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Reclaim Lost Luggage Quickly with These Expert Tips

There are so many places that you can lose your luggage – or parts of it – while on a business trip. Your baggage could get lost at the airport, your phone charger may get forgotten in the hotel or your carry-on might be left behind when you used a car service. Any of these situations are bound to be frustrating, so it’s important to know how to reclaim your property as quickly as possible.

Use this guide to get back what you lost, regardless of which travel vendor it ended up with.

“Almost 22 million bags were mishandled in 2013.”

From the Airport
According to the annual “Baggage Report” from SITA, an aviation communications and technology company, U.S. air carriers mishandled almost 22 million bags in 2013. While this may seem like a lot of lost luggage, it is actually a substantial decrease from the 47 million bags that were mishandled in 2007.

If you happen to be one of the unlucky passengers whose baggage has become misplaced, the first thing you should do is alert a service representative. You may be tempted to jet off to your hotel and place a claim through the automated phone system, but this will likely increase your frustration. If possible, fill out all the necessary paperwork while you’re at the airport so it gets filed right away. Ask for a copy of the documents and make sure you get a bag claim number that will help you navigate further communications with airport reps.

Once you’ve filed a claim, the best thing to do is continue on to your destination, but continue to remain proactive about finding your luggage. If you don’t hear anything in the next 12 hours, call the airline and politely ask for an update. The vast majority of misplaced bags are quickly identified and delivered to their proper destination. You may be frustrated, but try not to be curt with customer service reps, as they’re likely doing all they can to locate your bags.

Left your charger at the hotel? Here's what to do. Left your charger at the hotel? Here’s what to do.

From a Hotel
The first time you forget a bag or miscellaneous item at a hotel, you may be surprised to discover just how unorganized many establishments are when it comes to lost-and-found systems. Recovering lost items has been a problem in the hospitality industry for many years, and some hotels have chosen to automate the process through sites like Chargerback.com.

The first thing you should do when you realize something got left behind at your hotel is double- and triple-check your bags. Many times people go through the claims process and send hotel staff searching, only to find their charger was stashed deep in their suitcase.

“Give the hotel as many details as possible.”

If you’re sure that you’ve lost something, call the hotel and ask to file a claim. You’ll want to give as much detail as possible about your stay, the item in question and where it may be. Don’t just tell them that you lost your iPhone – instead, say that it’s a white iPhone 5S in a black case with white trim that you last remember seeing on the nightstand to the left of the bed. The more detailed your description, the more likely your lost items will be found and returned in a quick and efficient manner. Once the hotel locates your property, they’ll arrange for it to be shipped back to you. Be sure they have your up-to-date contact information so the item doesn’t get misplaced again.

From a Car Service
It’s not uncommon for busy businesspeople to leave behind phones, wallets and other items when they rush out of their cab or car service vehicle. If you left behind something in a cab, you’ll probably have to jump through a number of hoops to get it back, but start by filing a claim with the regional Taxi and Limousine Commission. You’ll likely need the taxi driver’s name and license plate number, which many travelers don’t think to jot down. However, when you ride with GroundLink, it’s easy to reclaim property that you may have left in the car.

“When you realize you left something in your GroundLink car, start by calling our customer service line,” explained Dean Sivley, GroundLink’s CEO. “We’ll look up your trip information and get in touch with the driver, so you can be reunited with your property as soon as possible.”

Simplifying the lost luggage dilemma is just one more way that GroundLink makes your life as a traveler that much easier!

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