10 tips for how to handle baggage delays

User request: May 22, 2015. My suitcase didn’t arrive with this plane, can you help track it. also, how much do I get from the airline? They’re saying like €250 limit. 

As a couple of these situations have come along, thought it could be useful to put some of that research to use here.


delays baggage

  1. Always take pictures of your boarding pass and baggage tags with the ticket number visible. There is always the possibility of them getting lost (has happened) and then it’s hard for the luggage gods to “reunite” you with your bags.
  2. When you figure out that your baggage will not spit out onto the baggage belt no matter how hard you stare at that hole in the wall, find the airport’s baggage handling service asap (before a queue starts to form) and report the error
  3. They will give you a Property Irregularity Report (PIR) which you should also take a picture of and store well, you will need it both to trace your baggage, and later to file claims for reimbursement for any purchases you’ve made.
  4. Ask for the purchase limits of the airline and if possible, get them to write it down or ask for the name of the agent that you’re dealing with. In general, airlines will compensate you for 100% of ”necessities” but only 50% or less of ”non-essentials” or ”re-useables”. Depending on who you are, this definition can possess a fair amount of grey zone interpretation. Mostly the compensation is only applicable on ”outbound journeys”, whatever that means … #nomad
  5. Airlines are liable for compensations set at the moment of up to around €1200, but this seldom happens, so don’t go on a shopping binge. It’s dependent on the particular circumstances, how many pieces of baggage are delayed, and how long you have to survive without your baggage.
  6. Most missing baggage counters have a ”necessity kit” on hand to give to passengers in need. A small consolation but we’ll take anything at this point right? Also, if it’s a larger item like a baby buggy that’s gone missing, some airports have a loaner that you can use until they reunite you with yours.
  7. If you have travel insurance, or credit card insurance, remember to check the small print. Most insurances require you to not have spent more than 5-6 weeks away from your primary residence to entitle you to claims. Some insurances allow you to extend your coverage without first returning to your primary residence.
  8. There are deadlines for filing claims, like 7 days for damage claims, 21 days for delayed baggage claims, and up to 2 years for missing baggage claims.
  9. Be nice to the handlers, they listen to people shouting at them all day every day and have a fair amount of discretionary power to decide how to deal with a customer. If you are nice to them, they might be pleasantly surprised and provide extra good service to you. Win-win!
  10. When you buy anything you want to be refunded, take pictures of the receipts right away, as these may be required on multiple occasions while you are filing claims with airlines, and insurance companies.

As an aside point, I always try to imagine that my bags will get lost or delayed when travelling, and pack accordingly. Airlines will also not reimburse special items like jewellery and money so they recommend not putting that in your hold luggage.

If you have more questions  about flight bookings and need travel tips check here!