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Arrrgh! I lost my luggage!…but dont panic – here are 10 great tips to help.

1. Take heart: 85 per cent of all lost luggage is found within 48 hours.

2. If your case has not appeared by the time the carousel stops, check the tag of any unclaimed case similar to yours. Someone may have mistaken your case for theirs.

3. If your luggage is missing – even if you are told it is on the next flight – you must fill out a Property Irregularity Report (PIR) before you leave the airport.

4. Find out how much the airline will compensate you for immediate supplies. Some airlines will hand out cash; others will offer a refund for purchases, so keep the receipts.

5. Limit your purchases to essentials. If your bag turns up, you may not be able to claim the full amount of compensation, even if you have already spent it.

6. If your bag is not found, you must make your claim for compensation from an airline in writing within seven days.

7. The maximum you can hope to receive from an airline for your lost suitcase is about £300: compensation is based on weight and is about £15 per kg, regardless of the value of the contents.

8. You may do better claiming on your travel insurance, but check the small print: some companies do not cover checked luggage and you will still need to produce a PIR.

9. Not all insurance companies offer new-for-old replacements when it comes to clothing, even if it promises “up to £1,500” for lost luggage. Again, check the small print.

10. In Britain, luggage not reunited with its owner within 100 days is auctioned for charity. You can attend the auctions at Greasbys in Tooting, London (020 8672 2972;

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