One of the biggest things that frustrates me in my job, when I’m off on a trekking trip – and it happens to thousands of other tourists each year is…
Airlines losing your baggage
We all have had the thought when we are checking in our bags with the really unhelpful check in desk lady-
Will I see it on the other side?
You disembark the plane and walk towards the luggage carousel. You stand there waiting, the first bags appear through the rubber flappy things – mine isn’t there.
More and more bags appear, still no sign of my bright yellow North Face duffle bag! It’s not exactly easy to miss…
Suddenly no bags are coming through the flappy rubber things and there are only 3 left on the carousel, none of which have any of my kit in for my trip.
I come to the conclusion my bag is either
- Still in Heathrow
- Been left in the transit stop in Oman
- Or, flying to some other country around the world
The only problem is, I am in Kathmandu!
I have 2 options now – I can either go and shout at someone (they really don’t actually care that my bags are missing and I have a mountain to climb the following day) and get this problem sorted, or I can just deal with it and make sure I am prepared that this is going to happen.
Have you had the same problem?
Over the years I have now learnt plenty of tips for making sure this does not effect your trip too much.
- 1. Always wear your walking boots on the plane – this might seem a bit extreme. But it is the one piece of kit I am going to have trouble replacing when I get to the other end if they are lost. I can buy a new sleeping bag, rucksac or waterproof when I get there. Many trekking companies will also have kit you can borrow.
However, do you really want to buy a new pair of boots and start your trek the next day? I always have my flip-flops in my hand luggage so I wear them on the flight.
- 2. If you are going on a climbing trip – always put your climbing harness and climbing shoes in your hand luggage. Again you can always buy a new rope or quick draws. But you wouldn’t want to break in a pair of brand new climbing shoes!
- 3. On long haul flights you are normally allowed between 30-40kg of luggage and 2 hold bags. Split your kit as best as you can evenly. Don’t put all your walking socks in one bag and all your warm clothes in another. The chances of both bags going missing are slightly smaller!!
- 4. Check with the airline what compensation they are going to pay you, at this point you know how much money you have to spend on replacing your kit. Also see if they can track exactly where your luggage is at this point and get an ETA on when your bags will be in the country you are currently in!
- 5. Check with your travel company (if you are using one) and see if they can get your bags to you. I have had bags delivered in the past 2 days into an Annapurna trek! You may be able to make do with what you have until your bags arrive.
Lost baggage is never going to go away, and as travellers it is something we are always going to need to be aware of and prepared for. The only thing we are able to do is be as prepared as possible to deal with the eventuality of this happening to us – ’cause I guarantee you one thing – if you travel a lot it will!!
If you have any other questions, feel free to contact us on 0176 930 9007, we will be happy to help you!