It is something to be proud of: Singapore is one country with excellent ranks in almost every aspect. However, mishaps like the recent flight from Gatwick to Singapore can cause problems. In such circumstances, lost luggage (airports prefer the term ‘baggage‘) might cause some delay, for hours in some cases.
Interestingly, cases of lost or mishandled baggage are quite scarce nowadays. According to the SITA Baggage Report 2017, such cases of mishandled baggage are at an all-time low. In 2016, only 5.73 bags per thousand passengers went astray in 2016. As per the report, this was a 70-percent reduction over the past 10 years.
In particular, the drop in the mishandled baggage cases is despite a sharp increase in the number of passengers. This is testimony that airports are getting better at handling baggage. Furthermore, it means that technology is helping greatly in tracing mishandled baggage.
But what if you find yourself in the situation where you can’t trace your baggage?
Keep cool and report the missing baggage
As mentioned earlier , airports are much better in handling baggage. However, mix-ups like the cited flight from Gatwick to Singapore can lead to unexpected situations. Further, Changi Airport notes that at least 3,300 items find themselves unclaimed each month in airport terminals.
In such a case, the first thing to do is to report the case. Sometimes, it may be difficult to identify the exact locations to report the case. In an airport as expansive as Changi, spotting the correct location is difficult.
However most airports, including Changi, have information centers just for such cases. In case you cannot locate the information center, try approaching a roving staff member who might be able to assist you. For instance, a Changi Experience Agent can be of great help if you happen to miss your baggage at the airport.
Further, most airports now have hotlines or a dedicated online presence for dealing with lost baggage cases. It might be helpful to look up these hotlines or websites prior to your travel plans.
Remember to keep your baggage tag! You’ll definitely need it
After finding the information office, you will need to hand over your baggage tag/check for identification. However, make sure that you keep a copy for reference. If you cannot get a copy of the baggage tag/check, write down the important numbers on the check.
In case you fill out a report for delayed baggage, make sure you get a copy of the document. Further, it will be important at this point to get important details like tracking numbers and airline phone number. For further follow up, you may also get the baggage-tracking website.
As an extra precaution, get the details of the agent helping you out. It might turn out to be useful to also have his/her contact for more follow up apart from the official channels.
Note the estimated time of arrival (ETA) of your baggage
In case the agent confirms to you that the baggage was put on a different flight, get the baggage’s ETA. This will help you to plan your time and probably run some important errands before the baggage arrives.
Inquire exactly how, when and where the airline delivers such baggage
Losing baggage is nerve wracking. Therefore, it is important to get every detail about the how, when and where they will deliver the baggage. This will also help you in planning your time and saving time. Sometimes not knowing the delivery point might take you back and forth at the airport.
Importantly, get details like the location the airline will drop the baggage. At this point, you can give a location that better suits you. If you are staying at a hotel, you can have the airline to deliver the baggage to the hotel.
Do not forget: When going to pick your baggage, make sure you carry all the supporting documents. These may include, but not limited to, your identification, a copy of baggage tag/check and so on.
*The advice offered in this column is intended for informational purposes only and not intended to replace or substitute for any professional, financial, legal, or other professional advice. If you have specific concerns or a situation in which you require professional help, you should consult with an appropriately trained and qualified adviser.