Although luggage bags at airlines go missing quite often, only a small percentage of all checked baggage is permanently lost. Most bags will be found within a few hours and if it takes longer, the airline will deliver it to you by courier. However, in the event that you become separated from your bag, there are steps you can take to locate it.
If your baggage turns up missing while you are flying to your destination, the following steps will help when making a claim:
Lost Baggage: If your baggage is lost while in transit, you should report the loss to the airline carrier. If your bag does not show up on the baggage carousel, immediately go the airline's baggage office or window. Give the window clerk your baggage stubs. Retain your receipts for all replacement of items purchased together with the baggage check tags and remaining portions of your flight tickets.
Baggage Delay: In the event that your baggage is delayed in transit while on your journey, report the delay immediately to the airline and obtain a property irregularity report (PIR.) You will also need to supply evidence of the length of the baggage delay.
What must an airline do?
All airlines are liable for compensation if baggage is delayed or damaged due to their own negligence but this liability doesn't include fragile articles, liquids, or perishable items.
The clerk at the baggage claim window will track your bag using your luggage stubs. If there are no results, the clerk will send baggage workers to try to locate your luggage. It is important that you can describe your baggage.
If the airline still cannot locate your baggage, you will have to fill out a baggage claim form where you will have to list the contents of the baggage and a description of the bags. You must provide contact information and an address, so if they do find it, they can deliver it to you. Make sure you keep a copy of the claim form.
A little extra care can keep your bags safe while you travel
- The airlines have upgraded baggage tracking technology so reuniting you with your misplaced bags is much quicker and easier. As a passenger, you can take certain precautions that can help the airlines return items you leave on a plane or get your bags back to you quickly. As you pack, follow these tips:
- If you must travel with expensive items, you can buy excess valuation coverage on the spot at the ticket counter or check with your insurance company before you start your trip.
- Keep prescriptions, travel documents (especially UPC stubs for your checked bags), cash, and jewelry with you as you travel. Buy a bag or money belt to hide your valuables.
- Buy a suitcase with a slide-in window for additional identification (since attached bag tags can be easily torn off) and ensure the address information on your bag tag is up-to-date.
- Tie a colored ribbon on your bag. Consider putting additional identification inside your bag along with a copy of your itinerary to help the airlines know if they should send your bags to your travel destination or your home.
- Put your name and address on every bag. Due to stricter bag limits, carry-on suitcases and bags you've managed to get on board in the past may now need to be checked.
If the airline cannot find your baggage, contents compensation varies by airline so ask the airline what they will reimburse or replace. Unfortunately, lost baggage does happen. By taking the appropriate precautions and knowing what to do in the event of lost luggage, you will be prepared to deal with the situation.
In many foreign countries it is frowned upon to walk around exposing all kinds of skin like we do in the states. For example just because Costa Rica has a tropical and temperate climate does not mean you should walk around towns in your bikini, likewise even though they have been blessed by Mother Nature with abundant tropical jungles and fertile rainforests doesn't imply that men should dress like Tarzan, even if they have the body for it.
This is not to say that when you are in Costa Rica that you have to wrap yourself up. Even if clothing as a whole is determined by a society's cultural scene, its climate, and the manner its citizens live, Costa Rican clothing doesn't differ a great deal from any other Central or South American countries. All the same, in Costa Rica clothing has two main types. First you have the traditional Costa Rican clothing that is worn to symbolize the country's culture. This is also regarded as their national costume and can be seen being donned by locals for folkloric presentations. The Costa Rican men however, are still seen wearing these traditional styles when working in the fields. The women typically never wear these costumes outside of the folkloric presentations. Their traditional dresses are defined by a long tiered skirt, full of colors and embellished with ribbons. The blouses are sleeveless but have wide ruffles at the neck that fall past the shoulders. Their hair is usually held back in a bun and a flower, generally Guaria Morada (the national flower), is inserted behind one ear.
Another type of clothing that is commonly worn in Costa Rica is contemporary clothing. This means the daily apparel that the Costa Ricans wear. Although the sun shines practically everyday of the year, shorts are typically not satisfactory outside of the beach resorts. If you're visiting you probably don't care, but Ticos which is what Costa Rican locals call themselves, leave their shorts for beach wear.
Ticos tend to dress very conservatively. So the most common thing you'd see them wearing around town are long pants and shirts. Mostof the citizenry wear long sleeves or jackets over their shirts as weather occasionally become unpredictable bringing short rains in some afternoons. Men may sometimes be seen in knee-length shorts though, but again,shorter running shorts and surf shorts are saved for the beach. Dresses are worn on special occasions and are done so by the elderly people. Costa Rican clothing is also inexpensive, particularly the underwear and while the malls and shopping centers offer good deals, you will find the best bargains in downtown San Jose.
A member of the European Union since 2007, Romania is a country of almost 92,000 square miles - roughly the same as the UK - but with a population of only 22m people.
This one time communist state has borders with Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, the Republic of Moldova and the Ukraine. To the east it has a Black Sea coastline of about 120 miles. The Carpathian Mountains are in the north east and the Transylvanian Alps are in the centre. The Danube marks the southern border.
Bucharest, the capital, is in the south and home to 2m Romanians. Other major cities include Arad, Oradea and Timisoara to the far west, the Black Sea town of Constanta (the country's largest port) to the east, and the centrally situated Brasov and Sibiu.
Principal tourist destinations are Bucharest, Black Sea resorts such as Mamaia, Eforie, Neptun, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn and Mangalia, and mountain resorts such as the Prahova Valley close to Brasov.
There are also many spas (offering mud baths and various cures and reinvigorating treatments) and national parks, and ancient towns such as Tirgoviste, the 15th century capital ruled over by Vlad the Impaler - immortalised in literature as Count Dracula.
Ski resorts include Poiana Brasov, the most developed although still small by western European standards, Busteni and Predeal.
The main international airport is Bucharest-Otopeni (opened in 1970), located just over 10 miles from central Bucharest. Constanta - Mihail Kogalniceanu, Timisoara, Arad, Sibiu, Suceava also have international airports.
Romania generally has warm summers but cold winters when the average temperature is minus 3 degrees C. The mean annual temperature is 11 degrees C in the south and 8 degrees C in the north.
Annual rainfall is highest in the mountains but otherwise rises from east to west.
Reforms since the 1989 fall of the Ceausescu regime and more recently entry into the EU, Romania has experienced economic major development and advances in its infrastructure including new motorways. Arrival of international banks has made finance, including mortgages for house purchase, more readily available.
The Foreign Office says most visits to Romania are trouble free although like most places there is an underlying threat from terrorism. The main types of incident for which British nationals required consular assistance in Romania in 2007 involved petty crime, especially replacing lost or stolen passports. 'Beware of young pickpockets in city centres especially in crowded areas', it warns.
Visitors are advised 'to maintain at least the same level of personal security awareness as in the UK'.
Health risks include rabies - there have been outbreaks in rural areas - and Hepatitis. There have also been outbreaks of Avian Influenza in the Danube Delta, Transylvania and Bucharest although the Romanian authorities have taken measures to contain the outbreaks and the risk to humans is believed to be very low - no human infections or deaths have been reported.
Other possible hazards include earthquakes, which are not uncommon in southern and south western Romania, with small tremors recorded throughout the year. The last major earthquake was in late November 2005 although there were no casualties or significant damage.
Property prices, especially in Bucharest, have been rising fast with annual increases of 30 per cent to 40 per cent not uncommon. Demand, both local and from overseas investors, has outstripped supply of modern dwellings. With a strong economy, supply is likely to be behind supply for some time to come.
Romania has a land registry and the buying process follows the continental model, with the formal paperwork - including a purchase contract and final contract and registration - overseen by an official notary.
Until the EU entry non-Romanian citizens were not allowed to own land. However that changed with EU membership. Now EU citizens can acquire land in Romania, subject to a five year deferral in the case of residential property and seven years in that of agricultural land, forests and forestry. When the deferral period expires the ownership of the land will pass to the buyer.
None of this affects the ability of the foreign buyers to rent their properties or to sell them before the deferral period expires.