Ever been reimbursed for lost luggage?

Years ago I had a friend whose luggage was lost as he was traveling to a conference. The airline authorized him to buy clothes so he could continue on with his business.

I just had my luggage lost too, and was given verbal 'authorization to purchase' essential items lost.

Has anybody had this happen to them? Anything pointers of things to do/not do when replacing items? Will the airlines actually pony up later?

Literally standing around in shorts and flip-flops is not a good feeling..

No but I made a quick twenty at a rest stop once - does that count?

Never had luggage lost.

Check the small print on your ticket contract. There is usually language specifying the limit of their liability for lost items.

Just pony up and buy an appropriate travel insurance policy beforehand Phone Post 3.0

Yep. More than once. The airlines had a few mechanical issues and I had to use another flight. My luggage never made it. I was flying in for NY grandmothers funeral. They gave me money to buy clothes and I did get my stuff back about a week later.

Most recent trip I bought a new suitcase, when I got it from the flight it was smashed... they gave me a replacement. Phone Post 3.0

HaoleBoy - No but I made a quick twenty at a rest stop once - does that count?

If that's what it takes to get your luggage back, I'm biking it cross-country next time.

I had someone accidentally take my luggage once (bag was the same as mine and the dumbass didn't check the tags).

I got reimbursed for any clothing or items I had to purchase.

They got my bag back a couple of hours later, but by then it was too late for me to get it back. Had to pick it up when I was leaving (landed in Helsinki to go to Russia, and coming home left from Helsinki)

DuctTape12 - Check your credit card that you purchased the flight with, a lot of the times they have some kind of insurance. Depending on your airline they should make it right. I've had my luggage lost but they always ended up finding it and then delivering it to me.

Getting it back eventually is nice. But that's no consolation when it's 5pm, they say they have no idea where it is, and you have a presentation to give the next morning.

Crashdt - Yep. More than once. The airlines had a few mechanical issues and I had to use another flight. My luggage never made it. I was flying in for NY grandmothers funeral. They gave me money to buy clothes and I did get my stuff back about a week later.

Most recent trip I bought a new suitcase, when I got it from the flight it was smashed... they gave me a replacement. Phone Post 3.0

If you can only buy shitty clothing because of where you've landed and want to upgrade later when it's all over, would the airline have heartburn?

Or do you have to keep the crap?

I've had my luggage lost several times.  They always end up finding it a day or two later and ship it to my hotel or house.  It's super annoying but I've never been offered any sort of compensation.  I'm sure if I made a fuss I could get a voucher or something but I'm too laid back.

Mind's Eye - 
Crashdt - Yep. More than once. The airlines had a few mechanical issues and I had to use another flight. My luggage never made it. I was flying in for NY grandmothers funeral. They gave me money to buy clothes and I did get my stuff back about a week later.

Most recent trip I bought a new suitcase, when I got it from the flight it was smashed... they gave me a replacement. Phone Post 3.0

If you can only buy shitty clothing because of where you've landed and want to upgrade later when it's all over, would the airline have heartburn?

Or do you have to keep the crap?

OK update,and the reasonging behind my last question as well.

So I landed and they couldn't find my luggage. Next day I had a presentation and when they still couldn't determine where it all was. They gave me authorization to purchase clothes, but it came too late and I gave my presentation in front of a bunch of suits and military uniforms while wearing flip-flops and shorts. They were cool about it, so it's fun to tell the story now, actually.

That evening I bought the best suit ($700) + clothes I could could buy and wore it untailored the next day.

Traded it all in when I got home and upgraded for a 1.5k suit. The airline refused to reimburse until I complained real hard. End story is that I got a 1.5k suit, which I wanted anyway, for over about $500 (traded the other clothes in as well).

The moral of the story is when they lose your stuff and authorize a purchse, get something nice and don't let them bully you.

Also a learning lesson: If I had to do it again I'd wait until they paid me before I upgraded into something luxurious.

I forgot to mention - before reimbursing me they needed receipts. When they saw the upgrade (I paid the difference) they tried to deny at first, which is what sparked my fight.