Baggage Laws - Damaged/Delayed/Lost
Shocked on not finding your baggage on conveyer belt? Could be a case of baggage loss with fault at the end of the Airlines. Though it doesn’t happen too often as the Airlines are good at tracking baggage but if your baggage has been misplaced, damaged or lost by the Airlines then you have certain rights as a passenger to claim for baggage loss.
Baggage Travel Rights
- Almost all countries are signatories of the Montreal or Warsaw treaty for passenger rights. This law states that the Airlines will be responsible for any damage or delay of your checked-in baggage and the Airlines can be held liable if the baggage goes missing.
- The Airlines are liable to pay for or reimburse over any unexpected expense caused by the loss of baggage or delay in collection of articles like toiletries, innerwear, clothing, laundry etc.
- If you do not receive your luggage within 21 days of flight then it is declared lost making you eligible for compensation upto $1300 from the Airlines.
Bag's delayed or missing? What you can do?
- At priority fill in a ‘Property Irregularity Report’ (PIR) at the Airline counter straightaway. It increases your chances of getting claim if the baggage is declared lost.
- Put baggage claim tags, ID, luggage details (make, color, size etc.), address and contact info ready. Get a copy of the report.
- If your luggage is on it's way in next flight then you may choose to stick around the airport to wait for luggage. Do not forget to ask the Airlines for meal voucher/refreshments.
- Should you choose to go to your hotel, the Airlines would be liable to deliver your baggage to hotel. Make sure that you leave complete address and number of hotel/place of stay.
- Ask for their contact/phone details from the Airlines for making inquiries.
In scenario of damaged luggage, you are eligible to claim compensation within 7 days of receipt of baggage. On priority fill 'Property Irregularity Report' (PIR) immediately at the claim counter of your Airlines. The Airlines shall then contact you to discuss the extent of the damage and its recourse.
Luggage Declared Lost? What you may do?
Baggage is considered lost if it is not received within 21 days of flight arrival. A PIR complaint should be filled within 21 days of the flight for the Montreal Convention of 1999 to apply.
What you can claim?
- The Airlines must reimburse you for the depreciated value and not the replacement value of your possessions up to the limit of liability.
- Make an itemized list of belongings in your suitcase being as reasonably accurate as you can be.
- If you have receipts to prove the value of the items then include copies of same in documentation you would send to the Airlines.
- Get reimbursed for your ‘checked baggage’ fee that you paid with your tickets.
Smart Traveler Tips
- If case your luggage goes missing, you would need to buy daily essentials for that period, but don't go on a wild shopping spree as the Airlines also have to reimburse this amount so keep the receipts handy.
- There is a limit on claimable amount so declare a valuable item in your luggage at the time of check-in or carry the valuable items in your hand luggage.
- Take photo of your baggage at check-in as proof to show your luggage quantity at check-in point
- For ease of tracking luggage using the Airlines tracking system, use ID codes given by the Airlines.