Picture this: you get off your 4 hour flight and are eagerly waiting for your luggage to come around the corner of the crowded baggage carousel. After 10… 20… 30… minutes, you still aren’t seeing your bag. Panic starts to set in and the thought “did my bag not make it on the flight?!” enters the front of your mind.

It’s easy to panic in this stressful situation. Take a deep breath, as  if it doesn’t come out at all on the belt you can take immediate action to find your missing luggage with the airline. According to Matador Network, 87% of travelers don’t file claims for their lost bags because it’s assumed to be too much of a hassle.

Here are five easy tips that can save you a lot of time and get you one step closer to reconnecting with your luggage before your vacation starts.

  1. 1. Take a picture of your bag before you travel

    The more proof you have of what your luggage looks like, the better. Having a visual of your actual bag or suitcase makes it easier for the airline to positively identify your belongings rather than basing their search off of written information. DO THIS NOW!

  2. 2. Keep your bag check number

    You know, that little sticker (or additional baggage itinerary ticket) you get after your larger bag label is attached to your luggage. The information on it directly connects to your bag and is helpful information to provide the airline when they are trying to locate your luggage. Sometimes, your bag might have been placed on a later flight and will be arriving as soon as that flight lands. The customer service staff can help confirm this.

  3. 3. Take action before leaving the airport

    All airlines have customer service desks for situations like this. Before you leave the airport to start making phone calls, find your way to your airline’s desk and let them know your bag is lost. They can inform you of their specific procedures and you can start filling out forms right then and there. It’s a quick way to get the ball rolling and gives you a chance to ask questions so you can fully understand what to expect.

  4. 4. Understand the compensation you’re entitled to 

    Airlines are obligated to provide you with compensation for anything that is lost under their possession. Same goes if your luggage is damaged in any way after a trip. Make sure you understand your airline’s specific guidelines so you can ensure that you are getting the most compensation possible for your situation. In addition, make sure you keep all of your receipts of all the things you had to purchase as a result of your bag being lost. Airlines may be able to refund you for those charges, as well.

  5. 5. Follow-up online and on the phone

    Airlines also allow you to make and follow-up on claims through online portals, which is an even speedier way to get compensation for your lost items if the airline is unable to find it. You can also call airline customer service numbers directly for assistance. This is just another way to make sure that you aren’t robbed of the assistance you need to resolve this and get your bag found, or at least get some money for the inconvenience.

All in all, this is a situation most of us would like to avoid and LugLess can help. By shipping your luggage ahead of time you’ll always know where your luggage is along the way and won’t have to worry about whether it’s going to get lost.

Odds are your luggage will arrive at your final destination well before you get on your outbound flight (added peace of mind). Not to mention, LugLess is often a lot less expensive than checking a bag in the first place!