If the airline you are traveling with has lost or misplaced your baggage, then this article explains the procedure of getting your luggage back.
If your baggage does not turn up on the luggage carousel then don't panic. It is most probably delayed and can easily be tracked down by the airlines. 98 percent of all misplaced or lost baggage is eventually returned. If your bags are on the next flight, you could have them within a few hours. If they've been sent to the wrong airport, it could take a couple of days. Make sure to file your claim immediately at the airport and provide the attendant with a contact number and address.
If your baggage has been lost or mishandled by the airline you arrived in, there is a simple procedure to follow. This allows for customs clearance of lost baggage and the delivery of the luggage at the doorstep of the passenger by the airline company.
There is no need for the traveller to hand over their passport or the baggage keys. They are merely required to complete the Custom Declaration Form authorizing the airline to complete the formalities when the baggage arrives. The passenger is required to obtain a certificate to that effect from the airlines and get it countersigned by customs indicating specifically the unutilized portion of the free allowance. This allows the passenger to avail the unutilised portion of the duty free allowance when the baggage is later delivered by the airline.
Most airlines deliver the lost baggage to your hotel or home and you will rarely need to return to the airport to pick it up. Additionally, many airlines will reimburse any unexpected expenses caused by the loss or delay.
If the airline truly loses your bags, then you need to get a written claim for damages. This may require you to fill a different form than the original 'missing luggage' form. This can be done at the airport or by mail.
Head directly to the baggage carousel after you get off your flight. There are some unscrupulous passengers who may pick up your bag and just walk away with it. They may be difficult to trace later.
The most common causes of lost, delayed or misplace baggage are late check-ins and tight connections. Avoid doing this when you can.