Lost Baggage

Lost baggage in Bangkok?

Did this ever happen to you and have you ever experienced such an awkward situation as a lost bag in Bangkok?

You know how it goes, you checked your bag in with the airline and you hope that it will there to collect at your destination.

It seems that on average one in every 1000 passengers will lose a bag, so pretty much one person per per three flights is going to be disappointed at the baggage carousel.

Losing a suitcase is something that many travellers dread, but are often not prepared for and if you travel frequently then it is probably likely to happen to you at some point.

If you are reading this, perhaps it has already happened to you and are looking for what to do.

This article explains the overall process of dealing with lost baggage and delayed baggage in Bangkok Airport and what to do.

Generally speaking the paperwork and insurance claim process is the same, no matter what airline or airport is involved, so even if you are not flying Thail Airways or not using Suvarnabhumi Airport, the process is the same.

There is also a link at the end of this guide, so you can trace your bag.

Bangkok Airport Baggage Claim Hall

Losing a bag is a nightmare when travelling.

What can you do if it happens to you and how can you minimise the risk of losing your bags?

There are two types of airport lost luggage, temporarily lost or permanently lost, although the airlines will generally refer to it as mishandled baggage.

Bangkok Airport baggage hallBangkok Airport baggage claim hall

Let's work through the scenarios of what can happen to your baggage so you can be prepared for that event.

After you disembark the airplane at Suvarnabhumi Airport and pass through Immigration, then the next step is to collect your bags from the baggage carousel.

Bangkok Airport Lost Baggage Office

Nowadays most baggage carousels have an electronic sign that tells you what flight the bags are from and indicates the first and last bag from the flight.

When waiting for your bag, try to stand in a position where you can see all the bags entering the carousel and wait for your baggage.

If after all the bags have come off, yours didn't appear and the sign now indicates "Last Bag", then head over to the the lost baggage room at the end of Carousel No. 8 to report your missing suitcase.

In most cases there will be an airline agent also supervising the baggage carousel, so ask her first.

Tip: if there is a bag remaining on the carousel that looks very similar to yours, then tell the staff agent or the Lost Baggage office, as it may be that a fellow traveller has taken your bag by mistake.

How to Report Lost Baggage

Once you notice that your baggage is missing, go to the Baggage Service office, located at the end of Carousel No. 8.

The staff will assist you file a lost baggage claim and make a written complaint by completing a Property Irregularity Report (PIR).

This step has to be done before leaving the airport and you will require some basic details to do this:

  1. reservation number (can be found on your flight ticket)
  2. baggage tag number (the tag is attached to your boarding pass at baggage check-in)
  3. details of your baggage (manufacturer, size, color)
  4. address where you will be staying
  5. telephone number where you are contactable
Lost baggage office Bangkok Airport near Carousel 8Lost Baggage Office in Suvarnabhumi Airport

In these situations it is useful to take have taken a photo of your suitcase before departing, as when you are weary and jet-lagged it can be difficult to remember the suitcase description.

Fortunately the staff in the office have book of identi-kit photos of various styles of bags and so just choose the closest match.

Once you have provided details to complete the PIR, the staff will attach a copy of your:

  • Flight coupon/ticket
  • Baggage tag
  • Passport

The lost baggage staff are able to check on line in the WorldTracer System, as to the current location of your bag and advise you of its location.

This is where you get to find out the whether you baggage is delayed or missing.

If your baggage is delayed and just missed a connecting flight, then usually they can deliver it to your hotel within 24 hours.

Which is fine if you are staying a few days in the same location, but more difficult if you are moving on somewhere else.

You will need to provide them with an address to send the bag to, and if necessary appropriate dates that you will be in that location.

The agent will enter all this information into the computer.

If the agent cannot find a record of your bag in the system, then that is when to be concerned.

Before leaving the office ensure that you get both the phone number of the Lost Baggage office, so you can call them about your bags location and also the phone number of your airline so you can discuss the situation with them and what can they do to help out.

Airlines generally are able to provide an emergency overnight kit, so make sure you ask about that before leaving the airport, as they are probably not going to proactively offer it. 

Also ask about an allowance to cover the purchase of emergency items in the interim, whilst you wait for your lost baggage to turn up.

You may be provided with a voucher to use at local shops or at least a general guide on what is an acceptable amount to spend.

Lost Baggage Tracking

One very useful tool for tracking lost baggage is the internet tracking service, that is available to your travel agent.

You can request that the lost baggage office give you the website link to World Tracer or their equivalent, so that you can track your own problem report.

After 3 days from the initial report you can check the status in the baggage tracking system, using your last name and the file reference number.

Access to this service is extremely useful, as you can update your contact details and location as well as being able to see whether your bag has been located or not.

Suvarnabhumi AirportLost baggage at Suvarnabhumi Airport

Lost Baggage Claim Forms

These are the current Thai Airways link for the lost baggage claim form needed in the next section.

For other airlines, Google search for:

"<airline name> lost baggage claim form" for the correct page.

Station offices are responsible for tracking your baggage for the first five days, if after that your bag has not been located, then you need to contact the airline baggage tracing department.

The airline only consider a bag lost if it has not been found after a month, however if your bag has not been located after seven days then download the lost baggage claim form from the airline website and start to complete it.

The claim form requires you to attach copies of:

  • Flight coupon/ticket
  • Baggage tag
  • Passport
  • Declaration form of lost items and prices

Submit this via email with electronic attachments after one month.

After processing you will be made an offer in accordance with International Regulations.

Currently airline payments are made at the rate of USD $20 per kilogram, although you may be offered more if you are a frequent flier.

For example, if your flight class allowed you to take 30 kg of baggage then you may be offered up to USD $600.

Typically the contents of your suitcase will be worth $75 per kilo or more and it's quite clear that this amount is not going to be enough to cover the replacement cost of your suitcase and its contents.

This is where travel insurance comes in to make up the difference.

After you have accepted the airline offer you then should make a claim on your travel insurance policy for the balance, plus any additional items such as temporary clothing and toiletries.

This whole process of identifying that your baggage is actually lost and to the point that you get fully reimbursed from both the airline and your travel insurance provider is going to take about 3 months.

As a final note, in the case of temporarily lost baggage, it may catch up to you and be delivered to your hotel the following day.

In other cases, if it is only located after you return home, it will be returned to your home airport and you will have to arrange to collect it.

Mishandled Baggage Claim

If you find your baggage is damaged or there are missing items from checked baggage, report this immediately to a member of the airline staff and file a written complaint at the Baggage Claim office.

In the case of noticeable damage such as where a wheel or handle is broken, the surface material is torn, or there are missing items within, then the report should include;

  • Flight coupon/ticket
  • Baggage tag
  • Passport

The airline is not going to replace your suitcase in the case of minor damage as they expect it be repaired.

In each city they have a list of approved baggage repair agents and you should take your bag to one of these sites to get repaired.

In the case of pilfered items you also need to file a police report.

The Baggage Claim office can advise where to do this, if you realise this whilst at the airport.

If you only realise later that something has been taken from your bag, then the Police report should be done in the district where you are staying.

For claim purposes, the reporting for damage or pilfered items has to be done within 7 days of completing the journey, so don't leave it too long.

Retain a copy of the Police report.

If your flight departed from the United States, then the Department of Transport (DOT) has some further information on the compensation requirements.

World Tracer Link

Once you have been given a reference number for your lost baggage then just go to this lost baggage link to update your address details and track your bag.

Hopefully any baggage can be returned to you safe and sound.

Request access to the baggage tracing link when making the lost baggage report. It is extremely useful.

Lost Baggage Best Practice

Although there is very little you can do to control the airline handling of your baggage, there is some preparation work that can help to ensure that you have the best chance of your bag being returned, or at least minimising any out of pocket expenses associated with loss.

  • Label your luggage inside and out
  • Remove suitcase sticky barcodes from previous trips
  • Make your bag distinctive
  • Don't put valuables in your baggage
  • Don't put important papers in your baggage
  • Take out insurance to cover loss of baggage
  • Take a photo of your bag
  • Complete the lost luggage spreadsheet before your trip
  • Add a tracker

Apple AirTag

Consider the use of an Apple AirTag to track your baggage during your travels to Thailand and know where your bag is in real time.

This can be helpful in the following situations.

  • Locating your bag in the storage depot once found
  • If your bag is mistakenly taken from the baggage hall
  • If the taxi driver drives off without unloading your bag
  • In case of theft from your hotel
  • In case of theft from a bus service

There are many reasons to be separated from your suitcase when overseas and this product can be extremely useful in these situations.

Amazon have a range of Apple AirTags and accessories that will allow the tracking of your items.

Which iPhone models are AirTags compatible with?

The iPhone models that AirTags are compatible with include any iPhone with support for iOS 14.5, but AirTags work best with iPhone models 11 through 13.

What accessories can AirTags be used with?

There are a wide variety of accessories that AirTags can be used with. Examples of accessories that can hold AirTags are key-chains and cases.

Lost Baggage Insurance Claim

So far we only covered the procedure to be followed for reimbursement of your lost baggage costs with your airline.

The next step is to make an claim on your travel insurance policy and this should be done after being reimbursed by the airline (this value has to be deducted from your insurance claim).

If you do happen to lose your baggage then use the lost luggage spreadsheet to help you make your claim more easily.

Just attach it to the Declaration of Lost Items and Prices as part of your insurance claim submission.

If you fill out the lost luggage spreadsheet before you commence your travel, then you will know exactly what is inside your bag and when you come to make a claim it will be that much easier.

If you are a resident of Australia you can take out travel insurance that covers the uninsured portion of your lost baggage claim from 1Cover Insurance.

If you are not a resident of Australia, then you can use World Nomads travel policies.

Lost and Found Counter

General items that are lost or found in Suvarnabhumi Airport are handled by the 24-Hour Lost and Found Desk, located on the 6th Floor. (elevator at the end of Row Q)

It is so easy to leave a phone behind in the restaurant or forget to pick up your wallet as you leave.

In this case, these are the contact details in the graphic below that you need to make a report:

Lost and Found Bangkok Suvarnabhumi AirportDirections to the Lost and Found Office

Bangkok Airport Lost Baggage Summary

This relevant article provides information about lost baggage at Bangkok Airport and serves as a guide for travellers who have experienced the unfortunate situation of lost or mishandled baggage, offering insights, instructions, and practical tips for dealing with such incidents.

The piece begins by acknowledging the inconvenience and frustration caused by lost baggage and emphasizes the importance of staying calm and taking immediate action to resolve the situation effectively.

It goes on to provide guidance on what to do in case of lost baggage at Bangkok Airport and advises travelers to report the incident to the baggage line attendant or Lost Baggage office as soon as the loss is discovered.

The webpage explains the necessary information to provide, such as flight details, baggage tags, and a detailed description of the lost items.

Furthermore, the page offers insights into the procedures and services available for tracking and recovering lost baggage and it stresses the importance of retaining copies of baggage receipts and provides contact details for the airline or airport representatives who can assist with the recovery process.

It also provides practical advice on minimizing the risk of lost baggage and suggests labelling luggage with contact information, using distinctive and recognizable luggage tags, and packing essential items in carry-on bags. The use of in-bag tracking devices is also mentioned.

In summary, the page serves as a valuable resource for travellers who have experienced lost baggage at Bangkok Airport, with useful links for assistance.

It also provides guidance on reporting the incident, tracking and recovering lost items, and minimizing the risk of future occurrences.

By following the information provided on the webpage, travellers can navigate the process effectively and seek resolution for their lost baggage concerns.

How long does it take for an airline to find lost baggage?

Most baggage is found and delivered to you within three days.

What are my rights if my airline loses my baggage?

Generally, you have the right to purchase replacement items for immediate needs.

If the baggage is indeed lost, then airlines offer compensation based upon the suitcase weight and if the value is greater than this, travel insurance is used to claim the difference. 

What should I do if my airline loses my baggage?

If your baggage still has not appeared after the "Last Bag" sign shows and if there is a baggage agent monitoring the carousel, you can ask them where to report the matter.

If the bag did not appear in Suvarnabhumi Airport International Arrivals, then report it to the Baggage office near to Carousel 6.

What should I pack in my carry-on if my airline loses my baggage?

You never know when an airline is going to lose your baggage, so it is best to be prepared. Carrying a toiletries bag and a change of clothes for a day or two, will allow you to ride out any inconvenience that happens.

What are the chances of my airline losing my baggage?

This statistic varies by airline, with some airlines being better than others. In general terms though the worst airlines seem to lose 1 in 1000 bags and the better airlines about 1 in 3000 bags.

What is the difference between lost baggage and delayed baggage?

As all bags are tracked, then the Lost Baggage office staff can tell immediately where the bag is, as they will see it on the tracking system. In this case the bag may have missed the initial flight or a connecting flight and it is just a matter of the bag catching up to you.

However if the baggage is not able to be located and still cannot be located in a set period, then it is considered lost.

How can I track my lost baggage?

The Lost Baggage staff should provide login details to a tracking app, so you can provide your contact details and track your baggage. 

With the advent of tracking devices like the Apple Air Tag, then many frequent fliers now insert these devices into the bags prior to travelling.

bkk-airport-lg-42Suvarnabhumi Airport lost baggage office

Revised 29-July-2023

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