How a Bag Delay With This Airline Could Get You a Free Flight

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How a Bag Delay With This Airline Could Get You a Free Flight

Million Mile SecretsHow a Bag Delay With This Airline Could Get You a Free FlightMillion Mile Secrets Team

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Have you ever waited at the baggage claim to find out your checked bags didn’t make it on the plane?

It’s frustrating.  And a reminder of the benefits of traveling light.  😉

Team member Keith experienced a bag delay situation after a Southwest flight.  And the end result was surprising.

He received a Southwest travel voucher, which he used to get 2 free Southwest flights!

What To Do When Bags Are Delayed
Was Your Checked Luggage Delayed? The Airline Might Try to Make It up to You!

I’ll let you know what Keith did to get the travel credit.  And share what you can do when bags are delayed.

A Free Southwest Travel Voucher for Bag Delay

I love Southwest because you can check 2 bags for free and there are no change or cancellation fees.

Team member Keith loves Southwest too!  Especially because he has the Companion Pass, which has saved him thousands on airfare the past few years.

But after taking a Southwest flight home on a recent trip, he learned his 2 free checked bags didn’t make it on the plane.

The good news was the bags were scheduled to arrive on a later flight.  And Southwest arranged for the bags to be delivered to his home.  He also received information to track the delivery on

What To Do When Bags Are Delayed
Southwest Works With So You Can Track Your Bag If It Didn’t Make It on Your Flight

The bags were delivered ~10 hours after the flight.  Keith was thankful this happened on the way home instead of on the first day of a vacation!

But he was still disappointed that he dropped the bags off 2+ hours before departure and they didn’t make the flight.  So he sent Southwest customer service a quick message through their website with a summary of what happened.

What To Do When Bags Are Delayed
You Can Send a Message to Southwest Customer Service Through Their Website. Most Airlines Have Similar Communication Options.

Southwest responded within 2 days letting Keith know he’d get a $50 Southwest travel voucher because of the inconvenience.

What To Do When Bags Are Delayed
A Very Nice Gesture by Southwest to Offer $50 Worth of Travel Credit!

Keith was grateful for the goodwill gesture!  He already redeemed the credit for a ~$49 flight from Los Angeles to Las Vegas.  And he added his wife as a companion for just the cost of taxes & fees.

So he essentially got 2 free flights thanks to the bag delay travel voucher!

I can’t promise you’ll get travel credit in a similar situation.  But it doesn’t hurt to write a quick note to see what the airline says!

Credit Cards With Bag Delay Coverage

Link:   Best Travel Insurance Credit Cards

Link:  Get Compensated for Delays, Lost Luggage, and More With AirCare

You can get baggage delay coverage when you pay for your trip with cards like:

In most cases, your bags must be delayed 6+ hours for the coverage to take effect.  The exception is with certain Citi cards, which cover you after 3+ hours.

What To Do When Bags Are Delayed
Before Filing a Claim With Your Credit Card for Bag Delays, See If You Qualify for Coverage Based on the Number of Hours You’ve Been Waiting

This coverage will only reimburse you up to a certain limit for necessary purchases, like a phone charger or toiletries, while you wait for your bags to arrive.  So if you don’t make any purchases while waiting for your bags, you won’t get any benefit from this coverage.

I recommend reading your card’s terms & conditions to see what’s covered for bag delays.

You can also consider purchasing third-party insurance for bag delays from companies like AirCare.  Here’s my full review of AirCare.

Bottom Line

If you’re frustrated because your bags didn’t arrive on your flight, you can send a note to the airline’s customer service department.

Team member Keith did this after a recent Southwest flight and received a $50 travel credit!  This was enough for 2 free flights because he has the Companion Pass!

And keep in mind several credit cards come with baggage delay coverage.  This can come in handy if you have to purchase essentials while waiting for your bags to arrive.

Have you ever written to an airline because of bag delays?

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Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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My husband’s bag was lost on a flight from London to Lyon, France in 2013, by British Airways; it was delivered the following day. Without any prompting, and unbeknowst to us, we were upgraded to business class on our tranatlantic flight home from London to Phoenix, Az. Sometimes airlines do take the initiative to make up for their shortcomings.

On an Alaska flight last Friday night and 1 out of 3 bags didn’t make it on the plane(Checked in 2 hours before the flight). When we went to report the lost bag it was a much easier process than we have had with other airlines. Alaska offered us a $50 voucher for our inconvenience and our bag would be delivered to our house or we could get $100 voucher for us to pick the bag up at the airport. Needless to say we only live 20 minutes from the airport and picked the bag up in the morning.

Million Mile Secrets

Sounds like an easy $100! Thanks for sharing your experience!

If you get free checked bags with Alaska, I always check my carryons because AS misses there baggage guarantee.

My family of 5 has received over 25k miles this year from baggage guarantees good for 2+ AS RT’s (10k each on shorthauls)

Million Mile Secrets

Great tip! Thanks for sharing, Thomas.

While this is a good suggestion, the implication of getting 2 free flights is hugely misleading. I had this happen to me a few months ago and when I started reading, I was disappointed I only got a $50 voucher because I was assuming Keith’s was MUCH higher. I always appreciate your tips, but would prefer posts to be worded more realistically.

Million Mile Secrets

Thank you for the feedback! I have heard from folks who have received larger vouchers for similar situations. So it could be worth writing to see what they offer.