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I was traveling from India to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada via Montreal by connecting flight.

My airline's (Qatar) agent told me in India that you will get your baggage at the final destination (Saskatoon) so I didn't pick up my baggage at Montreal airport.

However, I didn't get my baggage at Saskatoon Airport, so had to file all the relevant baggage claim and custom forms.

After two days gone I am still waiting for my baggage because I have very important documents in one of my bags. So, please help me what to do next and what are the procedure for claiming the baggage?

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What did your airline say when you asked them about the missing bags? Did they perhaps give you a claim number that you can check online? –  Gagravarr Dec 20 '13 at 5:53
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and what reason did they give. Is it lost, delayed, impounded, damaged? Different reasons, no doubt different procedures. –  jwenting Dec 20 '13 at 6:19
    
how did this work out in the end? Did you get your bag back? Who had it? Was there anything special you needed to do to get it back? –  Kate Gregory Mar 5 at 1:00

2 Answers 2

On flights into Canada they repeatedly announce that all passengers must claim their bags and clear customs at the first point of entry, regardless of their final destination within Canada or elsewhere. Repeatedly. Also customs in Montreal usually asks if you have checked bags. It is really unfortunate that you were given wrong information by Qatar Airlines. You did steps 1 and 2, then step 4 of the airport border process, skipping step 3.

Your bag isn't lost, customs in Montreal has it. Your airline might help you retrieve it but you need to work with customs. If you're in Canada now, call them at 1-800-461-9999 and during business hours you should be able to speak to a person. In addition continue to work with the airline since they are likely going to be the ones who actually ship the bag to you.

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Firstly, the lesson for next time - if you've got something important, especially if it's small like documents, then always carry it onto the plane with you rather than putting it in your checked luggage. There is always the possibility of bags being lost, and taking it in your carry-on is always the safer option.

As far as getting your bag back, there is only one option, and that is to work through the airline - specifically the airline that flew your last flight. They are the only ones that can help you at this stage, and presuming the bag was actually checked through to your final destination then they are fully responsible for returning your bag to you - including delivering it to your hotel or home if that's what you want to happen.

If your bag remains lost then you are due compensation, however this is generally calculated on a weight basis rather than based on the value of your items. If you have travel insurance (be it a specific travel insurance policy, via a credit card, or possibly even your home contents policy) then you should also consider lodging a claim there.

The exception to the above is if the bag was only checked to Montreal, in which case it would have been your responsibility to collect it there, and whilst the airline may assist you in getting your bag back, they have no obligation to do so. You can check where the bag was checked to by looking at the baggage check receipt you would have been given at check-in, which will list the airports (and likely the flights) that you bag was due to travel to/on. If it doesn't list Saskatoon (YXE) then it was NOT checked all the way through.

(Ironically, the international treaty that covers compensation for lost baggage is the "Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules for International Carriage by Air", or as it is more commonly know, the Montreal Convention!)

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if the bag was impounded by customs, working through the airline won't do much... At most it would give him an indication of where the bag was last seen while under the care of the airline, which might help find whomever he needs to talk to. Talking to airport officials at Saskatoon is more likely to work, at worst they'll put him in touch with the responsible people at the airline. –  jwenting Dec 20 '13 at 9:16
    
If the baggage was impounded by customs then customs will advise the airline of that fact, and it's still down to the airline(s) involved to notify the customer. –  Doc Dec 20 '13 at 15:38

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