Lost and Found: A Traveler’s Handbook for Dealing with Missing Bags in Indian Airports

Traveling can be an exciting and transformative experience, but sometimes, things don’t go as planned. One common issue that travelers face is missing bags at airports. It can be a stressful situation, especially when you’re far from home. If you find yourself in this predicament in an Indian airport, don’t worry; we’ve got your back. In this guide, we’ll provide you with a step-by-step approach to help you navigate the process of dealing with missing bags in Indian airports.

Step 1: Stay Calm and Inform Airport Authorities:

The first and most crucial step is to remain calm. Missing bags are not uncommon, and there’s a good chance your luggage will be found and returned to you. Immediately inform the airport authorities at the baggage claim area about your missing bag. They will guide you through the process and help you file a report.

Step 2: File a Property Irregularity Report (PIR):

Airport staff will assist you in filing a Property Irregularity Report (PIR). Provide them with detailed information about your bag, such as its color, size, brand, and any distinctive marks. Make sure to keep a copy of the PIR for your records; it will serve as your reference throughout the process.

Step 3: Contact Your Airline’s Lost and Found Department:

Reach out to the lost and found department of the airline you flew with. They will be actively involved in the search for your missing bag. Provide them with your PIR number and any additional information that might help locate your luggage.

Step 4: Keep Important Documents Handy:

Keep your boarding pass, baggage claim tags, and any other relevant documents in a safe place. These will be essential for tracking your bag.

Step 5: Stay Updated and Follow Up:

Stay in touch with the airline’s lost and found department and the airport’s baggage services team. Regularly inquire about the status of your missing bag. Airlines often have online tracking systems that you can use to check the progress of your claim.

Step 6: Report Missing Items:

If your bag is found but some items are missing or damaged, report this immediately to the airline and the airport authorities. They will guide you on how to claim compensation for the lost or damaged items.

Step 7: Keep Records and Receipts:

Throughout the process, keep records of all communications, receipts for any expenses incurred due to the missing bag, and photographs of damaged items. These documents will be crucial if you need to make a claim.

Step 8: Know Your Rights:

Familiarize yourself with your rights as a passenger regarding missing luggage. In India, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has guidelines and regulations that protect passengers in such situations.

Step 9: Be Patient:

Recovering missing bags can take time. Airlines will do their best to locate and return your luggage, but it may not happen immediately. Patience is key.


Experiencing missing bags at an Indian airport can be inconvenient, but following these steps and staying organized will increase your chances of a successful recovery. Remember that airport and airline staff are there to assist you. Keep a positive attitude and focus on enjoying your journey while they work to reunite you with your belongings. Safe travels!