I’ve often get emails, chats, and comments asking me a variety of travel related questions. “Travel Unravel” is a series where I tried to answer these questions in a quick and concise manner with the help of readers in the comments.

Usha asked in the comments: My luggage was lost and after filing the necessary paperwork, I can’t reach anyone – what should I do?

Without knowing which airline this is or the circumstances of the loss, I can only give you a generic answer, but here’s my best shot. You did the best thing by notifying the airline right away of your loss. The next step is to write a letter and snail mail it since these will get you better responses and more compensation for your loss – which, by the way is $1,500 for international flights and $3,000 if your bags were lost in the United States. Give them, as best you can, a complete inventory and the approximate cost of everything in your suitcase.

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I’d also recommend contacting the CEO’s office by telephone, email, and a letter explaining your situation. You can get this information online (here’s American Airlines’) or by doing a quick search of the Consumerist for “[airline CEO]”. No matter what, make sure that you keep calling and writing often until the issue is resolved.

Usha, the airlines are usually very disorganized in their process of returning bags, but despite this 99.995% of all bags lost are returned to their owners within 1 week – and I hope that yours are as well.

Readers, what have you done (or gone through) to get your lost bags – let us know in the comments!

Travel smarter,
foXnoMad