The CAA dealt with over 1,500 cases of UK travelers’ lost luggage between 2018 and 2022, according to new research from the luggage experts at Bounce.
But which UK airports are most likely to misplace your luggage?
Bounce has analysed lost luggage on flights to and from the UK between 2018 and 2022 by sending a Freedom of Information request to the Civil Aviation Authority. The data revealed that three of the top ten airports for lost luggage were found in London.
It should be noted that not all cases of lost luggage are dealt with by the CAA, they only deal with those cases that cannot be resolved with the airlines themselves.
The 5 worst airports for lost luggage in the UK:
- London Heathrow – 49.68% of mishandled baggage cases
- London Gatwick – 17.74% of mishandled baggage cases
- Manchester – 16.13% of mishandled baggage cases
- London Stansted – 8.87% of mishandled baggage cases
- Birmingham – 5.24% of mishandled baggage cases
By far the airport with the most cases of lost luggage was London Heathrow, at 465. Heathrow is the busiest airport in Europe, so it stands to reason that the odd case would go missing! In fact, three of the top ten airports for lost luggage were found in the English capital.
Another London airport came in second place, with 166 cases of luggage being lost in the last five years at Gatwick. Located just outside of Central London, near Crawley, Gatwick is the second busiest airport in the country and the tenth busiest in Europe.
The third London airport was London Stansted, with 8.87% mishandled baggage cases.
Cody, CEO and Founder at Bounce, reveals his top tips for dealing with lost luggage:
- Report missing luggage immediately
As soon as you realise your luggage is missing, find your airline’s representative and file a claim with them before you leave the airport. If you can’t find a representative, source their contact information and give them a call. You will be asked to file a lost baggage report and provide a description of the colour, make and model of your luggage.
If you don’t hear back from the airline after three days, it’s best to update your claim with more specific details about the contents of your bags.
- Have your luggage delivered
After you’ve reported your luggage lost, most airlines will deliver it to you for free if it’s found, although this isn’t always the case, so make sure to clarify this from the outset. Ask a representative to have your luggage delivered to your accommodation or your home address if this isn’t possible. Exchange contact details with the airline and ask for a tracking number to check up on the delivery of your bags.
- Ask for a refund
If the airline has lost your luggage, then they may be able to refund your checked baggage fees. Airlines have 21 days to return your lost luggage, although you can make a claim for delayed luggage if they get it to you within this time. If they haven’t delivered your bags within 21 days, you can claim for lost luggage.
- Keep your receipts
If you’re going to be without your luggage for a while, you’ll need to replace items like clothing, toiletries and other essentials to keep you going until you get it back. If this is the case, keep hold of your receipts so you can be fully reimbursed. To make your claim for lost luggage more likely to be approved, make sure you check what the airline considers reasonable or necessary expenses and only replace what has been lost.
- Double-check your insurance policy
Different insurance policies will have different coverage; be sure to check whether your travel insurance covers lost luggage or not. If not, it may even be worth checking your homeowner’s insurance, or the credit card you used to book the flight, as these sometimes have lost luggage benefits too.
- Check your luggage
Hopefully, you’ll be able to recover your lost luggage and when you do, check it thoroughly for damage and make sure the contents are intact too. If anything is amiss in your luggage,
the airline should be able to replace any lost or damaged items.