After landing in your target destination, do not forget to check whether your baggage has not been interfered with unlawfully or whether it was damaged.
The basic rule in the event of lost, damaged or stolen baggage is to notify the appropriate claims department (Lost and Found or Baggage Claim Office) immediately after arrival in the arrivals hall area and to file a written report about the particular situation, the so-called PIR (Property Irregularity Report). Claims are handled directly by the airline, if it has representation at the airport, or sometimes by its handling partner, whose rights and competence are within the exclusive guidelines provided by the individual airlines.
In general, the most common causes of lost baggage are it being mistakenly loaded onto a different aeroplane, the failure to load the baggage (baggage is left behind at the point of departure) or the failure to offload the baggage in the target destination (if there is stopover/s on the route). With rising passenger numbers, the chance of baggage being lost has increased, too. Therefore, we advise passengers to divide their basic or necessary items between their hand baggage and their checked in baggage (such as medication, hygienic items, toys for children, etc.).
Every instance of lost baggage is closely monitored by the World Tracer Management system. It is an information system dedicated to searching for baggage throughout the globe. Some Mediterranean holiday destinations do not subscribe to this system, which results in the baggage being tracked with the help of telex, which might cause further delays to finding passengers’ baggage. The departure airport has no further say in this process, nor can it speed up the process.
The airline, with whom the passenger entered into a contractual relationship, is responsible for lost, damaged or stolen baggage. The airline is equally responsible for the search, and in most cases also the delivery of lost baggage to the injured party at the address stated in the written report about the lost baggage. In case that the airline does not have a representation at the airport, it can hire a handling company, which will act in accordance with its instructions. The eventual compensation for a passenger, whose baggage has been lost, also depends on the conditions of the individual airline, which might vary greatly. The time limits for searching for baggage within different tariff classes also vary.