We have given advice regarding delayed luggage and continue to receive messages from readers about what they should do at the destination when there is no idea when they will see their checked baggage again. Airlines usually give none, very little, wrong, or downright incorrect advice on what they are obliged to compensate in case of delayed luggage (keep those receipts!)
I have never had my luggage completely lost, but it once took Air Canada six weeks to reunite them with me when I was on an around-the-world trip. I wrote last year about a compensation experience with another delayed Air France luggage case that they managed to send to Marseille when I flew to Barcelona and continued to Mexico City (read more here).
My Advice What To Do When Luggage Is Delayed & Lost:
Air France Helsinki – Paris – Tokyo Luggage
Not sure what is going on with Air France, Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport, and delayed bags, as mine was left behind the other week when I was flying from Helsinki to Tokyo Haneda with them.
I wrote about my experience of redeeming four different awards from different programs for this trip:
The flight from Helsinki to Paris was slightly delayed, and the connection would have been tight if the CDG-HND flight had been on time. The flight to Tokyo, however, was delayed, and the connecting time was more than two hours.
Upon arriving at Haneda and making my way to the baggage hall, the Apple AirTags indicated that my bags were still in Paris.
There were Swissport employees by the belt, and I asked if my luggage was on the flight and saw my name on their list, meaning they received advance notice of bags left in Paris but made no announcements upon arrival.
They claimed that only one of the bags would be in Paris, but they realized this was not the case when they were both happily pinging six thousand miles away.
I was then asked to fill out a form they would later type into the bags system and email me.
I said no and demanded that we do the Property Irregularity Report (PIR) at the airport so that I could ensure that the information was correct.
The form that they gave was for luggage damage and pilferage.
Few others were happily filling out these forms, but we eventually made our way to the Swissport’s arrival luggage desk, where the agent took my information and made the report.
Remember to pay attention that the luggage tag numbers and your information are correct. You later need to use the file number to update and track your bag’s whereabouts on the Worldtracer.
There was no point trying to get united with the bags in Tokyo, as I would be there just for 36 hours. I requested that Air France delivers the bags to Regent Hong Kong, where I would be for four nights.
The agent made a mistake and inputted Regent Hong Kong as my permanent address and not as the delivery one (I didn’t catch it then), which likely delayed the delivery by a couple of days.
I received an email from Air France that there had been a luggage meltdown in CDG, and many bags were delayed.
There was soon a note on the file that the bags had been put on a flight two days later and would arrive in Tokyo on Friday when I would already be in Hong Kong.
Later, they sent a message through the Air France app.
I visited the luggage desk at the Hong Kong Airport’s arrivals hall and spoke with Air France’s agents about the luggage delivery, and they noted the information.
This was on Friday, and I thought I might get the bags on Saturday, as the Air France plane lands so late in Haneda that there are no immediate same-day connections.
The AirTags indicated on Saturday that the bags had arrived at Haneda, but there was no update from Swissport about what flight they would put them to Hong Kong.
Sebastian sprung to action and emailed the Air France and Swissports Tokyo/Haneda station managers to find out the bags’ status, and they ensured that they would soon be put on a flight to Hong Kong.
This was late Sunday, and I thought that these bags would be unlikely to be reunified with me while I was in Hong Kong, so I decided to update the Worldtracer file with the delivery addresses in Bangkok.
On Monday, Sebastian sent another email to Air France & Swissport to inquire about the bags’ status because, per the AirTags, they hadn’t moved at all since arriving in Japan. The bags’ status was updated every few minutes, so they were not in a remote place.
Swissport then replied that they would be on a flight to Bangkok on Tuesday, only to follow up and ask for a screenshot where Apple indicated the bags were. It was obvious that they had no idea of the bags’ location.
I took another screenshot, and it was sent to Swissport Haneda.
In the meantime, upon arrival, I visited the baggage service desk in Suvarnabhumi’s Arrivals Hall, and it seems that the BFS (Bangkok Flight Services) handles Air France’s delayed bags in Bangkok. They had a look at the case, and I was soon on my way.
Swissport replied a few hours later that the bags would be on their way to Bangkok on Wednesday, a week later than I should have received them in the first place.
The bags arrived in Bangkok around 5 AM.
The bags arrived in Bangkok very early Wednesday, but it took until the afternoon before their delivery service got them to the Grand Hyatt Erawan.
Nothing was missing.
My previous Compensation Clinic-series case with Air France and delayed luggage:
It seems that Air France and Charles de Gaulle are black holes when it comes to checked bags.
At least three other people were on the same flight from Helsinki to Haneda with a connection in Paris that were missing their bags.
The Swissport’s agent in Haneda should have put Regent Hong Kong as the delivery and not the permanent address, and then there might have been a slight chance that Air France would have noticed this and sent the bags to Hong Kong instead of Haneda.
Swissport’s operations at Haneda are chaotic. Usually, Japanese firms and operations run very smoothly, but that is not the case with this ground-handling company.
It was quite telling that they asked for the screenshot from Apple to see where the bags at the airport were.
These Airtags are great for monitoring your bags’ whereabouts, and in case they are delayed, you might get an idea of the earliest time you get unified with them. I thought that, realistically, it would be two to three days before I get the bags, but a week?
We often get messages from readers who ask what they should do in case of delayed bags. I always tell them to go on with their business, buy whatever they reasonably need, and later claim those expenses from the airline and/or travel insurance.
Last time my claim with Air France was roughly 1,200 euros that they paid without saying a word. This time the expenses are more, but I can also claim 800 euros from the travel insurance provided by Amex if AF doesn’t reimburse everything.
But that will be a Compensation Clinic case once settled and payment has been received.