Oh No, it’s happening. As the shutters come down and the conveyer belt stops it slowly dawns that your indispensable piece of luggage that holds everything you need for your holiday has not arrived at the airport with you.
You look again in the frantic hope that the 2 wheels, broken pram and old sports bag may in some way conceal your 25kg suitcase but the realisation that you now need to sort out locating your piece of luggage can no longer be avoided. You look around for help but the departing fellow passengers can see the panic in your eyes and scuttle off with their luggage in case you decide to commandeer theirs.
The only staff nearby is a man in a little truck that flashes past with his amber light whirring round and he only accelerates as you start to head him off. A cleaner doing a fine job of polishing the floor offers some assistance by pointing towards the exit but this really isn’t helping.
Fortunately, all airports do have a central information desk. This is not so easily found but by liaising with any of the local tour reps who are waiting to meet their next set of customers you will be pointed in the right direction.
If you are lucky the desk will have a smiling member of personnel ready and willing to help if it is just not your day and it isn’t looking like it so far then the desk will be empty. The bonus here is that all is not lost. Every information desk will have a board that holds a table with different telephone numbers that relate to lost luggage. You simply need to find the telephone number that correlates to the Carrier you have just arrived with. Call the number relevant to your airline, if you have remembered your phone and have roaming set up that is, and speaks to the member of staff who will direct you to their office in the airport.
In the instance of Malaga Airport on the Costa del Sol you will find a row of small booths each with a large sign that helps you find which desk you need according to the conversation you have just had on the phone.
At this point you will need some personal identification and evidence of your flight so don’t leave you personal documentation with the wife and kids halfway back across the airport as you are going to need it.
In the majority of instances the booth attendant will be expecting your fraught and frantic face to appear as the departure airport has already been in touch to inform them that your bag was still on the tarmac as you sat back for the in-flight movie and G&T.
Once you have proven you are who you say you are and identified from a little chart the type of bag you no longer have in your possession the member of staff will run over your options.
The missing baggage will be sent out on the next relevant flight, hopefully you haven’t picked a destination where there is only one flight per week. On arrival at the airport the lost luggage department will arrange for your suitcase to be dropped off at the Holiday Villa you are staying at. Obviously it is important to know the Villas address at this point.
The alternative and if you have hired a car it could save you some time is to come back to the airport when the flight carrying you bag is due in and pick it up from the office.
Once the collection details are finalised you can head off to your Holiday Home safe in the knowledge that you will only have to wear the same underpants for the next 24 hot and sunny hours.
You will be provided with a disclaimer notice from the airline you travelled with by the lost baggage attendant. Read this carefully and make the most of it where you can. The majority of airlines will provide you with an allowance per day per affected person to go out and buy clothing. This is generally around £25 per person. Even if you don’t need the clothes head out to the shops and pick yourself a new t-shirt or bikini and keep the receipt.
Once you are home you can submit the claim form with your receipt and the airline will cover the cost of your new garments.
If you have hired a private holiday home through Panoramic Villas then the beauty of it all is that you may not need any clothes as you bask in the sun and enjoy the privacy of your own grounds and pool.