The Jakarta Post
Learning about airlines' procedures in handling missing baggage will help you in anticipating the incident. (Shutterstock/File)
Losing your luggage is probably one of the worst fears associated with traveling.
To help ease those concerns, the State-Owned Enterprises Ministry has come up with an explanation on how airlines respond to such unfortunate incidents and what you can do as a traveler.
First, immediately contact the airline’s customer service and make lost and found report by describing the missing luggage and providing your identity card as well as boarding pass. Unfortunately, all you can do next is wait for an update.
Different airlines may have different procedures in handling passengers’ luggage.
Garuda Indonesia, for instance, tags each bag with the name of the airport to which it is heading and a serial number. The matching tag is on your ticket and can later be used to identify your luggage upon arrival.
The national flag carrier has also detailed steps on what to do if your luggage gets missing or damaged, the first being heading straight to the Baggage Service Office upon finding out your bags are gone or broken.
After the identification process based on your tag number, identity card and boarding pass is done, you will get a Property Irregularity Report (PIR) form. Tracing your missing luggage will take 14 days and if it is found, the airline will deliver it to your address.
But if it is still missing, your luggage will be labeled as lost, therefore you can claim compensation. The maximum time for submitting the claim is two years based on the date on the PIR.
On its website, Garuda Airlines also provides access to get updates on your lost baggage, where you will need to enter your name and your bag’s reference number.
However, if your luggage goes missing in the aircraft’s cabin, it is best to immediately contact the Baggage Service Office at the airport.
Meanwhile, low-cost airline Citilink advises passengers to ask for help at the Citilink Baggage Booth at the destination airport or, if it is not available, head to the Citilink Service Desk.
Minimizing the risk
Aside from knowing the procedures, these are the things you should do to minimize the risks of such incidents, according to kompas.com:
First, you need arrive at the airport earlier, therefore you will not be in a hurry for the screening process.
Before placing your luggage on the conveyor belt during check-in, make sure that the route label is the same as your destination. Also, it is best to avoid flights with a shorter transit period.
Second, get your suitcase ready. You can add stickers or labels to mark your suitcase and place your contact information on the inside of the bag. So if it gets lost or damaged, the airline staff will still able to trace it and contact you. Moreover, do not put any jewelry and other valuable items in your luggage; always bring them with you in your carry-on.
Third, consider using a GPS tracking tool that can be found in electronic stores. Although such tools cannot stop your bag from going missing, at least it can help you find it. (wir/kes)