight. When checked with the airline representative, they were unaware of the current location of the baggage.
We filed a Property Irregularity Report (PIR) and included the belongings in the report. Fortunately, bags arrived next day to Hyderabad and they were delivered to our home the day after (we are about 6 hours drive from the airport). we found that the baggage is delayed in Abu Dhabi (Etihad Airways Hub), otherwise it would have taken few more days to arrive Hyderabad.
When checked about the compensation, we got some interesting information.
- We are eligible for compensation only if we are flying in Business/First class – $60/day of delay.
- We are also eligible for compensation when flying in economy only if you are citizen of foreign country (To prove that you are not travelling to your residence)
- In the event of baggage loss, you are entitled for a compensation of $30/kg. You can expect $690 for 23kg or $960 for 32kg baggage. (Buy a travel insurance if you have more valuable in your check-in baggage)
If you bought your ticket with a credit card, many credit cards offer compensation for lost baggage and some of them even provide benefit for baggage delay (Another post shortly on the trip delay, cancellation and baggage delay/lost benefits).
Baggage delays can be frustrating and could potentially spoil your vacation, but can be minimized with a little bit of planning. There is no need to panic if you find yourself on the wrong side.
Do not forget to file a report before you leave airport and check if you are eligible for any compensation. Compensation depends on several factors like if you are a resident, lost baggage etc..
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Editorial Note: Opinions, analysis and any calculations shown are authors alone. Information in this post is not reviewed, approved and endorsed by any airlines, frequent flyer programs or financial institution