How to claim compensation for damaged luggage

When it comes to travelling, most travellers will have a number of stories regarding the trials and tribulations of their luggage. Bags get lost and misplaced pretty regularly but another big problem that airlines face is damaged luggage. So what are your rights when it comes to making a claiming for damaged luggage?

    FA2010 - Wikimedia

First things first, never mind the myths and rumours, your airline is fully responsible for any piece of luggage that you check in when flying. So if you arrive at the baggage carousel to discover that your suitcase or backpack has been damaged then you need to head straight to the airlines counter and ask for a Property Irregularity Report form.

Time is always of the essence when it comes to reporting any damage to your luggage and generally it is wise to have lodged your complaint within 24 hours. The process from there is pretty straightforward as the airline will then assess the damage of your luggage and decide whether to replace it with a new suitcase or backpack. The airline could also issue you a certain amount that will cover the damage if it has been decided that the damage is not sufficient enough to warrant replacement baggage.

In circumstances where your luggage does not arrive and you need to purchase some essentials on your trip to replace them then you are entitled to claim for damages in this case too. The maximum amount that an airline is obliged to pay a passenger is just over £900 unless a passenger has previously filled out a special declaration of interest in the delivery of your luggage.

The only thing that an airline will not cover is the amount of stress and inconvenience that damaged or lost luggage causes you on your trip. If you have travel insurance you would be wise to make a claim with your insurance company too as this way you will be more likely to get back an amount that covers all the damage.

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