How To Deal With Lost Luggage

How To Deal With Lost Luggage.jpg

Have you ever showed up to baggage claim, only to find out your luggage is lost? We’ve had a couple near misses, and our luggage was stolen out of car on our honeymoon but we haven’t ever lost our luggage while flying. KNOCK ON WOOD!!! It has definitely crossed my mind though, usually as we are impatiently waiting for our luggage to appear.

How To Deal With Lost Luggage.jpg

Losing luggage is a traveler’s worst fear because no matter the length or reason for your trip, you NEED your stuff. At least some of it. There are many possibilities when it comes to lost luggage, including the chance that it was misdirected, it missed a connection, it was damaged and destroyed, stolen or even mistakenly picked up by another traveler.

In fact, my dad recently did this. Yes I am totally “outing” him on the internet. ;-) Unfortunately, he didn’t realize it until several hours later when he went to unpack. He then hustled back to the airport to exchange bags. The airline told my dad the guy was almost in tears when they couldn’t find his bag, and I believe it. I would be too.

Before You Travel

The best, and only way, to prepare yourself for lost luggage is to pack a carry on with a days worth of essentials. I don’t usually do this for myself but do try to bring a change of clothes for the boys. I should be better about carrying a few toiletries including my glasses though, wearing my contact lenses for longer than 16 hours never works out well!  If traveling for business, any essential work items should be carried on the plane. Peter always carries his laptop and work documentation in his carry-on.

Smart Luggage Identification

In addition to preparing yourself, it’s a good idea to prepare your luggage for the possibility of getting lost. Quick identification of your luggage is key and it may prevent another traveler (ahem DAD) from picking up your bag and will also make it easier for airline staff to find it. When so many pieces of luggage are similar looking, a bright, personalized luggage tag is a great identifier for both the airline and other travelers with similar bags. Make sure your contact information is clearly visible. I also recommend including your name inside the luggage as well (in case the tag gets damaged).

Unique Luggage Tags .jpg These unique luggage tags would certainly stand out, although I’m not sure a gun shaped luggage tag is really appropriate.  You could also use a fun luggage strap or attach a ribbon to the handle of your suitcase to help distinguish your bag.

Notify Airline Staff Immediately

As soon as you suspect that your luggage is missing, notify the airline staff immediately. Sometimes bags come in on earlier flights or are hanging out in weird corner of baggage claim (we’ve had both happen to us). If your luggage is truly missing you need to follow the airline’s instructions for filing a missing luggage report and ask for a copy of the report. Try to stay calm, freaking out doesn’t help anyone and I am sure it wouldn’t endear your cause to the airline staff. Make sure you give them multiple ways to contact you (email/phone numbers, etc) and get the name & number of an airline contact you can follow-up with.

Know The Airline’s Policy

Some airlines will provide compensation to help you purchase a few essentials, it could be cash up front or a reimbursement later, so save your receipts. Check with your airline for specifics on their policy. The airline must deliver your luggage to you at no additional cost and refund any baggage fees you paid.

Don’t Drop The Ball

Make sure you follow-up with the airline. If you luggage isn’t found promptly you will need to provide a list (likely on a more detailed form) with a list of your luggage contents. Airlines can limit your reimbursement to $3,300 per passenger on domestic flights. Snapping a quick picture with your phone while packing would really help in this unfortunate situation. Always remember to be calm and kind when dealing with airline employees, they are trying to help and aren’t likely personally responsible for your lost luggage. This is definitely a situation where you catch more flies with honey…

When you are ready to buy new luggage, consider buying a unique looking bag. I received this super fun floral print American Tourister bag for Disney Social Media Moms and it definitely stands out among the sea of suitcases at baggage claim.

unique luggage

*This post contains amazon affiliate links, thanks for helping support my diet coke habit.

Have you ever had to deal with lost luggage?

Weird Alaska Facts.jpg

My Next Adventure and 13 Weird Alaska Facts

Arizona was the 48th state to be added to the union, so you could say Alaska (the 49th state) is like Arizona’s baby brother. It’s located so far away though from the Lower 48 that it definitely has its own identity. Alaskans have a lot of pride in their big state and I am excited to…

Read More →

Disney Planes Fire and Rescue Blade Ranger Helicopter Costume.jpg

DIY Helicopter Costume: Blade Ranger from Disney Planes Fire & Rescue

With the release of the new Disney Planes Fire & Rescue movie, I was itching to create a new Disney costume. Last year my boys loved their Dusty Crophopper and El Chu costumes. Besides being a little time consuming, I was surprised by how easy they were to make. Blade Ranger is one of the new…

Read More →

Pop Secret Popcorn.jpg

A Perfect Pop Everytime

The boys love popcorn. It’s a must buy when we watch movies and a go-to snack when we visit Disneyland. We always have a few bags of microwave popcorn on hand for an afternoon snack or impromptu movie night.  At home our microwave has a neat popcorn button that magically pops the popcorn without burning…

Read More →

Outdoor Mountain Fun.jpg

Fending off Funsuckers {Thankful}

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Cutter® Insect Repellents. If you follow me on Instagram then you know we’ve had quite a busy summer so far with lots of fun at home and while traveling. Oh and I am NOT a fan of insects or spiders. I am thankful I…

Read More →


Join me and help kids TMC for Children #MiracleMarathon Blogger

This post is brought to you by the Children’s Miracle Network Miracle Marathon.  I’m thrilled to share that I’m serving as a lead blogger for this fall’s Miracle Marathon, specifically in support of TMC for Children in Tucson! Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals raise funds for 170 children’s hospitals across North America. When a donation is given…

Read More →

Yes You need a stroller at Walt Disney World WDW.jpg

Why you need a stroller at Walt Disney World

I know traveling minimalist can be appealing but it doesn’t work well at Walt Disney World with little kids. Trust me. If the thought of using a stroller on your Disney trip crossed your mind even once, you NEED one. Walt Disney World is HUGE, with 4 theme parks, 2 water parks and additional areas…

Read More →

Upcycle cereal box #GoodNightSnack #Shop

Our Favorite Good Night Snack #Cbias #GoodNightSnack

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CollectiveBias #GoodNightSnack We are big cereal eaters in our house and not just for breakfast. It’s a great afternoon pick me up and our preferred nighttime snack as well. A simple bowl of cereal with milk is usually just the…

Read More →

5 ways to stay sun safe at the beach.jpg

Sunscreen and 4 other ways to stay sun safe

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser. After we booked our trip to Roatan, I immediately started imagining us outside on the beach, all day long. The Caribbean has a reputation for gorgeous…

Read More →

Blueberry and Raspberry infused water recipe jpg

Blueberry and Raspberry Infused Water

There’s no denying that I am a diet coke addict. However, even I can drink too much soda and need a break. Ice cold water is a nice alternative but sometimes I need a little bit flavor to keep it interesting. I enjoy fruit infused water when visiting spas, so I thought it was time…

Read More →


Tasty BBQ Recipes #100FootJourney

Are you looking for more Tasty BBQ Recipes? Just because it’s July 5th doesn’t mean barbecuing is over. Check out these fun recipes courtesy of DreamWorks Pictures’ “The Hundred-Foot Journey.” Curry Hot Dog Recipe  Pasta Salad with Chickpeas Recipe Sparkling Lemonade Recipe Raspberry and Blueberry Tarte The Hundred-Foot Journey opens in theaters on August 8th. In…

Read More →