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It is a travel nightmare - lost luggage. If this happens to you here is advice on what you should do, plus should your trip endure lost luggage, stolen baggage or damaged baggage advice on what to do.

Heathrow Lost Luggage ...

Heathrow lost luggage or Heathrow delayed luggage is a frustration to any passenger. Made worse if your luggage is delayed, lost or damaged on the way out.

As luggage delays, damage and losses are still fairly common at airport's read our helpful advice on things you can do before you set off on your travels and things you should do if something does happen to your bags.

 
 
If you have experienced lost, damaged or delayed luggage input your airline details in the search box below for lost luggage contact numbers and airline homepages.
 
 
 

Heathrow Traveller's Lost Luggage - what to do...

 
As stated by the British Airports Authority individual airlines have responsibility for the management and security of your bags.

If your baggage does go missing in transit it is important you report your luggage lost immediately to Heathrow's lost baggage desk (or at your returning destination) at the airport.
 
  • You must report your lost luggage to the Lost Baggage desk at the airport.
You will need to give a description of your cases as best as you can. You'll then be given a reference number so that you can track the progress of your lost luggage either online or by phone.
 
Your airline might request you list the contents of your lost luggage and also that you provide the original receipts for these items. The airline then acts like an insurance company, and like insurers their offer for compensation is unlikely to match your claim in full.
 
Or it could be that your airlines does not actually declare your bags lost until they have been missing for a certain amount of time. British Airways for instance officially declares baggage as lost if it has not turned up after 21 days.
 
You then may be entitled to compensation from your airline. Many airlines state that they are limited by the Montreal Convention to paying customers around £800 per person in compensation for lost luggage.
 
Many airlines will ask passengers to claim for their lost luggage on their travel insurance however, do note that many insurers do not cover valuables in luggage stowed in the hold of the aircraft.
 
If your insurance company does cover you for lost luggage it is likely that
they will make a money reclaim from the airline's insurance anyway.
 
Connecting Flights
 
Often, if your trip involves several connecting flights between different airlines you may be able to check in your luggage just once for the entire journey.

If you inter-connecting flights and you are only required to check your luggage in once and it is then lost you can claim against any of the airlines that carried it. However, most airlines try to blame each other and refuse to handle the claim. If this happens they are in breach of the Montreal Convention.
 
Limited Release Tags
 
When you check in certain types of luggage - prams and buggies, musical instruments or sporting equipment (surfboards) - some airlines attach a Limited Release Tag (LRT).

Do note that this LRT is intended to remove the airline’s liability if the item is damaged and you could find that the airline refuses your claim. However, if your airline accepts your item at check-in and your item is actually checked in luggage it must accept liability for it as set out in the Montreal Convention.
 
 

Heathrow Passenger's Delayed Luggage ...

   
 
As set by the Montreal Convention, passenger's luggage is officially consider 'delayed' for a period of 21 days after it is reported as missing.
   
 
For delayed luggage some airlines offer customers immediate one-off payments at a set amount to cover any emergency purchases such as toiletries and underwear.

Some will pay this set amount on a per day basis up to a maximum number of days. Others will not make any cash payments at the time, preferring to reimburse essential items upon seeing receipts.

However the general principle is to cover essential costs resulting from the delay to delivery of the baggage.
 
 
Should your luggage be missing for longer than 21 days then they are deemed as lost and you can then proceed immediately to make arrangements with your airline or travel insurance company to claim compensation.
   
 
   

Damaged Baggage...

   
 
When airlines assess claims for damaged luggage most airlines make a payment based on the value of the damaged bag and it's contents.

Some ask for original receipts for the contents, then many apply a scale of depreciation to any payment offered.

If it is just the suitcase that is damaged a new one from their store cupboard can be offered.
   
 
   

Lost, Stolen & Damaged Luggage ...

   
 
Do bear in mind, when packing your bags with expensive goods that it can be difficult to get compensation from an airline, as they say it's difficult to prove that the goods were actually there.

So it can be worth not using your very high value luggage, especially if you are on many flights, and also not to put extreme valuables in your luggage.

Many airlines will have a clause in their T&Cs stating that they don't accept responsibility for perishable or valuable items (like camcorders, cameras, documents, mobile phones and jewellery.

If for some reason you have included in your luggage things that were listed as “items unacceptable as baggage” in the airline’s conditions of carriage you won't be able to claim against the airline.
   
 
   

Preventing Lost Luggage...

   
 
There is always a risk that your luggage might be lost or stolen or delayed. However, there are a few things that you can do to help:
 
  • List what you have packed so if the bags are lost you can use it as an inventory.

  • It's worth putting your name and address or contact details on a piece of paper inside each piece of luggage in case the label on the outside of your bag falls off.

  • You might want to use Flymycase which will transport your luggage anywhere in the world for a small charge.

  • As much as you can keep (at home) your receipts for the items in your bags.

  • Pack jewellery, cameras etc in your hand luggage not in your main luggage as airline's can consider these 'unacceptable baggage items' so you won't be able to claim compensation from the airline for these items if they were stowed in the aircraft hold.

  • Take out travel insurance before your trip so you can make sure your luggage is covered. Read our Travel Insurance Page for more information and advice.

  • Purchase brightly coloured and distinctive luggage that can help prevent other passengers from mistaking your bags as theirs and will also deter thieves!
   
 
   

Contact Groups ...

   
 
Use these helpful groups should your bags get lost:
   
 
  Helpful Organisations
Citizens Advice Bureau
www.citizensadvice.org.uk
Provide legal advice on lost luggage and insurance claims.
Global Bag Tag
www.globalbagtag.com
Service to trace lost baggage worldwide.
Fly My Case
www.flymycase.com
Service which will fly your bags to your destination for a small fee.
Civil Aviation Authority
www.caa.co.uk
Air Transport Users Council
   
 
   
   
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