15 Travelers Share Their Wildest Lost Luggage Experiences

List Rules
Travelers: vote up the stories of lost luggage that give you second-hand anxiety.

If you've ever lost a bag while traveling, then you're probably familiar with that terrible panicked feeling in your gut. You might also be able to sympathize with these lost luggage stories. People are sharing the times they lost bags while traveling (and giving their best advice) so you can be prepared the next time it happens to you.


  • 1
    7 VOTES

    Took A Short Trip To Salt Lake City, But Their Bag Ended Up In Saudi Arabia

    From Redditor u/rufustank:

    I have a friend who flew from Chicago to Salt Lake City but somehow her luggage ended up in Saudi Arabia.

    7 votes
  • 2
    5 VOTES

    Tried Getting Their Bags Back, Ended Up Losing Their Wallet Instead

    From Redditor u/kitatatsumi:

    Be me:

    After teaching English in Japan, take a flight from Osaka to Beijing.

    Bag is way overweight. Toss all tons of stuff. Keep the essentials.

    Bag still overweight.

    Toss out more stuff. Left with a bag containing leather jacket, suits, favorite jeans, Windows discs, essential textbooks, all my music and photos from a year in Japan.

    Fly to Beijing. No problem.

    Leaving Beijing. Board plane.

    Everyone off the plane.

    Take next flight, land in Paris.

    No bags. Bags gone. Parisian lost-luggage lady yells at me.

    Spend the next two weeks using phone cards calling Air China from the Netherlands.

    Air China tells me to f*ck off.

    Make inquiry. Send luggage tags. No reply.

    Sweating in Dutch phone booth on hold. It's summer. I'm frustrated. Same thing every day for two weeks. Hang up and walk away.

    Leave wallet in phone booth.

    Give up.

    5 votes
  • 3
    8 VOTES

    Lost Their Entire Wardrobe On The Way To Hawaii

    From Redditor u/Rynoman:

    It's 2003. Honeymoon. My wife and I flying United; Phoenix-LA-Maui. My wife, incidentally, is a 0.1%-er. If something strange can happen, it happens to her, every time. She's a statistician's nightmare.

    In Phoenix at 6am, the plane to LA has a mechanical problem. Gate agent: "Everyone going to Hawaii, we're moving you and your bags to connect in San Francisco, next gate over." Like 25 couples all run the 50 feet to the next gate and all seems well.

    Get to Maui baggage carousel, only one of our matched pairs of bags comes off. Please be hers, please be hers, please be...of course. (Travel pro tip: pack some of everyone's stuff in each bag you check so everyone has something if one bag is lost.). Hers is also the only bag that didn't make it.

    "It's in LA (why?), so it'll be on the next plane. Tomorrow." Doesn't come tomorrow. To United's credit, on the phone, they offer to pay for half of any clothes and toiletries she buys. This is OK, not great since we're 25 and on Maui. My wife now has a bunch of nice, rather expensive dresses covered in orchids. The bag comes the morning of day three.

    The evening of day three is luau night. My wife wears the nicest of the orchid-covered dresses. Another woman inline comments on her dress wants to know where she got it, why are we in Hawaii, oh, newlyweds!...

    "What a terrible thing to have happened on your honeymoon. I want you to send me your receipts personally, I'll take care of them." Is that a joke? She hands us her card: director of United customer service, Chicago. Are you kidding me? We did, and she did. That act alone kept me flying United as much as possible (400k flown miles since then) until about 6 months ago.

    8 votes
  • 4
    7 VOTES

    Got The Bag Back After A Week, But Their Belongings Were Missing

    From Redditor u/bigredjar:

    Went to France to study abroad. Baggage got lost for a week somewhere and came back with my jeans and some other clothing missing. OK.

    On the way back from France, my baggage got lost AGAIN for 10 days and this time I looked into it. Went to Mumbai then Miami then to my place. Gets back with my camera, cash, etc missing. Of course I didn't get contacted at all.

    7 votes
  • 5
    5 VOTES

    Had To Spend $200 On Clothes After Their Bag Got Lost In Hawaii

    From Redditor u/Penguinpush:

    I had my first major problem about a year ago when traveling to Hawaii. My bag did not make it on the flight during the layover, and I landed in Hawaii with no bag and was supposed to go immediately to a meeting for which I did not have clothing. While they did locate my bag, they told me it would not be there until the next day. In the meantime, I spent about $200 on clothing and toiletries to get me through the meeting and through the night. Upon showing receipts for my necessities, they gave me the option of getting an exact cash reimbursement for the items I purchased, or 2x the money in Southwest travel credit. I opted for the travel credit. I found their customer service to be kind and responsive once it came time to take action.

    5 votes
  • 6
    7 VOTES

    Had To Wear A Towel When Their Bag Didn't Make It On Their Boat 

    From Redditor u/reg-o-matic:

    I arrived in St. Thomas, U.S Virgin Islands on an afternoon flight from Miami, connecting through San Juan, PR, and discovered that my bag didn't make it. Our group was scheduled to depart on a bareboat sailing trip throughout the US & British VI's the next AM.

    The charter company received my bag and delivered it to our boat, by then a couple of islands away, a couple of days later.

    In between, I wore a towel.

    7 votes