Upset woman at airport eSPPDv.width .jpg

Dealing With Baggage Delays? You May Be Eligible for Free Airline Miles or a Discount on Your Next Flight

An upset woman at the airport sitting near a window next to her suitcase.

Image source: Getty Images

It can be frustrating dealing with baggage delays when traveling. The last thing you want to do is waste extra time waiting for your luggage to arrive when you’re excited to explore your destination and begin your vacation.

Some airlines have baggage guarantees to ensure travelers get their bags in a reasonable amount of time. If your bags don’t show up at the luggage carousel within the timeframe promised by the airline, you may be eligible for free miles or a flight discount.

Here’s what you need to know before you take your next flight.

A baggage delay could be a win for your wallet

If you’re flying with an airline with a baggage guarantee and your bag isn’t delivered to the baggage claim area within the promised timeframe, you can file a claim and get rewarded for the inconvenience. While not all airlines have programs like this, the following airlines do.

Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines has a 20-minute baggage guarantee. If your bags aren’t at baggage claim within 20 minutes of your plane’s arrival at the gate, the airline will provide you with a $25 discount code, which can be used to book a future Alaska Airlines flight or 2,500 bonus miles.

You must contact the baggage office within two hours of your flight’s arrival. You can speak with a customer service agent while you’re still at the airport.


Delta is committed to providing customers with timely baggage service. Delta guarantees that your checked luggage will be at the carousel in 20 minutes or less when flying on a domestic itinerary. If your bag doesn’t arrive in time, you’ll be eligible to receive 2,500 bonus miles.

You must complete a claim form online no later than three days after your flight arrives. Fliers should allow up to two weeks for their bonus miles to hit their SkyMiles accounts.

Stay alert to airline policies that benefit travelers

When flying with either of these airlines, don’t miss out on these baggage guarantees. If you’re going to be inconvenienced while traveling, you might as well take advantage of programs like this that could help you earn more miles faster or save money on the cost of a future flight.

Every dollar you save adds up and can benefit your personal finances. By making a claim when you’re owed miles, you can get closer to being able to redeem your miles for an award flight, which could make a future vacation less expensive.

Don’t ignore credit card benefits

A baggage arrival delay of 30 to 45 minutes isn’t a huge deal, but dealing with a more lengthy baggage delay can be more frustrating. If you typically check luggage when flying, staying alert to the benefits offered with your rewards credit cards is a good idea.

Some travel credit cards include valuable travel benefits like baggage delay protections, which could help provide reimbursement for eligible necessary expenses like clothing and toiletries while you wait for your luggage to be found and returned to you.

Review your credit card benefits before taking your next flight to know what kind of travel coverage you have. In the market for a new credit card that earns travel rewards? Check out our list of the best travel rewards credit cards to explore your options.

Alert: our top-rated cash back card now has 0% intro APR until 2025

This credit card is not just good – it’s so exceptional that our experts use it personally. It features a lengthy 0% intro APR period, a cash back rate of up to 5%, and all somehow for no annual fee!

Click here to read our full review for free and apply in just 2 minutes.

We’re firm believers in the Golden Rule, which is why editorial opinions are ours alone and have not been previously reviewed, approved, or endorsed by included advertisers.
The Ascent does not cover all offers on the market. Editorial content from The Ascent is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team.Natasha Gabrielle has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Alaska Air Group. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts