For those of you who have lost luggage by the airlines...

How long did you wait before starting to replace what was lost?
One one hand, I don't want to have to laundry too often, awaiting my stuff, but on the other hand, I don't want to wind up with 30 pairs of socks, underwear, another suitcase, etc. if they do find the bag.

How long before I should write it off as lost?


  • I say immediately. Donate stuff if you end up with two sets. :D

  • This is not an ‘ad’, and there are alternatives, but Apple tags are ‘large’. We currently have eight of them, and will probably get more. Our dog wears an Apple tag. On a recent trip our flight did a medical emergency divert to Chicago where we spent an unplanned evening. We and our luggage were on three different airplanes to San Francisco. We went to United baggage service where there was a long line of people looking for luggage. We tracked our luggage with our iPhones, picked it up and departed. We never stood in that line.

  • I( don't do Apple products, so not an option for me. Besides, I've heard that the airlines don't want to hear about airtags and customers telling them where the bags are - they insist on doing their own tracking.

  • BKMD I don't do Apple products either but I'm considering Samsung trackers not so much for when I'm in a Delta flight but when I'm flying with their partners as then Delta does not track the luggage.

  • edited November 2022

    There is a similar product called "Tile" that works with Android devices. You just download the app and sync the tracker to your phone.

  • edited November 2022

    I have never lost luggage so I can't speak from experience, but I agree with Smiling Sam to replace as soon as possible. I would wait until you get home, however. Can you purchase an inexpensive duffel bag/backpack for your flight home?

    I have no clue how the airlines negotiate reimbursement for lost items, but I suspect it is not a pleasant experience. Hopefully you have receipts for any expensive items (jackets, shirts, belts, shoes, luggage). You can always itemize and claim a loss on your tax return.

    Good luck.

  • Got home yesterday. Bought a carry-on suitcase in Cairo.

    Re Samsung trackers, there was a thread a few months back. At that time I looked at it, and it didn't seem quite ready for primetime.

    Back to my original question, I'm thinking another week or so then I'll start replacing the suitcase contents. And the suitcase, too. It was new for this trip!

  • So sorry BKMD I've had lost luggage but mostly for 4 to 5 days, only once while on a business trip to Vegas I didn't get my suitcase until 2 weeks after I was home.

  • If you are not an ‘Apple’ person, (I have both) don’t waste your money. The ‘tags’ use the ‘find me’ program that is already installed on all iPhones and iPads, and it will use any that it makes contact with. That’s why it works and the others … not so well. I will only recommend things that I have first hand knowledge about. As I said, we have eight of them and will probably get a couple more. We have already used them to successfully find our luggage … and car keys, etc.

  • We started using Apple Air Tags a couple of trips ago. They provided reassurance on our even-tighter-than-scheduled connection in Vienna (50 min due to delayed arrival) on our way back from Jordan & Egypt. As others have noted, they (and probably the Android counterparts) use the billions of devices which advertise their location (without identifying themselves, so no privacy issue) to nearby devices. Basically, it's like they shout, "does anyone know where I am" and hearing someone yell out the location. (How's that for the least technical explanation I can think of?).

    The reports of airlines refusing to allow them in checked bags have been refuted. They use lithium coin batteries (and can therefore be replaced after a year or so) which are below anybody's safety concern threshold. Ever checked a watch? or hearing aid?...same thing.

    Rather cute since you'll get updates on your phone (when on wifi or a cell network) complaining that they've been left behind, like when you check the bags in and proceed to the airplane without them. Fortunately, they go quiet when you are all together, like o the same plane or at home.

  • One couple on our just ended Douro cruise arrived without their luggage primarily due to a flight cancellation and rebooking thru a completely different airline and city. Yes the usual assurances the bags would arrive with them. They had air tags on them and the bags didn't arrive in Lisbon until the group had left. They told them to just send them back to their home airport. The bags just kept sitting in Lisbon even after repeated phone calls to the airline and an agent actually finding them. They had brought an extra change of clothes and bought a few items in Lisbon where the costs are fairly reasonable. Kept the ship's laundry busy. One of our TDs showed them a good place to buy a new suitcase in Madrid. They were keeping all their receipts and not looking forward to dealing with the airline and Aon over the claim. Now that I'm home I'll touch base with them and see how its going.

    I almost did carryon only for this tour and had my stuff winnowed down to what would fit in a small hard side spinner and a backpack. Main reason was not loss of luggage but knowing I'd be dealing with it all on my own getting to Barcelona and home. Decided against it at the last minute mainly because the spinner was a cheap one with wimpy wheels that would not roll well if fully loaded and expanded. After dealing with the train, metro and bumpy sidewalks for this add on to our tour I'm more convinced to do carryon only for Scotland next year but need a spinner with more solid wheels. I love luggage shopping. :)

  • I bought an Away a few months ago. Used it for my Egypt trip. Now it's MIA. :(

  • I line Away too, especially their 100 day guarantee.

  • For the Android crowd and bargain hunters, the Tile Pro is on sale on amazon ($28 vs $34 usual) for Black Friday

  • BKMD, has your Away luggage ever shown up?

  • Nancy - Yes! I posted in another thread ( ) that my Away luggage that ran away, finally came home. It arrived via Fedex last week. I'm still waiting for Air Canada to reimburse me for the roughly $400 I spent on clothes and a small suitcase to get me through the trip. They say they settle such claims within 30 days of filing, so another 2 weeks or so. And if they don't cover everything, I can claim up to $500 with insurance provided my my credit card for anything the airline doesn't cover. BTW, the suitcase arrived home in excellent condition. Thanks for your interest.

  • I would suggest that you research some reviews before buying Tile. Tile is not an “Apple tag”. Any apple device will communicate with their ‘tag’. That is not the case with the Android.

  • Yes, Sealord, I'm aware, but Tile seems to be the best Android option at this time. I don't own any Apple products and don't plan to.

  • Many air tags( and yes I own Apple air tags) and other luggage location devices have various issues but if one knows which country and airport where the bag is lost it at least provides timely and prudent shopping for necessary items and new luggage. Baggage handlers are not keen on using phones to "ping" locations and it still means bags will be delayed but it at least makes the tourist aware that a bag is not going to be delivered in a timely manner. This is likely quite beneficial for cruises. I do take photos of my luggage too. It is a good idea to own "distinctive" looking bags as well. Also recommend placing an extra luggage tag with your itinerary on the outside AND on the inside.

  • If you have a "fairly common" suitcase, tie a very distinctive item to the handle, or place a couple of decals on the side so thatno one picks up your suitcase by accident

  • edited December 2022

    I would never place my itinerary on the outside of my luggage. That’s offering much too much personal information. I have first initial, last name, e-mail address, business address and cell number. That should be enough information.

  • Take a photo of your bag, too!

  • We tried tying ribbons to the zipper pulls on our bags and inevitably they always came out of the shute face down so you couldn't see them. We then took inexpensive craft acrylic paint (about $1 a bottle) and stencils to mark the back and sides of our bags. Always easy to see they are ours. My husband has used his for 6-7 tours and the paint has stayed on just fine.

    I also take a list of what I packed in my checked bag and keep a copy in my carryon. This is just to help my memory if I had to make a claim.

  • When placing external itinerary I only provide my cell phone number, dates of hotels and their phone numbers, connecting flights and no home address or email. That may or may not save my bag being opened which is a potentially greater security risk as non security personnel should only be able to open a bag-hopefully

  • I think I need more information about the last post????

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