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Lost and (Hopefully) FoundWhat to do when your stuff goes missing!

• Don’t panic. Only 1 percent of luggage goes permanently bye-bye.
• Notify the airline who issued your ticket that your bag is MIA. (It should have a customer service counter in the baggage claim area.)
• Ask about compensation. You might be entitled to some cash on the spot.
• File a claim if your bag is part of that 1 percent that is gone forever. The most you’ll get is about $1,500 for luggage that disappears during a domestic trip. (Check with your carrier for exact values.) All the more reason to leave expensive stuff at home.
• If you can’t resolve an issue with the airline, file a complaint with the Canadian Transportation Agency. They’ll investigate.

An Ounce of Prevention
Follow these steps to help keep you and your bag together:
• Take photos of your bag and the stuff in it, in case you need to make a claim.
• Label all luggage (outside and inside) with your name, address and telephone number (cell, home or office), as well as with your destination hotel.
• Don’t throw away those stickers they put on your documents when you check in. They have all the necessary info to trace your bag.
• Take carry-on luggage whenever you can.

A travel writer extraordinaire, Michele Sponagle has visited more than 40 countries around the world.