ARCHIV - Koffer liegen am 22.07.2011 in der Gepäckabfertigungsanlage des Flughafens Düsseldorf (Nordrhein-Westfalen) auf einem Fließband. Die Gepäckförderanlage an Flughäfen wird in diesem Jahr seid 40 Jahren bestehen. Foto: Marius Becker/dpa (zu lhe-Vorausmeldung «20 000 Koffer pro Stunde: Gepäckförderanlage am Flughafen wird 40» vom 02.07.2014) +++(c) dpa - Bildfunk+++

The summer holidays in Berlin have begun. Actually, this is a reason for joy, but due to the personnel problems in aviation, many are looking forward to their upcoming vacation with concern. If the flight takes place, the first hurdle seems to have been overcome. But sometimes only the travelers themselves arrive at the destination. That’s why it’s important to know what to do if your suitcase gets lost.

Loss of checked luggage must be reported in writing to the airline and, if applicable, to the tour operator immediately, at the latest within seven days. For this you need the sticker with the baggage registration number, your ticket and the boarding pass.

If your suitcase is found, you can claim compensation within a period of 21 days after the baggage was made available.

If the luggage is returned, the tour operator or airline must arrange for transport to the travel accommodation or home. If it is considered lost, you must make a detailed list detailing the extent of the damage.

This includes proof of purchase for the suitcase and its contents, as well as for replacement purchases if the airline does not provide an emergency package with toiletries and underwear itself. The Montreal Agreement stipulates that the airline currently reimburses the costs of such replacement purchases up to 1400 euros per passenger. However, the principle of harm reduction applies.

For example, on a beach holiday you can only buy a simple bathing suit because you are obliged to keep the costs as low as possible. Incidentally, if your suitcase is lost on the journey home, you have little right to compensation. It is assumed that you have everyday items at home.

As part of package tours, you are entitled to compensation from the tour operator if you lose your luggage. If this disrupts the travel process or if holiday time had to be invested in emergency purchases, 20 to 25 percent of the daily travel price can be reclaimed.

I strongly advise you not to pack your laptop, medication, cash or other valuables in your suitcase, but to stow them in your hand luggage. Liability for corresponding damage to checked baggage is regularly excluded in the airlines’ conditions of carriage.

Even if it’s difficult, don’t let a missing suitcase spoil your vacation. The philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer believed that serenity of the mind gives us the most immediate happiness. Nothing can completely replace every other good like this property, while nothing can replace it itself. And with a bit of luck, a lost suitcase can be found again.