Getting off the plane and finding out that the airline lost your luggage is probably the worst start to a vacation that anyone can imagine.
It happens all of the time and to the best of us, and quite often there is little you can do to retrieve it. So, the question arises: do airlines usually find lost luggage? What happens to it? Where does it go? Let’s find out!
How much baggage do airlines lose?
According to SITA, the agency that monitors baggage handling at a worldwide level, online in 2016 there were more than 21.6 million bags that were either lost or misplaced temporarily all over the world. The airline industry registered approximately 35 million flights that year.
With these figures, there is a good chance that the next time you travel by plane you may reach your destination, but your luggage may not.
Contrary to popular misconception, the loss of your luggage is not part of a global conspiracy that profits from trafficking worn-out clothes and kitschy souvenirs. More than often, your baggage has either been delayed or misplaced. It will rarely be “lost” forever.
What happens to lost luggage?
Consumer research reveals that almost 85% of all lost luggage returns to their owners within 2 days from the moment of its disappearance claim. This means that your baggage was wrongly misdirected, forgotten at the airport or simply misplaced by the airport staff.
There are situations where a ticketing error may lead to your luggage being sent to another destination than the one where you arrive. This unfortunate case may happen to you when you book connecting flights or flying on a multi-city fare.
Do airlines find lost baggage?
The process of baggage handling from the check-in stand to the plane’s storage is quite simple and free of obstructions. In most cases, airlines will find lost luggage and return it to you. Unfortunately, it will take some time, during which you are stuck with just the clothes on your back and whatever you were transporting in your carry-on bag.
If you arrive at your destination, and your luggage does not, you have 4 hours to file a complaint about it. Next, it will take 5 days for the airline to transfer your complaint to the local airport. From then on, it may take between 45 and 100 days to expect a resolution for your case. Fortunately, only 2% of lost luggage at a global scale is never to be found again.
How to get compensation for your lost luggage
If the airline accidentally sends your luggage to another destination than the one on your ticket, you are entitled to compensation. The company should reimburse you for the goods that they have misplaced.
Unfortunately, most airlines will buy their time and make this process as difficult for you as possible. Your best choice is to employ the services of professionals in the field who can help you claim compensation successfully and get a substantial payoff for your inconvenience.