How to Fix Travel Problems from Lost Phones, Missing Bags, No ID and More

Travel problems are time and money wasters. Let’s fix them before they spiral out of control.

LISTEN: A few more useful tips from Rick.

How to Fix 6 Travel Problems

  1. If you lose your phone

If you know where you lost it, great; contact the airline or airport lost & found. The phone numbers will pop up if you search ‘lost and found’ and the airline name, or airport name or code (such as ORD for Chicago O’Hare). If you’re still at the airport, head to the security checkpoint you came through; the TSA amasses hundreds of phones and electronics and they’d like nothing more than to reunite you and your iPhone. Find TSA lost and found contact info here.

  1. If your flight is canceled or delayed

Three things to try: 1.) Get in line to speak to an airline rep (look for a short line); at the same time, 2.) Contact the airline on Twitter, often the fastest way to get a response; then, 3.) Remain in line as you call the airline. You need to cast a wide net to meet your goal of getting a seat on the next flight out.

  1. If you lost your ID or left it at home

This can vary by country but in the U.S., a few minutes conversation with a TSA agent may be enough to get you through security with no ID. If you have any papers in your wallet or purse that includes your name, get them out. Above all, be patient; snapping at a security officer will win you no friends. Tip: Get to the airport extra early.

  1. If your bag is lost or damaged

No matter how tired you are, do not leave the airport without filling out the form to make a claim and do this at the baggage office near the carousel. If the bag has been lost and you need to buy toiletries are maybe even a shirt, save your receipts! You will not be reimbursed without them.

  1. If your seatmate drives you crazy

Are you seated next to an armrest hog? Or does the passenger in front of you want to recline his seat into your lap? Speak up – politely – but if that doesn’t work, hit the flight attendant call button. Let the pros handle it; planes have been diverted to eject unruly passengers. Tip: Shower before your flight; smelly passengers have been kicked of flights, too.

  1. If you drive a flight attendant crazy

A crew member’s word is law on a plane, from pilots to flight attendants. You may not like it, but do what they say; if you really feel you must, you can always lodge a complaint later.



Updated: December 2, 2015