How to avoid Baggage Delays during Air Travel in Europe

Travel Forums Europe How to avoid Baggage Delays during Air Travel in Europe

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Last Post This thread is marked as being about Europe
1. Posted by piitr2005 (First Time Poster 1 posts) 25w Star this if you like it!

During our last Eurotrip 3 years back, we (travelling as a couple) lost 2 different Checked In Bags on 2 separate Domestic Flights out of our 3 domestic flights within Europe. Though we received the bags back at our Home later after the trip ended, it already did the damage of ruining the trip.
We are planning for another Eurotrip this year and wondering if there is a way to avoid such baggage delays ruining the trip. I am all in to go for Train Travel this time after last time's air-travel experience, but the destinations we are looking at don't seem to connect well via land (Iceland Netherlands and Greece)
Looking for suggestions to ensure no baggage delay during the air travel within Europe. Given that Baggage Delays within Europe Domestic Flights seems very common, are there any separate baggage shipping providers which operate there, or any other such services for the same.
Being a tourist, any baggage delays ruins the entire fun of the trip, and it's not easy to pack up all essentials for the entire trip within a small Cabin Baggage.

2. Posted by leics2 (Travel Guru 750 posts) 25w Star this if you like it!

I'm sorry you had a rough time but you were extremely unlucky. I have made hundreds of flights from, to and within European countries over the past 15 years, always with checked luggage, and have never experienced any problems. I am certainly not alone in this.

>Baggage Delays within Europe Domestic Flights seems very common,

That is simply not the case. The 2016 figures for 'Europe' averaged at 8 bags per 1000 passengers, not good but hardly a 'common' event.

If your flight originates in a European Union (not 'Europe') airport or is operated by an EU airline you can claim for delayed baggage:

https://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/travel/passenger-rights/ (follow the link for air passenger rights)

>Looking for suggestions to ensure no baggage delay during the air travel within Europe

It isn't possible to ensure baggage isn't delayed. The chance of a bags getting 'lost' when you're making a connecting flight is much higher than for other reasons (e.g. mis-ticketing) so you can minimise it by only taking direct flights from A to B.

Do make sure you drop off your bag well before check-in closes. Leaving it to the last minute increases the chances of your bag failing to load.

>are there any separate baggage shipping providers which operate there,

There are but a) they don't exist everywhere, b) they are expensive (not least because pick up/drop off and extra security are required) and b) the bags don't travel as quickly as they would with you, so your bags would still be delayed.

You are visiting three countries which are geographically far apart. Iceland has no public railway. The Netherlands has an excellent rail system with easy links to other countries. Greece also has a public railway though its links to adjoining countries are fewer.

Using trains to get from the Netherlands to Greece is still possible but it's a lengthy and complex journey: https://www.seat61.com/Greece.htm

There is a ferry from Denmark to Iceland but the journey takes 2/3 nights: https://www.smyrilline.com/

If you are determined to avoid flying within 'Europe' then the only public transport option is to take a combination of train and ferries (or cruises). It might be possible to rent a car for some segments of the journey but there will be difficulties in getting permission (and additional costs involved) for one-way hire, taking the car onto ferries, driving into other countries and taking the car outside or into the EU. Few (if any) rental companies allow all of these.

I think you're better off just accepting that you really were very, very unlucky last time and just flying between the three countries you want to visit.

[ Edit: Edited on 20-Jan-2019, at 01:06 by leics2 ]

3. Posted by Teoni (Travel Guru 710 posts) 25w Star this if you like it!

I agree, your situation was a terrible anomaly which has obviously scarred you. I don't know if I can make you feel better but I so far have not lost luggage on any flights around the world and I have done some inter continental flights in Europe. There is no guarantee that it won't happen again and the only suggestion I can think of is to perhaps think on your bad experience and look at how you could mitigate the problem if it were to happen again. One idea might be to pack a few spare clothes in the carry on so that way even if you have to purchase new clothes you don't have to do it right away.

4. Posted by Borisborough (Moderator 1320 posts) 25w Star this if you like it!

Definitely unlucky! We try to travel now with carry-on luggage only - managed that for seven weeks through Europe in December & January, two weeks in the Middle East in April and seven weeks in the horn of Africa in December & January amongst others. The only time we haven't done it was for seven weeks in East Africa in December & January which included climbing Kilimanjaro and therefore specialist equipment and clothes. Carry-on only also negates any delays at the airport waiting for your bags to come off the carousel. If you think you can do it, it's certainly worth a try.:):)

5. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 1612 posts) 25w Star this if you like it!

I'm with Borisborough on this. A bit of effort to sort out a small travel kit means it is certainly possible to travel carry-on. I'm just back from a 5 week trip around the world and had no problems going carry-on only.

6. Posted by Andrew Mack (Travel Guru 920 posts) 25w Star this if you like it!

I'd also suggest hand luggage only except IMO that would be difficult with the difference of weather between Iceland, Holland and Greece.

Having said that, lost luggage isn't much of an issue usually on European flights.
Certainly no more than flights anywhere else, so maybe all your luggage bad luck has been used in that one tour...

One thing I have noticed is how poorly people label their check-in luggage.
They either go full info with name address (so anyone at the departure airport can see your home will be open for burgling for a week or so) or they rely only on the flimsy airline tag.
On my hard plastic case (which has an address window) usually put my surname, flight number (or last flight number if there are more than one in a single journey) and date. I've no idea if this helps as I've never lost a bag, but I hope it will if I do...

7. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 1612 posts) 25w Star this if you like it!

Quoting Andrew Mack

I'd also suggest hand luggage only except IMO that would be difficult with the difference of weather between Iceland, Holland and Greece

I find different climates are easy enough to cater for with layering.

The more important factor is whether you can get away with dressing casually throughout the trip.

8. Posted by Andrew Mack (Travel Guru 920 posts) 25w Star this if you like it!

Quoting AndyF

I find different climates are easy enough to cater for with layering.

Whilst I'm also a disciple of 'Layering', I'd have problems packing for such extremes (especially footwear).

[ Edit: Edited on 20-Jan-2019, at 12:58 by Andrew Mack ]

9. Posted by Beausoleil (Travel Guru 1120 posts) 25w 1 Star this if you like it!

We bought strap-on baggage tags with a flap covering the window. I print our full itinerary with dates and contact numbers on a business card (using very small print) and put a copy inside each luggage tag. That way if our luggage is lost, they can open the tag, see where we are and contact us. If you have your home address on the tag, they send it home only you aren't at home; you are on vacation with no luggage. If they know where you are, they will get it to you. We've had our luggage go astray a few times and we've always gotten it back within 3 days. I also print out an itinerary and put one inside each bag just in case the luggage tags are lost.

Be sure the tags are easy to read. If you have a European phone number, be sure to include that. If not, list your hotel number. Always fill out a missing luggage report before you leave the airport and get their direct phone number so you can keep in touch. Do not put your home phone on the tag because you aren't at home to answer when they call.

10. Posted by Old Man At (Budding Member 49 posts) 25w Star this if you like it!

Quoting leics2

I'm sorry you had a rough time but you were extremely unlucky. I have made hundreds of flights from, to and within European countries over the past 15 years, always with checked luggage, and have never experienced any problems. I am certainly not alone in this.

+1

Was there anything 'odd' about your luggage? Shape, size or casing?. Sometimes luggage gets inspected after check in, either at departing or receiving airport. Sometimes you can tell by the 'inspected' sticker they put on. In these cases the luggage is often not on the belt, but put next to it manually. Same with odd shaped luggage or luggage with loose straps. I have never lost luggage, but have had several occasions where I thought I had because of this.

Also an Air Asia stewardess recently told me that there is more carry-on luggage forgotten on the plane than that there are bags lost by the carrier. I have no facts to back this up and am merely rehashing what she said, but I did find that very funny considering people not trusting airlines. (I actually found one if those forgotten bags which is why she told me)