Lost luggage – end of your holiday? No way!
Losing your luggage is certainly distressing but does it mean the end of your holiday? Absolutely not. Here are some tips to minimize the effect of lost luggage, on your holiday:
▶️ Use your mobile to take photos of all your important docs & save these images online. Or go the more old-fashioned route and leave one set of hard copies at home, one set in your main luggage and one in your hand luggage.
If you use chronic medication, do the same, put some in your hand luggage, some in your main luggage. This also applies to prescription (sun)glasses.
▶️ Flying into Africa to climb Mount Kilimanjaro? Wear your hiking boots on the plane. All other gear can easily be replaced upon arrival.
▶️ Make sure that your main luggage stands out. In spite of the track & trace which airlines provide, the chances of you being reunited with your luggage quickly are bigger when you can explain that your suitcase is the black one with the bright yellow strap around it.
▶️ When you realize that your luggage is not on the conveyor belt, go to the Lost Luggage counter where you will be asked to fill in a form. Fill in a local contact number. In spite of well-meant promises, airline employees in Africa are not keen to call your international mobile number. Ensure you receive a copy of the form, or at least the case number.
▶️ Inform your travel agent right away who will help with locating your luggage. Most items can be replaced upon arrival – airlines/travel insurances will either give you an allowance, or refund your expenses in part, depending on how long your luggage is delayed. Ensure you keep all your receipts.
Most importantly, “Hakuna Matata!”* In our experience, except in a few very unlucky cases, all other travellers to Africa were reunited with their luggage within 48 hours.
* “Hakuna matata” is a Swahili phrase from Kenya; roughly translated, it means “no worries”.