First, you report it to the baggage claims department on arrival at your final destination. There you will provide information to the airline to help them track down your baggage. Most airlines use one of the major global baggage tracing systems. All missing baggage information is filed on this system and matched to bags recorded at airports around the world. Once a match is found, the baggage is returned to its owner. The vast majority of mishandled luggage is returned to the passenger within 48 hours.