You get off the plane and stretch your legs. The last thing you’re thinking about is what you’re going to wear or whether or not your luggage is at the baggage claim. In fact, your only idea about the baggage claim is that you don’t want to have to deal with waiting for your bags. However, when you’re standing at the turnstile looking at black bag after black bag go by, you begin wondering if your luggage is ever going to come out. As the people standing there become fewer and fewer, and that “last bag” sign comes down the revolving bag deposit, you quickly go from worried to concerned, and right into angry and terrified. What do you do now? How are you supposed to have a great vacation without any luggage?
The very first thing to do with all of these kinds of situations is to relax. I know, that’s easier to say when you’re not experiencing something like this. But, it’s the most important thing to do. It’s been proven that people who are stressed out, upset, or frustrated think less with their reasoning and more with their animistic reaction side of their brain. Think about what could have happened. If there was a plane transfer, it’s possible that the bag didn’t make the transfer and that means it’ll be put on the very next flight. If you got to the plane late, the baggage didn’t have time to get onto your plane. Again, it will be on the next flight. These are often the cases, and you will get your luggage as soon as it comes in. As inconvenient it is, you still will have your stuff.
The first thing to do is to go talk to the baggage claim office. This is usually an office with your airline’s name plastered on it. It’s usually located at the corner of the baggage area, and any of the “skycaps” can tell you where it is. Before you walk in there remember this: The person behind that desk has had to listen to people scream and yell at them all day. These people are tired of people, and tired of being yelled at. While it is their job, the old adage still holds: You get more with honey than vinegar. So when you walk in there, walk in with a sunny happy disposition. There are more likely to help and cooperate with you if you see their plight. Talk to them in a very calm tone, and smile ass you explain your situation. They will explain what they can do and they will ask you to fill out descriptions of your bags. Fill it out completely including the address of where you’ll be staying. If you do not know, look it up. This is where they will send your luggage when it comes in, and how they will get in contact with you. If they can not get your bag that day, ask them what they can do to help you out being that everything was in your bag. They are allowed to give you food vouchers, money for toiletries, money for clothes, and much more. If you’ve been helpful and nice, they are more apt to help you and give you things that many that are yelling and screaming won’t get.
As soon as you can, call the airline itself and report this. If you are equally kind and explain what has happened, they will no doubt help you with many things as well. Many of the airlines want to retain their customers, rather than upset them. The airline itself will ask you to put in another report. After you put this report in, they will go about looking for on their end as well. They will investigate it because they will want to know how to stop this in the future. They will be grateful to you, and will no doubt give you some sort of discounts or vouchers.
You have the ability to turn this all into a very positive experience. The way you conduct yourself and the way you deal with everyone you contact will be the deciding factor as to how fast you get your bags back and how much they do for you. It’s a frustrating mistake, but it’s just that – a mistake. Create it to be part of your holiday memories.