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Tips for recovering lost luggage amid Southwest's mass cancellations

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Posted at 1:41 PM, Dec 29, 2022

As the air travel meltdown across the nation continues, millions of passengers are left waiting for answers and trying to make new plans.

The bulk of those problems, including canceled flights, involves Southwest Airlines.

Some travelers made it to their destination, but the nightmare was far from over.

"I finally managed to get to Indianapolis, now I am just looking for my bags, just trying to get them," Shianne Freeman said.

Freeman had her flight canceled while traveling back from Colorado. After a bit of shuffling, she was finally able to get back home to Indiana, but it's been a week, and her bags are still nowhere to be found.

Freeman isn't alone. Hundreds of customers are still without their luggage.

"It's been a nightmare, and my bags haven't even left Orlando," Jacqueline Driver said. She has been without her bags for four days.

The bags at Indianapolis International are alphabetized.

Some passengers were able to pick them up Wednesday. Others, like Eli Masters, weren't so lucky.

"So when I was at the Dallas airport, they said I couldn't get my bags because they were already shipped here. But now she's telling me they [are] still in Dallas," Masters said.

These folks aren't the only ones experiencing issues with lost luggage.

Thousands across the country are in a completely different place than their bags.

How do I get my bags back?

  • Report your missing luggage within four hours of arriving
  • Go to the baggage service office at the airport and speak to an agent to create a report and get a receipt

If it's been more than five days

  • Fill out a form on Southwest Baggage Claim Portal
  • If the luggage is located, Southwest can deliver it to a location "of your choice"
  • Make a claim with the baggage service office

Once you create a claim, you should receive updates on your bag.
You can also call customer service to track your bags, but note they are having high call volume, and you could have to wait for extended periods of time.

You will need your original flight number and a valid ID on hand to retrieve and/or track your bags.

For more information on Southwest’s lost or damaged baggage policy, visit the airline’s help center.

RELATED: How to try and get reimbursed amid Southwest cancelations | Hundreds of IND Airport travelers impacted by flight cancelations

Kaitlyn Kendall at WRTV first reported this story.