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Luggage Left At The Baggage Claim - What Really Happens To Them?

Have you ever wondered what happens to luggage left at the baggage claim? You are going to check your bag at the location designated for checked luggage. You might want to kill a few hours in the airport lounge before leaving, or maybe you don't want to take the next flight at all but you have checked luggage. Either way, you'll need to find a way to get your bags out of the terminal.

Velma Battle
Jan 30, 20230 Shares137 Views
Have you ever wondered what happens to luggage left at the baggage claim? You are going to check your bag at the location designated for checked luggage. You might want to kill a few hours in the airport lounge before leaving, or maybe you don't want to take the next flight at all but you have checked luggage. Either way, you'll need to find a way to get your bags out of the terminal.
Regardless of the reason, in this article, we will explain everything that it is that you require information on. We will explain what happens to forgotten checked luggage at the baggage claim, how long forgotten luggage is typically kept in the baggage claim area, and how to retrieve forgotten luggage from the baggage claim area.

Your Lost Luggage

If you're ever waiting at baggage claim for your bag to appear and it never does, you can rest assured that the airline has misplaced it. The question is, what if the inverse occurs? Baggage has been released onto the baggage carousel, as you may have noticed.
The majority of passengers have located their luggage and left the terminal. However, if you're still hanging around the carousel, you may have noticed that there are still a few unclaimed bags that keep going around and around. If no one acts, then what?
To say that it is the "opposite" of someone losing their luggage is probably not the best way to put it. Because for every bag that is left behind, there is a passenger, who is typically located in another airport, who is fuming about their misplaced belongings.
However, since computers are now in charge of distributing luggage to its appropriate location, incidents such as these do not occur nearly as frequently as they did in the past.
However, this does occur, and the majority of the time it is because the flight was overbooked and someone had to be "bumped" to another flight at the last minute. Therefore, what are the employees at the airport going to do with the lost bag? How do they locate the person who owns it?

What Really Happens

If a bag is left at the baggage claim without being claimed, the airline will make an effort to determine who the owner is.
A man looking at the baggages
A man looking at the baggages

Will Transport Your Bag To The Lost And Found

Most airports now have "lost property" or "luggage services" or something similar facilities for storing unclaimed checked luggage. This varies by airport, but sometimes the airport picks up unclaimed luggage, and other times the airline you were flying with does.
Unclaimed checked luggage is typically forwarded to the appropriate department after 30-60 minutes of spinning around on the luggage carousel. This is determined by how busy the airport is (a busier airport requires faster carousel clearance), whether the flight was delayed, and how quickly the baggage handlers were able to unload all of the baggage.
Unclaimed baggage is a common occurrence in airports. It's usually there because the bag was lost, not because the passenger failed to pick it up on time. Either the luggage was delivered to the incorrect location, or the passenger missed the flight and the bag was delivered without the passenger. Airports are well-versed in this process and already have protocols in place for dealing with unclaimed baggage.

The Airline Will Contact You

When unclaimed luggage is sent to lost property, the responsible airline is notified and attempts to contact the owner. If the bag still has a valid tag on it, the airline contacts the passenger by phone or email. They have the contact information for the passengers from the flight booking.
Because the airline must pay for unclaimed baggage storage at the airport, it is in their best interest to return it to its rightful owner as soon as possible. They usually ask the passenger to return to the airport and pick it up or have it delivered via courier services like FedEx or UPS. Typically, the airline will cover the courier costs.
If the bag was sent to the wrong location or the owner did not board the flight, the airline will still deliver the luggage via courier services rather than placing it on another flight. Because of the risk of terrorism, it is illegal in many countries for luggage to fly without a passenger.
If no tags/stickers are found on the luggage, the airline will open the bag and examine individual luggage tags or anything else that may help identify the owner. That's why we recommend that anyone flying with checked luggage add personal luggage tags in addition to the airline labels, just in case they get ripped off.

The Airline Will Wait For 60 Days

If the airline is unable to locate the owner of the unclaimed baggage, it is usually held at the lost property department for five days. After that, it's delivered to a warehouse and held for another 60 days in case the owner shows up. Bags sent to warehouses are usually not picked up because they lack tags and the owner has no idea which airport the bag was sent to.

The Bag Will Be Auctioned Or Donated

If the bag hasn't been picked up by the owner after 60 days, it's usually auctioned off for a low price or donated. Airlines make little money from auctioning off lost luggage. They actually lose money on warehouse and airport costs for storing it at lost luggage facilities.
They only recoup a fraction of their costs by auctioning off lost luggage. So it's in the airline's best interest for you to pick up the bag rather than auctioning it off, which would be much more expensive.

Intentionally Leaving Their Bags

Some people leave their bags at the baggage claim in order to spend some time inside the airport before departing. The most common scenario is that they have to wait for someone else at the airport for a few hours and decide to spend that time in the airport lounge because of its comfortable facilities.
Long layovers are another reason why some people choose to leave their bags at the baggage claim. If your layover is longer than 12 hours, you'll naturally want to go out in the city and kill time instead of waiting at the airport. If your checked luggage isn't automatically rechecked, you'll have to pick it up and lug it around town. It would be much easier to simply leave the bag at baggage claim and pick it up when you return to the airport.

People Also Ask

What Happens To Bags Left At Baggage Claim?

Unclaimed baggage left at the airport is eventually auctioned or sold at a lost luggage store, such as the Scottsboro Mega-Center in Alabama. The only catch is that it isn't always abandoned or unclaimed luggage that ends up there; it could be your lost luggage.

Does Luggage Disappear Forever?

The chances of losing a bag while flying are decreasing year after year, with only 1 - 3% of all bags not arriving where they should. The chances of that bag being lost for good are even slimmer, as most are returned to their owners within a few days.

Who Is Responsible For Left Luggage?

When the guest arrives to pick up the luggage, the Bell Captain takes the counterfoil from him. The Bell Captain then verifies it against the Left Luggage Register. A Bell Boy is assigned by the Bell Captain to bring luggage from the left luggage room to the bell desk for inspection.

Final Words

Leaving your luggage at the baggage claim may seem like a good idea, especially if you have a few hours to kill in the airport, but we don't recommend it. While the luggage is left unattended, it may be stolen or mistakenly taken by other passengers.
It's fine to pick up luggage from the checked luggage carousel after about 30 minutes, but if it's longer, call the airline ahead of time. Tell them you'll be picking up your bag in a few hours, and they'll send an employee to get it and tell you where to get it. That way, it won't be stolen if you leave it unattended.
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