It is imperative that when loading the vehicle, all baggage must be reconciled with passengers using your company for that particular journey. If a coach search is undertaken and any baggage found that cannot be accounted for (including items left from previous journeys), it could result in a significant delay whilst the baggage is removed and checked, or the coach being refused travel.
Coach crew should ensure that they alone are responsible for loading and unloading all baggage, and that they are content that no items have been loaded or unloaded by passengers or any other member of the public.
It is advisable that Coach Companies should have a simple but effective manifest or tagging system to provide baggage reconciliation. It is advisable for Coach Companies to develop procedures ensure that all luggage is fully checked and accounted for prior to travel. This would greatly speed the identification of passengers' baggage in the normal search routine and would help to reduce the time required for searching a coach.
If unaccompanied baggage is discovered en-route to the Channel Tunnel or Ports, the Coach crew should immediately contact their Company and make arrangements for it to be removed at the earliest opportunity. It is unlikely that such luggage will be allowed to travel even if subject to screening by the Port/Channel Tunnel Operator. Arrangements should be put in place to recover such luggage as soon as possible.
If unaccompanied baggage is being carried knowingly, the Coach Company should inform the appropriate Port or Channel Tunnel Operator prior to arrival. The Company should explain the reason that the baggage is unaccompanied and what action is to be taken to remove the item(s). Please note that it is unlikely that coaches will be permitted to travel unless unaccompanied items are removed altogether and thoroughly checked for any suspicious items or devices by the Port or Channel Tunnel Operator.
Any unaccompanied baggage found by the Port or Channel Tunnel Operator or surrendered by the Coach Company will not be returned to the coach. You should make arrangements to collect any such luggage as soon as possible.