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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Lost Luggage - What to Do And How to Avoid It

Know when not to check. The 6 domestic carriers with the poorest baggage-handling records in the DOT's report were regional airlines, which mishandled 10.54 bags per 1,000 had the worst record. It stands to reason then, that it's a bad idea to check bags when your itinerary includes a connecting flight.
If you check your bag, make sure to put your contact information (including your cell phone no.) and itinerary inside, in case your luggage tag comes off. Also, don't forget to remove old labels, and if you are changing planes, avoid tight connections.
In 2007, the DOT increased airline's liability to $3,000 per passenger on domestic flights up from $2,800. If you can't prove your bag's contents (or don't have receipts), you'll probably collect only a fraction of that amount. Be sure to declare the value of your luggage at check-in and skip buying extra insurance. This won't expedite reimbursement for lost items and home owner's insurance often covers the loss anyway (although you may have to pay the deductible.
take note that most airlines don't consider a bag truly "lost" until 7 days after your arrival, so don't expect immediate action (claim deadlines vary by airline).
Both domestic and international carriers, however, reimburse you for items purchased while you waited for your luggage. The amount varies by airline.