Probably worst nightmare when traveling.

When I say mishandled I mean lost, delayed or damaged luggage. Mishandled luggage is one of the most common inconveniences that occurs to the passengers around the world. There are many reasons for that: human error, technical problems with the aircraft or problems with the luggage system. On the other hand, short connections between flights can cause delayed luggage. However, airlines are giving their best to organize the return of your luggage as soon as possible.


What to do?

Of course, as always, I am writing from my own experience. Two years ago I was traveling from Nairobi to Paris and had one more flight from Paris to my home base. Long story short, my suitcase was left at Paris airport for which I found out once I have arrived at my final stop. No explanation was given to us except to go to the lost and found counter and fill in form providing your personal information, luggage tag number and description of lost bags.

Upon completing this form, all data is being entered into worldwide computerized baggage tracing system afterwards you will receive the 10-character file reference number. Once they locate it you can see where your luggage is. In my case, I was waiting for 24 hours before I have received suitcase delivered on my home address.

Damaged luggage

Strict policies vary from one airline to another, so the best thing you can do in this case is to check on the airlines’ website. Not all damages are responsibility of your chosen carrier. In case your luggage is damaged due to over packaging for example, you can’t expect any refund for it. However, as soon as you notice any irregularity with your luggage, contact the airline.


From the moment you check-in your luggage, keep in some safe place your luggage tag number. This is the only way to keep in track with it.

Do not keep jewelry, money, keys, medications, documents, laptops, pieces of art or any other valuable things in your checked luggage.

Always bring some extra pair of underwear, socks and one clothing combination in your hand luggage.