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Baggage stuck in customs

My daughter arrived in Spain last Friday. Two of her bags arrived no problem but one is nowhere to be found and Iberian Airlines has zero information except that they think its stuck in customs. She is planning to physically go back to the airport tomorrow or the next day to see if she can speak to the customs agent. Has anyone had this problem? Her name and number including WhatsApp is on her luggage. She has perscription medication in that bag and we think that it may be what's holding it up. Nothing controlled, just antibiotics and antideprssant. All with her name etc.

Any advice?

Posted by
4180 posts

I’ve had a bag put onto a different flight (not by Iberian), and sent to a totally different destination. Also a suitcase misdirected at the airport (London Heathrow), and delivered to my home the next day, after being put on the next day’s flight. All were eventually recovered. But Iberia has no tracking information to verify that all 3 bags got into her flight, together?

Can the airport customs be reached on the phone, saving a trip to the airport, if her bag isn’t there anyway? I hope this all works out, and that she gets her meds safely, in a timely manner.

Posted by
9083 posts

Word to the the future tell her to never put any prescription medication in checked luggage. Not just for the fact it could be lost but also because of these types of delays. She's not there to explain to the officers what it is or to show presciptions. That would ease things up.

Prescription meds, jewelry and anything of real value should be kept with you in carry luggage.

Posted by
5538 posts

. . . Nothing controlled, just antibiotics and antideprssant. . . "

US laws don't apply. Could they be controlled substances in EU or Spain specifically?

Posted by
7010 posts

I have no insight into Spain's customs laws, but am wondering if I am reading the post correctly.

She left the airport without one of her bags and made no lost luggage report/claim?

The airline should be able to say 'we last scanned it at "x" ', not say they have "zero info".

Posted by
6525 posts

Is it that she checked 3 bags in on the flight and when she got to the baggage carousel in Spain one bag never came out? Was this a connecting or direct flight to Spain?

I once had a job processing loss baggage claims for international arrivals at O'hare. Most of the time we knew via telex when incoming flights were missing baggage and when that lost baggage would be coming after a claim was placed in a system that all airlines use. When the loss baggage came on a later flight we had to take it through x-ray screening at customs and sometimes certain bags would get held up.

Posted by
24662 posts

they think its stuck in customs

That sounds strange to me. Sounds from our limited knowledge that daughter left home with 3 bags and checked all three. 2 came on the carousel and one didn't. They wouldn't get to Customs until after they had been collected unless they failed the x-ray, but Immigration would have known about that.

It sounds much more to me like a case of lost luggage.

I realise that she was travelling in pandemic lockdowns but there must be somebody who knows something. The luggage didn't just vapourise. Others will learn from her putting the prescriptions in checked luggage... sorry it is so difficult for her...

Was she flying from the USA?

Posted by
586 posts

I have lost luggage once. If the luggage is in Spain, then it needs customs clearance before it is released. When this happened to me at London Heathrow, I was sent an email with the forms to complete, scan, and return. It still took several days for them to process this. Going back to the airport, maybe a feasible option. I did this also, and I was taken through security in an entirely separate part of the airport and escorted to the lost luggage area in the arrival lounge and they let me search for it. (It was not there). You would think that it is fairly straight forward for them to contact you via your luggage tag information. Believe me, I thought this too, but it doesn't appear to be like that. If she has indeed lost the luggage, come back to the forum because there is a complex process to recover from the airlines. So sorry this is not a good start. (I did get my luggage 12 days later back in the US, my friend never did get her luggage back).


Posted by
6525 posts

And lost luggage happened more when a passenger checks baggage late, minutes before checkin counter closes (not unless in first class) or connecting flights