The world is huge

Don't miss any of it

Travel news, itineraries, and inspiration delivered straight to your inbox.

By proceeding, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.


5 Lost Luggage Horror Stories

According to a report by SITA, a company that collects information for airlines, carriers mishandled 12.07 pieces of luggage for every 1,000 passengers worldwide this year. Yet while it’s statistically unlikely that your airline will lose your bag, it seems like every flier has had a lost luggage experience at one point in his or her travel career. Below are five lost luggage horror stories submitted by our readers.

Just Picture the Audience in Their Underwear

“I had gone to a national convention, where I was to receive an award in front of around 2000. Of course, my luggage got lost. I arrived on a Sunday and could find no clothing stores in downtown Denver. I was so embarrassed to be standing on stage, in a T-shirt and jeans, among all the suits.” — Gregory Ellis

Lobster and Found

“My daughter in Netherlands wanted to surprise our Dutch son-in-law with a true Maine lobster meal for his February birthday. So, as a Maine native living in Maine, I steamed lobsters, shelled them, ‘ZZZZip-locked’ the pieces, secured the tasty bodies and claws tightly between ‘blue gel-packs,’ and froze the units. On the morning of the overnight trip, the lobster packs went into a thermal picnic bag and stayed safely outside in the ‘wicked cold’ February weather.

“All went well on the trip except for a fact we discovered at Schiphol Airport: The lobsters went to Paris while we went to Amsterdam! However, the thermal bag arrived about 36 hours later and all was well! The lobster was still frozen solid, and the son-in law had his birthday wish granted.” — agnes dailey

Lightning Struck Twice

“Flying from Cleveland to Denver for a visit with friends, my luggage was lost. It was finally returned to me one week later, an hour before I was due to leave for the airport. Upon checking it in, I mentioned that it had been lost for a week and to please take good care of it. The reply: ‘Oh, don’t worry. Lightning never strikes twice.’ As you can guess, it did strike again and the luggage was lost forever.” — S J Foster

Bag and Switch

“On the shuttle from the parking lot to the airport, an older man took my carry-on bag when getting off the shuttle heading to his car. I took his look-alike bag into the airport. Prior to check-in I opened my carry-on to get my ID out and was shocked to find a suitcase full of men’s underwear! I had no itinerary, no identification, no meds, no money, no credit cards, and no munchie foods for my 7+ hour trip. The airport was three hours from my home, so there was no way to return home for the needed items. Luckily, the airline personnel asked me a bunch of security questions and let me on the plane. A pharmacy at my destination gave me a temp supply of medication, and the friend who was meeting me at my destination helped me out monetarily until we could get to a bank on Monday. The gentleman who took my bag called my contact info the next day and generously sent my bag to my parent’s home. What a nightmare. … Now all of my bags are adorned with hideous ribbons and flowers tied to the handles.” — Teresa

Snowed Under

“I learned the hard way never to put my home address on the outside of my suitcase. I was on a three-month work assignment to China and my huge suitcase was lost. I had nothing when I arrived in China. Three months later, I arrived home to a suitcase covered with eight inches of snow.” — Joan

We hand-pick everything we recommend and select items through testing and reviews. Some products are sent to us free of charge with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions and do not accept compensation to review products. All items are in stock and prices are accurate at the time of publication. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

Top Fares From