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What to do if your luggage gets lost

Losing your luggage can be a traveller’s worst nightmare. It can disrupt your plans, cause inconvenience, and dampen the excitement of your holiday. While it’s an unfortunate situation, it’s essential to stay calm and take immediate action to resolve the issue. In this blog, we will guide you through the necessary steps to follow if your luggage goes missing during your Holiday, helping you minimize stress and maximize the chances of recovering your belongings.

Report the Loss

As soon as you realize your luggage is lost, locate the nearest airline or airport representative and report the loss. Provide them with a detailed description of your luggage, including colour, size, brand, and any distinctive features. Make sure to collect a copy of the report or reference number, as it will be crucial for any future communications or claims.

Fill out the Baggage Claim Form

The airline staff will provide you with a baggage claim form to complete. Provide accurate information regarding your contact details, travel itinerary, and a detailed inventory of the missing items. Be specific about the contents, including brand names, colours, and estimated values. Retain a copy of the completed form for your records.

One of the primary airlines we use is British Airways, which has a fantastic section on its website for those needing to report lost or damaged luggage. If you would like to have a look at this, you can find it here on the British Airways website. Please note you will need to use the correct website for the airline you travelled with, most of which will be easily found with a simple Google search.

Request a Property Irregularity Report (PIR)

Ask the airline representative to issue a Property Irregularity Report (PIR). This report is an official document that acknowledges the loss or mishandling of your baggage. It will serve as proof for any insurance claims or compensation requests you may need to make later.

Keep All Documents and Receipts

Hold onto any documents, receipts, or tickets related to your baggage, as they will be necessary for filing a claim with the airline or your travel insurance provider. This includes boarding passes, baggage tags, purchase receipts for the lost items, and any expenses incurred due to the loss.

Check if You’re Eligible for Immediate Compensation

Many airlines offer immediate compensation to passengers whose luggage is delayed or lost. Inquire about the airline’s policy regarding compensation for essential items you may need to purchase while your luggage is missing. Keep receipts for these expenses, as you may be eligible for reimbursement.

Track Your Baggage

Utilize the online baggage tracking system provided by the airline to monitor the progress of locating your luggage. Stay in touch with the airline’s customer service or the designated lost baggage department to receive updates on the search efforts.

Provide Additional Information if Needed

If the airline requests more information or proof of ownership for your lost items, promptly provide the necessary documentation. This may include photos, serial numbers, or purchase receipts to establish ownership and value.

Keep Communication Records

Maintain a record of all communications with the airline, including names, dates, and details of conversations. This documentation will be valuable if you need to escalate the matter or follow up on your claim.

Contact Your Travel Insurance Provider

If you have travel insurance, contact your provider to report the lost luggage and inquire about the coverage and reimbursement process. Provide them with all the necessary information, including copies of reports, forms, and receipts.

Stay Patient and Positive

While it can be frustrating to deal with lost luggage, it’s important to stay patient and positive throughout the process. Airlines handle numerous bags daily, and the majority are eventually reunited with their owners. Focus on enjoying your holiday and trust that your luggage will be found or replaced.


Experiencing lost luggage during your holiday can be a hassle, but by following the steps outlined above, you can navigate the situation with confidence and increase the chances of a positive outcome. Remember to act promptly, keep all necessary documentation, and maintain clear communication with the airline and your insurance provider. With patience and persistence, you can minimize the impact of lost luggage and continue to enjoy your well-deserved Holiday.


If you’d like to know any further information about any potential points of contact in regard to a lost bag or luggage on a flight, you can speak to our well-travelled guide, Paul Stevens, on 01603 407596 or email at Paul has travelled with us for over 15 years to 100s of different airports over his time so he has a fantastic knowledge of airport assistance.

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