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What happens with international delayed checked baggage?

Posted: Sat Jun 16, 2018 4:29 pm
by x1234
This question always bugged me. So on international flights I believe the baggage only travels if the owners on board. What happens if the baggage is misloaded or delayed. So its re-routed onto the same flight the next day or a different flight. What happens with CBP/Customs if the passenger isn't there!? It will still travel to its final destination correct!?

Re: What happens with international delayed checked baggage?

Posted: Sat Jun 16, 2018 4:52 pm
by fr8mech
Last month, none of our bags made a LHR-ATH connection, originating in ORD. 3 of 4 bags were delivered later that night, the last one, the next day.

Re: What happens with international delayed checked baggage?

Posted: Sat Jun 16, 2018 6:50 pm
by seat55a
They are more likely to open and inspect it. I've had a little note left in my delayed bags "Opened by US Customs".

Re: What happens with international delayed checked baggage?

Posted: Sat Jun 16, 2018 10:19 pm
by ChrisKen
x1234 wrote:
So on international flights I believe the baggage only travels if the owners on board.

More appropriately, the baggage only travels if the owner does. It doesn't necessarily mean they'll be on the same flight.
It'd hard to predict your luggage getting mishandled if you're up to no good. Mishandled baggage travelling later may or may not get some extra screening (depending on where it's been).

Re: What happens with international delayed checked baggage?

Posted: Sat Jun 16, 2018 11:41 pm
by DocLightning
When LH forgot to load my bags on a FRA-DTW flight, it was delivered the next evening.

Re: What happens with international delayed checked baggage?

Posted: Sun Jun 17, 2018 2:29 am
by planecane
In a way it kind of becomes international cargo from a security/customs perspective.

Re: What happens with international delayed checked baggage?

Posted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 5:28 pm
by TravelsUK
A recent trip on QR from LHR to HAN via DOH we were delayed leaving London, I made the connection my bags didn't and were subsequently routed DOH - AUH - SIN - HAN and reached me the next morning! Standard baggage tag with an additional 'RUSH' tag attached.

Re: What happens with international delayed checked baggage?

Posted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 5:43 pm
by AirlineCritic
Uh... Heathrow and BA are notoriously bad about this. But others too, many times. Qantas/Jetstar... if only one could avoid flying these guys.

I've lost dozens of luggages. It is an amazingly lucky case if you get it later the same day, that has never happened to me. And very unlikely the next day. Despite various promises... once you walk out of the luggage complaint office, they seem to lose all interest. The thing is, the likely case is delivery on same flight the next day, and even then, when it arrives it goes into a pile that gets sorted/delivered during the day. So if you arrived in the evening, your luggage will not be there the next evening, it will be there sometime the day after the next day.

Or worse... particularly if you fly AA...

Re: What happens with international delayed checked baggage?

Posted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:53 am
by fr8mech
AirlineCritic wrote:
Uh... Heathrow and BA are notoriously bad about this. But others too, many times. Qantas/Jetstar... if only one could avoid flying these guys.

I've lost dozens of luggages. It is an amazingly lucky case if you get it later the same day, that has never happened to me. And very unlikely the next day. Despite various promises... once you walk out of the luggage complaint office, they seem to lose all interest. The thing is, the likely case is delivery on same flight the next day, and even then, when it arrives it goes into a pile that gets sorted/delivered during the day. So if you arrived in the evening, your luggage will not be there the next evening, it will be there sometime the day after the next day.

Or worse... particularly if you fly AA...


Not to side track, but the bad service hasn’t been my experience. I’ve had bags miss connections twice at LHR. Both times my turn was under 90 minutes coming from the US and headed to ATH, AA connecting to BA. Both times I received my bags the same day, except for the 1 bag this last time, and it arrived in the early afternoon.

Near as I can tell, they were not inspected, but who knows?

Re: What happens with international delayed checked baggage?

Posted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 3:08 am
by Florianopolis
x1234 wrote:
It will still travel to its final destination correct!?


The bag will catch up to you, eventually. But depending on where it sits while it waits to catch up to you, the odds of anything valuable in the bag still being in it when you get it go down dramatically.

Re: What happens with international delayed checked baggage?

Posted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 8:22 am
by noofaq
What happens with your bag? Sometimes it is just stuck somewhere..

Flying last year from GVA with my family we had "luck" to experience major belt failure in GVA what resulted in bags being stored in piles in the middle of the terminal - with "kind of" organization for each flight. I had a feeling that it cannot work and this was the case as our bags have not appeared in KRK when we landed.

After lost luggage report has been filed, one bag has been immediately located (in FRA - our connnecting airport) and delivered next day morning. The second bag have been located in MUC (!) the next day and delivered day afterwards. The last bag has not been located until week after (when I was already preparing form with list of lost contents) in GVA ;) I have no idea where it was - but delivered next day with 10k miles added to my M&M account.
And yes, everything was in the bag!

I am flying around 20-30 flights with connections a year and I have experience lost luggage only once - when I have missed my short (35min) connection in VIE and was redirected through MUC (leaving VIE just 15 min after the planned flight from VIE) so it was quite tricky scenario.

Re: What happens with international delayed checked baggage?

Posted: Thu Jun 21, 2018 1:29 am
by JAGflyer
Most airlines subscribe to what is called the "World Tracer" system. I believe it works on two aspects. Firstly, the passenger makes a lost baggage report with their airline. Each lost item is given a tracking number that is associated to the airline's own baggage routing tag #. Secondly, any baggage that is found where it isn't supposed to be is scanned into the system. If a match is made between the scanned tag's number and one that is part of a World Tracer case, an alert is sent to get the bag to a specific station. This works very well as it often means a bag can get sent directly to the destination if a non-stop flight is available. For example, a passenger flying BA from YYZ to WAW via LHR has a bag that doesn't make it beyond YYZ. The bag can be put on the LOT flight direct to WAW to get it there faster.

Re: What happens with international delayed checked baggage?

Posted: Thu Jun 21, 2018 1:47 am
by LH658
I flew UA AKL - SFO - IAH - AUS. Didn't fly the last sector to AUS. Though UA, gave me my bag 2 days later. Which I found odd, thinking how many flights a day are there from IAH - AUS - IAH.

Re: What happens with international delayed checked baggage?

Posted: Thu Jun 21, 2018 4:06 am
by BNEman
Long time lurker, first time poster.
Emigrating from UK to Australia 4 years ago. MAN-LHR-KUL-BNE (BA/MH). Software malfunction in Heathrow transferring from T5-T4 delayed all our bags (and those of many others) by 5 days. Good job in hindsight as our hire car would never had had the space to get us all from airport to accommodation. AUD60 per person compensation given. Luckily had the foresight to pack spare clothes in hand luggage "just in case"

Re: What happens with international delayed checked baggage?

Posted: Thu Aug 23, 2018 7:25 am
by gtargui
Flew MAN-AMS-HGH and our connection in AMS ended up being less than 20 minutes due to a AMS-MAN flight being delayed by over an hour.
Got to HGH, and with our limited Chinese had a form filled out. Phoned them up a day later to add my new mobile number to the claim (because when I told the international office that I added their number to the claim they said it wasn't their problem), then got our bags the same day the next AMS-HGH flight arrived which wasn't for a few days.

Re: What happens with international delayed checked baggage?

Posted: Tue Aug 28, 2018 6:49 pm
by citationjet
A few years ago, my wife flew from Lisbon to Madrid to Chicago to Wichita, KS. One checked bag did not show up in Chicago. Four weeks to the day it was found in LHR with the original tags showing LIS-MAD-ORD-ICT still on the suitcase. How it got to LHR and spent a month is still a mystery. Within two days of her filing the claim to get reimbursed, the bag was magically found and forwarded to her.

Re: What happens with international delayed checked baggage?

Posted: Thu Aug 30, 2018 1:24 pm
by chimborazo
Travelled Curitiba > Sao Paolo > Dallas > Seattle > Walla Walla and my bag got left in Seattle. I found it amusing as it had made it on the first 3. I had 8h stop off in a hotel in Seattle, don’t know if that was related. It was delivered to the hotel the next day.

When travelling with some colleagues from Dubai to Sulaymaniyah, flight was delayed and delayed and then cancelled. Went back to the hotel and caught the flight next day. We actually landed in Erbil due to the weather in Sulaymaniyah- a snow storm. Fly Dubai said we could stay on the plane back to Dubai or get off at Erbil. My group got off. Everyone’s bag arrived except mine. As it happens the plane took off again and did land at SUL some hours later while we travelled overland.
For some reason I hadn’t got any clothes in my lap top bag, normally have a few shirts and underwear and spare trousers. It arrived 3 days later. And I had to convince the guy who didn’t speak any English to let me open the bag and show him the same work shirt I was wearing: it said RUSH on the bag label so didn’t tally with my label! All resolved on production of a photo of me wearing the work clothes though :-)