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Lost baggage travel insurance

Lost luggage is a problem no traveller wants to face on their holiday. Taking out a travel insurance policy could save you a lot of trouble, should you find that your baggage has been lost by the airline.

Delayed baggage compensation

Under the 'Montreal Convention' you have the right to demand delayed baggage compensation or lost baggage compensation from airlines. While claiming directly from the airline is always worth trying, it can often be tricky and you're not guaranteed to be adequately compensated. Typical compensation from airlines would include, payment for the bare essentials and part of the cost for replacing or repairing lost luggage.

Claiming lost baggage insurance

When making a claim for lost baggage, either from the airline or with Holiday Extras, there are a few recommended steps to take.

  • Report the incident - As soon as you realise that something is wrong with your baggage, report the problem to the airline. If you intend to claim directly from the airline, you'll stand a better chance of getting compensation if you act quickly. If you aren't able to make the report at the airport, then contact the airline through their website.

  • Property Irregularity report - You will need to fill one of these out, whether you decide to claim from the airline or with Holiday Extras. Property irregularity reports can be obtained at the airport from customer services in the baggage claims hall. It's always a good idea to keep a copy of your PIR as this can really help with your claim.

Important Documents

It's important to have these documents to hand, as many will be necessary items of proof, should your baggage be lost:

  • Boarding Pass - This acts as proof to the airline that you are a legitimate customer.

  • Luggage labels - Having this will make it easier for either us or the airline to trace the location of your lost luggage.

  • Property Irregularity report - This acts as proof that you report the incident to the airline.

  • Proof of purchase - You will need to provide some evidence of your ownership of the lost items. Typically this might be a receipt or credit card statement.

  • Photos of damaged luggage - If your luggage was damaged, then you should provide some photographic evidence of this.

  • Cost estimates - It's helpful to provide a rough estimate for any repairs you're claiming for.

How do I make sure my luggage doesn't get lost?

Check in early - A major reason why luggage may go missing is when a passenger leaves it too late to check in their baggage. Time is needed to process luggage, and when baggage handlers are pressed for time, the margin for error increases. Checking in early ensures that baggage handlers have plenty of time to process your luggage.

Avoid short layovers - In line with the previous point, avoiding short lay-overs will again reduce the chances of baggage handlers misplacing your luggage as you'll have more time to comfortably check-in your luggage. It's recommended to allow at least 2 to 3 hours on an international lay-over, where re-checking your baggage is required.

Get rid of old tags - As obvious as this may seem, disposing of old luggage tags will greatly reduce the likelihood of baggage being misplaced. A bag with two different tags has the potential to confuse, so bin old tags as soon as possible.

Head straight to baggage reclaim - The longer your baggage remains on the luggage belt, the greater the chance of someone else picking it up (mistakenly or not). For this reason, it's wise to get to baggage reclaim as soon as possible.

Personalise your bag - An easy way to make sure your bag isn't mistakenly taken by another passenger is to make it unique, perhaps by adding a colourful tie or kerchief to the handle, or stickers on the lid.

Add a copy of itinerary and contact details inside the bag - should (even after our previous tips) your bag unfortunately end up lost, adding a copy of your itinerary and relevant contact details like phone number or email, will make it easier for airlines to reunite you with your lost luggage. These details can be securely taped to the inside lid of the bag.

What do airports do with lost luggage?

If you aren't reunited with your luggage after 90 days, then the luggage is officially declared as lost and the airline will need to pay out the relevant compensation. But the question remains as to what happens to this luggage that is never claimed? In most instances, it'll end up at an auction house that deals specifically in unclaimed luggage, the profits of which usually go to charity.

If you've had the misfortune of losing your luggage in this way, you can at least find some comfort in the knowledge that it's gone for a good cause…

Holiday Extras Travel Insurance is sold and administered by Holiday Extras Cover Limited, registered office address: Ashford Road, Newingreen, Hythe, Kent CT21 4JF.

Holiday Extras Cover Limited is an insurance intermediary authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, registration number 828848. You can check this by visiting the Financial Services Register

Holiday Extras™ is a Trading Name of Holiday Extras Cover Limited. The insurance is underwritten by Great Lakes Insurance UK Limited. Great Lakes Insurance UK Limited is a company incorporated in England and Wales with company number 13436330 and whose registered office address is 10 Fenchurch Avenue, London, United Kingdom, EC3M 5BN.

Great Lakes Insurance UK Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Firm Reference Number 955859. You can check this by visiting the Financial Services Register