Having your luggage lost while traveling must be one of the worst experiences you can go trough. There are many reasons for how and why this happens, and one of them can be as silly as a luggage handler not paying attention to what he was doing. Assuming you took all precautions against this unfortunate event, and it still happened, you now have a few options available on how to solve it. These are the most common steps to follow and short answers to "Lost Baggage? What to do" questions.
Remember that most lost luggage is just delayed
As mentioned before, an operator might have made a mistake and didn't load your bag on the right flight. Once you figure out your bag is not going to appear at the same time with you, you should immediately file a report. It is highly possible for the airline or airport personnel to locate your belongings and let you know when you'll be reunited. Do not leave without filing the report and getting a copy of it, as well as somebody's phone number for security reasons.
Try to get your money back
There are situations when you can actually get reimbursed for some of the items you checked in and got lost. Be aware that most airlines would offer a mere $50 and you will have to haggle for more. You should know that airlines have a bad habit of re-charging for the delivery of lost luggage, but you should still politely insist in having it brought to you for free, as you already paid. If nothing seems to work, you can resort to filing another complaint with DOT. Remember that if your sports equipment get lost, the airline must cover the price for renting another one at your destination.
Clearly, it is difficult to be patient when you lose important items while flying. You should however know that the situation is usually one that can be solved. Sometimes it can take a few months to have your bags located or to be offered a reimbursement. You should also know that money is not the first thing offered for lost baggage, but various travel vouchers. Accepting these vouchers is not a bad deal unless they have restrictions. Because of the latest technology used by most airlines and airport, there is only a 2% chance of completely losing your stuff for good. Most airlines will do whatever it takes to find the bags to avoid paying.
Talk to your bank
This step might seem a little bizarre, but you might actually be able to claim insurance money for the lost items. This means that it's not only the bank you need to talk to but the insurance company as well. Several banks and insurance firms will cover part of the costs of any lost property if it happens out of the house. In most cases, if you used your credit card to pay for your plane ticket, you automatically got insurance for your bags as well.