If An Airline Ever Loses Your Luggage, Here's What You Should Do

If your luggage goes missing, try not to panic yet.

Cover image via Fotolia/AP

Every traveller who takes a flight to get from one place to another shares the same fear every time they travel: the terrible nightmare of losing their bag.

Surely no one wants to experience that awful feeling when you realise that you're the only one left standing at the carousel but the bag that you've been waiting for hasn't shown up.

Unfortunately, this happens to hundreds of airline passengers every single day.

Although, most "lost" bags are only delayed, but a missing bag could cause a lot of inconvenience and stress. While it can be stressful, try to not panic yet if your bag has gone missing. Here are some things that you can do to retrieve your missing bag back.

What should you do first if you bag goes missing?

Image via KLIA2
1. Immediately make a Property Irregularity Report (PIR) on the missing bag at the airport's Mishandled Load Office (MLO) or the Lost and Found Office. Even if you have to be somewhere else, it's necessary to make the report on the missing bag before you leave the airport.

2. Once you make an official report on the loss or delayed baggage, the process of tracing the baggage will commence. A file reference number will be given to check the status of your baggage online.

3. Remember to get a copy of your report. Note down the necessary information such as your baggage tag, relevant tracking numbers, a name of the agent that handles your claim, airline phone number or baggage-tracking website.

Here's a list of contacts of popular airlines that operate in Malaysia as well as the related offices:

1. Malaysia Airlines
Contact: +603-8776 3733 | +603-8776 3742 | [email protected]

2. AirAsia
Contact: +603-8778-5494 (Domestic) | +603-8778 5495 (International) | +662 562 5869 (Bangkok Central Baggage Tracing Office) | 08118963067 and 02155916126 (Jakarta Central Baggage Tracing Office)

3. Malindo Airlines
Contact: +6010 288 8741 | +6010-401-0938 | +6010-401-0936 | [email protected]

4. Singapore Airlines
Contact: +65 6224 4243 | +603-8776 3881 | +603-8787 4469 | [email protected]

Image via KLIA2

5. Baggage Services Office (KLAS - KL Airport Services Sdn Bhd)
Contact: 03-8776 5772 | +603-8776 5773 | +603-87874357 | [email protected]

6. KLIA Lost & Found
Contact: +603- 8776 4312 (24 hours) | +603-8776 2000 (public holidays and weekends) | lost&[email protected]

7. KLIA2 Lost & Found
Contact: +603-8778 5409 | +603-8778 5540 | +603-8778 5541 | +603-8778 5542 | lost&[email protected]

Am I entitled to any kind of compensation?

"Airlines are liable to pay compensation in the event of lost or delayed baggage, regardless whether the consumer had purchased any travel insurance," the Malaysian Aviation Commission (MAVCOM) stated.

Nevertheless, actual compensation varies by airline and is usually decided on a case-to-case basis. Typically, an airline would offer regular overnight kits containing basic essentials such toiletries at a minimum. Some may choose to offer a set daily allowance while others would offer to reimburse customers the expenses that occur during the period when the bag is missing.

It's very important to keep the necessary receipts and supporting documents to substantiate the claim amount for reimbursement.

Image via Jinx!

According to MAVCOM, a passenger must file a written complaint with the airline within the following timeline to claim a compensation:
1. On arrival or within 7 days of arrival if your baggage is damaged; or
2. On arrival or within 21 days of arrival if your baggage is delayed.

In the event that an airline refused to handle a claim or it did not provide a fair compensation, Malaysian customers may escalate the matter to MAVCOM by submitting a copy of the written complaint and the airline's response.

Do take note of these nifty tips that you can practice whenever you're travelling:

Image via Daily Mail
1. Take photos of the bag and keep them on your smartphone. There are so many bags that look alike these days so this is a smart way to help you effectively describe your missing bag when the need arises. Don't forget to take photos of what's in the bag as this will come in handy when you need to file an insurance claim for your lost belongings.

2. Don't keep important or valuable items in your check-in luggage if you can. Carry things like medicine, documents, jewelry, and laptops with your or keep them in a carry-on bag.

3. Insert your contact details and itinerary for your trip in the bag, on top of your belongings. In some cases, baggage handlers may look inside bags to find out for more additional information (like who it belongs to and where's it should be heading to).

Travellers, here are some useful tips on how you can pack light:

Frequent travellers should take note of these things:

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