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25th Jul 2022

What to do if your bag is lost on holiday

Sarah McKenna Barry

Lost bags have become another potential issue for passengers all around the world.

Holiday season is in full swing, but for those travelling abroad, it hasn’t necessarily been smooth sailing this summer.

From huge queues at Dublin Airport to cancelled flights, many are hesitant to fly, and reports of missing luggage during travel are adding to the concerns of travellers.

Between baggage handler staff shortages, delayed and cancelled flights, lost bags have become another potential issue for passengers as airports all around the world attempt to manage airline travel returning to pre-pandemic levels. Earlier this month, for instance, travel expert Eoghan Corry told RTÉ that at the time of reporting, over 500 bags a day were getting lost, which left some customers waiting several hours.

Responding to the issue at the time, the Dublin Airport Authority (daa) said that while they are not directly responsible for baggage handling, they are aware of the problems.

In a statement, they said: “We are aware of the issues that some arriving passengers are facing regarding baggage return. This is looked after by their airline and their chosen handling partner.

“DAA, as the airport management company, does not handle any baggage for any airline at Dublin Airport. We empathise with those affected and regret that these issues are impacting their passenger experience.

“We are liaising very closely with both the airlines and their ground handling companies in relation to these issues, the root of which lies in the significant staff hiring challenges that are facing all companies operating in the aviation sector currently.”

But what do you do if your own bag goes missing? And what are your rights?

Well, for starters, you need to report the issue to a member of staff. The easiest way to do this is at the information desk at your destination airport, but you can also do this online by contacting the airline. For Aer Lingus, passengers can report missing luggage right here, while Ryanair passengers can report the issue here.

After reporting via the airlines themselves, you’ll be able to check the status of your bag via its tracking number. If you flew with Aer Lingus and haven’t received an update on your luggage for 72 hours, you are advised to fill out the delayed questionnaire form and send it to [email protected], which is available here.

In terms of what you’re entitled to should your airline lose your luggage, airlines’ liability is limited by The Montreal Convention. This sets the maximum liability limit for airlines to 1,000 Special Drawing Rights. This figure, which is based on currency exchange rates, varies, but for reference this is about €1,290. Additionally, if you have travel insurance, you should contact the company to see what you are entitled to. For the most part, airlines decline any responsibility for valuable items in lost luggage.

For passengers without travel insurance, Aer Lingus recommends filling out the Post Travel Enquiry Form. For this, you’ll need your unique baggage file reference number, any interim expenses (receipts) you’ve encountered as a result and your baggage tags.

Claims can be made via Ryanair online at the link here.

For more on what you’re entitled to should an airline lose you luggage, head to the European Consumer Centre Ireland’s information page.

Feature image: Leah Farrell/