Damaged, delayed or lost baggage compensation
Airline travel can sometimes bring unpleasant surprises, like damaged, delayed, or lost luggage. But did you know that you might be able to get compensation for these issues?
Under the air passenger rights laws of the United States and the Montreal Convention, airlines can be required to pay up to $1800 per passenger for lost or damaged checked luggage.
Damaged luggage compensation on the USA flights
If your luggage arrives damaged on a domestic flight within the United States, here’s what you should do:
- Keep your boarding pass and checked luggage receipts, or any flight document that has your booking reference number.
- Report the damage before leaving the airport. Check your airline’s policy for the specific timeframe to report the damage.
- File a damaged baggage claim or Property Irregularity Report (PIR). Some airlines have online forms to fill out.
- Show your bags for inspection. This is best done before leaving the airport, and there may be a negotiation with airline representatives on how to compensate you.
- File a claim for damaged items inside your luggage. The airline might not compensate for all items, but providing a compelling case can increase your chances of winning the claim.
Damaged baggage compensation on EU and international flights
If your flight was either within the EU or international and your baggage is damaged, follow these steps:
- Keep your boarding pass and checked luggage receipts with you. You can also use any flight document that has your booking reference number, a six-digit code with letters and numbers assigned to your flight reservation by the airline.
- Report the luggage damage as soon as possible. It’s better to report the damage before leaving the airport, but you have up to 7 days from the time you receive your bags to do so.
- File a damaged baggage claim for compensation, also known as a Property Irregularity Report (PIR). Some airlines have forms online that you can fill out from anywhere.
- Show your bags to inspect if they can be repaired or replaced. It’s best to do this before leaving the airport. You may negotiate with airline representatives to repair the damage, replace the items, or otherwise compensate you.
- File a claim for any damaged items that were inside your luggage. However, the airline may refuse to compensate for all damaged items. If you can provide a compelling case that it was the airline’s responsibility, you may be able to win.
Delayed luggage compensation on the USA flights
If your flight was within the United States and your luggage was delayed, there are certain steps you can take to ensure you receive baggage delay compensation:
- Keep your boarding pass and checked luggage receipts or any flight document with your booking reference number.
- Inform the airline as soon as possible that your bags didn’t show up. It’s best to do this before leaving the airport, but check your airline’s policy to be sure.
- Fill out a Property Irregularity Report (PIR) and keep the reference number.
- Request a bag fee rebate if you were charged by the airline.
- Use your case reference number to track your luggage online.
- Keep receipts for any necessary items you buy, such as toiletries and underwear, and file a claim for reimbursement with the airline.
- File a delayed baggage compensation claim with the airline, making sure to follow their specific rules and policies.
Remember, most airlines require you to file a claim within 45 days of your flight, regardless of whether you’ve received your bags or not.
Delayed baggage compensation on EU and international flights
If your flight was international or within the EU and your luggage arrived late, you can take steps to claim compensation:
- Keep your boarding pass and checked luggage receipts, or any document with the booking reference number.
- Notify the airline as soon as possible that your luggage didn’t arrive.
- Fill out a Property Irregularity Report (PIR) and keep the reference number with you.
- Track your luggage online with the reference number provided.
- Keep your receipts for any necessary purchases like toiletries and underwear.
- File a claim for delayed baggage compensation when you receive your luggage.
- You can file this claim within 21 days of receiving your luggage and you’ll need to provide your receipts.
Lost luggage compensation on the USA flights
If your luggage went missing during your domestic US flight, here are some steps you can take:
- Keep the reference number given to you when you reported your delayed luggage. This number is provided in the Property Irregularity Report (PIR) that you filed.
- Keep your receipts for essential items you bought. Things like toiletries and underwear are considered essential items. You can ask for a refund for these expenses when you file a claim.
- Make a list of everything that was in your lost luggage. Having receipts or proof of ownership for the items will be helpful. While there may be some items that the airline won’t cover, you can generally receive compensation for most of your lost items.
- File a claim with the airline for lost luggage compensation. Be sure to include all relevant receipts and documents, and check your airline’s policies for the deadline to file a claim.
Lost baggage compensation on EU and international flights
If you were on an EU or international flight and your luggage went missing, here’s what you should do:
- Make sure to keep the delayed luggage reference number that the airline gave you. You should have received it when you filled out the Property Irregularity Report (PIR). The airline will consider your luggage lost if it hasn’t arrived within 21 days of the scheduled arrival or earlier if the airline admits that it is lost.
- Hang onto your receipts if you need to buy essential items like toiletries or underwear. You can ask for a refund for these expenses when you file a claim.
- Create a detailed list of the items that were in your missing luggage, and try to provide any receipts or proof of purchase that you have. While some items may not be covered, you should be able to receive compensation for most of the items that you can prove were lost.
- Finally, file a claim with the airline for lost luggage compensation. Make sure to include all of your receipts and documents for your lost items, as well as any additional expenses you incurred. Remember to check your carrier policies for the deadline for filing a claim.