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lost Oct 1st, 2002 04:11 PM

has anyone lost their luggage before?
i was just packing and i was wondering if its common for luggage to get lost by the airlines. i am going on a trip to europe and thats the LAST thing id want to worry about!!!!---clothes!! so let me know of your stories!!!!!

belinda Oct 1st, 2002 04:17 PM

Just be sure to pack important items in carry on - medication, eyeglasses, documents, etc. Anything else lost is an excuse to shop.

Rex Oct 1st, 2002 04:26 PM

This is not ment to drive you crazy or make you paranoid - - but everyone who has traveled enough has been touched by luggage not arriving for 24, 48 hours or more.<BR><BR>You really should prepare for it as follows:<BR><BR>1. Your carry-on should contain EVERYthing you will need for the first 48-72 hours after you arrive. Not just 24 hours. Not just one change of underwear. Not just one extra shirt. EVERYthing you NEED.<BR><BR>2. think through whether your itnierary is a recipe for disaster - - immediately leaving the city of your destination airport for a VERY distant or remote location - - especially one with no easy telephone access, or a complicated itinerary which makes you a moving target changing location every night for the first several nights.<BR><BR>Hope it doesn't happen to you. Also hope you prepare well, and don't need to make use of the preparations you make.<BR><BR>Best wishes,<BR><BR>Rex<BR>

Susan Oct 1st, 2002 04:33 PM

Yes 'they' have lost my luggage, only once out of many many trips & fortunately on the way home.<BR><BR>Consider going with only a carry-on.... if you want to avoid this possibility completely. A 22" roller suitcase or duffle bag, packed under the weigh limit of your given airlines works great. Especially on your outbound leg(s). Coming home... who care ;-)<BR><BR>If you can't deal with packing that light weight, then heed the advice of posters above about having a couple days stuff & anything truly important or not easily replaced IN your possession.

Lesli Oct 1st, 2002 04:35 PM

I've had my luggage waylaid several times, but never completely lost. Statistically, most luggage eventually "finds" its owner, but being without it for a day or two or three) can be inconvenient.<BR><BR>That's why I *always* carry on a tote bag with a change of clothes, toiletries, and any important paperwork, such as hotel/car reservation confirmations, maps, etc. If need be, I can live with what I've got for a couple of days without being too terribly inconvenienced.<BR><BR>And if it's any comfort, I've only had luggage problems on domestic (US) flights, which is why I no longer check luggage on them if I can help it. Also not within the past few years.

Andrea Oct 1st, 2002 04:59 PM

Well, I, my husband, and my parents have all had our luggage delayed 24 - 48 hours on SEPARATE trips. While deep down I KNOW Rex is right that I should pack everything I need for the first day or two in my carryon, I still can't bring myself to actually do it.<BR><BR>I have, however, a couple of tips:<BR><BR>* If you can possibly help it, don't pack anything extremely valuable or irreplaceable in your checked luggage (I used to pack my jewelry! Have checked my laptop, etc. - playing with fire, really).<BR><BR>* Be sure that not only is your name and contact details (including itinerary if possible, or friends in your home country who will know how to reach you) posted clearly on the outside of your luggage, but also on the inside.<BR><BR>* If your luggage IS delayed, ask the airline what they will provide for you - most will at the very least give you a toiletry set.<BR><BR>* If you need to buy anything to replace what was in your luggage (while it's lost), SAVE YOUR RECEIPTS. When Air Canada delayed my luggage by 2 days, they said that they'd refund up to US $400. But sadly for me, I'd only spent about $100 . . . <BR><BR>Good luck!

ttt Oct 1st, 2002 07:28 PM


Sheila Oct 1st, 2002 11:35 PM

I'm a bit like Andrea; they lost stuff now and again, but why worry. Keep a credit card where you need it and get on with your life.<BR><BR>My husband, however, travels a lot for business and on the longer trips, especially by KLM, has taken to carrying a change of clothes in his hand luggage, just in case. This followed the occasion he had to go to a meeting in a two day old tee shirt- well, what can you buy in Pau on a Sunday in November?<BR><BR>And there was the time BA lost the wheelchair.....

Julie Oct 2nd, 2002 01:04 AM

No, I have never had my luggage completely lost. However, like others it has been delayed and this can be a big hassle. This has only happened when I have not had a direct flight. We make several international trips each year and can only remember two times that the luggage was delayed. <BR><BR>We have some insurance which inlcudes coverage for delayed baggage which has been very helpful for the times it has been delayed. If our bags are delayed then the insurance reimburses us for the cost of the essentials we had to buy. Once the luggage was delayed over 12 hours, and we ended up having to buy a set of clothes each as well as the basics like toothpaste, toothbrush, etc. We were reimbursed 100%. This paid for two years of the insurance premiums which covers more than just delayed baggage!<BR><BR>Nevertheless, I never pack things that cannot be replaced immediately or anything valuable in my check-in luggage, e.g. glasses, documents, jewelry, etc. This stuff goes in my very tiny carry-on.

Christina Oct 2nd, 2002 09:18 AM

I've had my bags delayed several times -- twice I got them by the end of the arrival day and once not until the next day--oh and once they finally found them after two hours (they had been put in the wrong area when unloading the plane). It made me a nervous wreck when I couldn't find them, but I calmed down once they traced them and knew where they were (missed getting transferred at a connection) and that they would be arriving on the next plane and delivered to my hotel. <BR><BR>I always carry essentials in my carryon, anyway, not only for that reason but you need papers at hand and for security (ie, copies of reservations, tickets, etc). I also always have some small toiletries in my carryon for my own use, anyway (toothbrush and paste, aspirin). Other than that, the only concession I make to the possibility is to have a rolled-up T-shirt (to sleep in) in a plastic bag and some underwear in my carryon, that's it. I don't follow Rex's advice, sometimes all these precautions are just too much trouble to worry about and to do (I don't have room in my carryon for extra changes of clothing, I need the room for things important to me on the planes, likes books, noise-cancelling headphones, guidebooks and maps, etc) because of a small possibility something will happen. As I said, most of the time, you get them by the end of the day, anyway. If somehow it was lost for 2-3 days (and I'm not sure how you'd predict that) and I had to have something, I'd just buy it, I suppose.<BR><BR>I agree with the comments on the itinerary causing potential problems, which is one reason I advise folks who can't decide between taking the train or a connecting flight to southern France when flying into Paris to take the connecting flight -- if your bags are delayed or something, they will get to you that way.

Karen Oct 2nd, 2002 09:53 AM

I had my "delayed" when a flight was late, I missed my connection, and ended up flying to another airport. When I was at my connecting airport, they promised me the luggage would get switched, but it didn't. Luckily, we tracked it down the next day about an hour before I was supposed to leave on my cruise! <BR><BR>Note - most delayed luggage usually happens with connections. And I wouldn't call it "common" - of the millions of people who fly everyday, they misplace only a very small percentage of luggage. But, follow the advice posted here - don't check anything valuable, or anything that you MUST have when you land. It is much rarer to have any troubles if you are flying direct. I only connect if it is absolutely necessary!

Anne Oct 2nd, 2002 10:05 AM

Of course my luggage has been delayed a time or two, but nothing significant (thank goodness!) On my upcoming trip, 1/2 my clothes are going in my suitcase, and 1/2 in Dad's...same for his. Chances of both suitcases going astray are pretty, we can live out of one suitcase for our first stay and just shove the other one in a closet :) All essentials, pjs and a change of undies in my carryon (I agree with the above comment that there is no room for a total change of clothes for 2-3 days!)... and I'm set! As long as I have my glasses to see stuff, and camera to take pics, who cares what I'm wearing!!<BR><BR>Anne

Mimi Oct 2nd, 2002 10:50 AM

Who hasn't had luggage delayed? On a trip to Istanbul our bags never made the change of planes in Paris. We arrived to temperatures of 100 degrees and up with nothing but what we were wearing. The bags arrived, one at a time, over the next 24 hours, but we had also made the mistake of packaing all of his clothing in one bag and all of mine in another!! Now, we carry a complete change of clothing and all our toiletries/jewelry/cameras in a carry on.

Barb Oct 2nd, 2002 11:00 AM

Who are you flying? Lufthansa a while back had this annoying habit of always losing my luggage. I finally switched to Malev to get to my office in Budapest. Pack a carry on that can cover you for 2 days. Also never check any valuable or personal items (ie., traveler's checks, medicines, your itineraries, contacts or glasses and your toiletry mini-bag). I have during my younger days put one thing in the wrong bag and it always annoys me and when you are on vacation who wants to be annoyed?

waitress Oct 2nd, 2002 11:09 AM

When you check your suitcase, ask to get it all the way thru, even if you have transfers. Watch them tag your bag correctly & put it on the conveyor belt.<BR><BR>When I flew British Air this summer, I noticed afterwards that they had stuck an "expedited" sticker on it because my London/Amsterdam transfer was a quick one. I had planned to carry-on (a 22") but BA goes by weight now, not just size, and mine was too heavy. It arrived fine this time.

carry it w/ you Oct 2nd, 2002 11:30 AM

Call your airline and find out their size and weight & number allowed regulation for carryon luggage. Pack only that. Viola! Problem solved.

Bill Oct 2nd, 2002 05:25 PM

This is a classic case where the advice you follow for yourself might not be advice you would want to give to someone else.<BR><BR>Just think how bad you would feel if you advised someone "oh don't worry about it, you can buy stuff in the unlikely event that your luggage doesnt arrive".<BR><BR>And then they have to run around like crazy buying all kinds of necessities for the first three days until their luggage catches up with them. Missing much of what they went to see.<BR>

Sue Oct 2nd, 2002 06:00 PM

Usually, when there are problems, the luggage is delayed, but not lost for good. As Rex pointed out, this has implications for itinerary planning as well as for packing considerations. In planning our itineraries, we try to consider the possibility that either we, or our bags, or both, may have a delayed arrival.

BillJ Oct 2nd, 2002 06:53 PM

One suitcase was lost on our way home. It had many of our important souveniers. We got it back, but here's some advice.<BR><BR>If the bar code tag they put on the luggage at checkin is torn off, the airline cannot trace your luggage with their normal system. It is therefore very important to have some ID on the outside of the luggage that will withstand rough treatment. I would never trust those little paper and string things they give you at the counter. (I also have a phobia about putting my home address on luggage ID. You would be telling some one there's no one home.)<BR>I happened to have had a large plastic ID card, attached to my luggage with a strap, id'ing me at my company address. After a week or so, I got a call at my place of work from American's baggage department at JFK.<BR><BR>The bar code luggage tag had disappeared as had a little leather name tag thing with my business card in it. American Airlines came through on this one, even though their retrieval system did not work due to the missing bar code. They had some employees that were on the ball, and the company got a thank you letter from me and an "atta-boy."

lost Oct 2nd, 2002 07:26 PM

thanks you guys for your replies and suggestions. i am flying britsh airways and one good thing is that my flight is direct. im planning on taking my essentials such as toiletries and one set of clothing in my carry-on. only clothes will be in my luggage. thanks for your recommendations!!!!!! now i hope i have a nice trip!!!!

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