It can take the airlines a couple of hours to a month find your lost luggage, and then 4 weeks to 3 months to refund your money.
If your luggage is delayed, report it for lost as soon as possible:
Most of the lost luggages are only delayed, as airlines have increasingly sophisticated systems to track them down, and can usually do so within a few hours. Maybe your bags only get on the wrong flight.
However, you still need to ask the airline personnel for a report of lost luggage. You can give them your baggage claim tags, just make sure to get a copy of the report.
You should also get the phone number of the airline personnel so you can follow up. Another important tip is that you should take pictures of your luggage before departing, you won’t have to describe them if they get lost.
Check the back of your ticket for claim information:
If the airline only has a maximum claim of 200USD, you should keep your valuables with you.
Demand a refund for your checked baggage fee:
This can depend on the airline, but it only reasonable that you ask for the money you pay them to check your lost baggage.
Don’t assume that your lost luggage will be delivered to you for free:
You should ask the airline to be sure, negotiate with them if needed.
If your sports equipment is lost, you can demand the airline to cover your rental.
Set a claim if your luggage is lost:
According to report of Air Travel Consumer Report, there are only 2.9 reports of mishandled baggage per 1,000 passengers (includes stolen, damaged and delayed luggage)
So when your luggage is lost, set a claim. The airline will do everything it can to find your bag and avoid having to pay you.
But if it’s really lost, they have to reimburse you for it. You will need to fill in a form to show them what you have in your luggage in detail.
Remember that you will never get the full price of what you lost:
Airlines will only pay depreciated values for things, so unless you can prove that something you lost is brand new, they’ll only pay you a fraction of its value. The same goes for reimbursing you for clothes or anything bought while your luggage was lost.
Don’t ask for too much:
If airlines think that you’re exaggerating or lying, they might deny your claim entirely. They usually ask for receipts or other documentation, so be prepare to explain for them the values of your things.
Check your credit cards:
Some credit cards offer flight and baggage insurance, which are often automatically applied when you buy a ticket with that card. Remember to check with your bank about this term.
It can take airlines from a few hours to a month to locate your bag, and another four weeks to three months to reimburse you. In some cases, they’ll offer you travel vouchers worth more than the amount they owe you, but you should make sure to check restriction term and expiry date of those vouchers.