Losing luggage: What to do if the airline lost your suitcase
Losing luggage is one of the most unpleasant problems that a traveller can face at the beginning of a vacation or at the end of it. Every year, airlines damage or lose millions of suitcases. Unfortunately, passengers can do little to avoid this situation. Thus, what happens if an airline loses your luggage? As a passenger who pays for the check-in of his or her belongings, you can expect compensation in case of damage, delay, or loss. Claims for problems with hand luggage can only be filed if the airline is at fault.
What happens if an airline loses your luggage
Checked-in items can be considered lost 21 days after the flight. If the carrier has not found and returned the luggage to the owner during this time, you can claim compensation.
The application must be submitted within seven days after the items are officially considered lost by writing to the air carrier. The list of documents required in the event of a luggage no-show may vary depending on the company. The standard list usually looks like this
- lagguage tags with a unique barcode and identification number;
- boarding pass;
- receipts for purchases that were made because the luggage did not arrive at the airport, card statements or receipts
- confirmation of notification of the air carrier about the problem (PIR property damage report form or an email from the company);
- photos of the contents of the suitcase or its damage;
- if necessary, an estimate of repair costs.
If the problems with your hand luggage are the fault of the carrier, you can also file a claim.
Suitcase is delayed: First steps
What happens if the airport loses your luggage or it doesn't arrive on time? In this case, you should file a claim immediately. Representatives of the carrier will be able to help you if you are still at the airport. In most cases, it is easy to file a claim online on a special portal.
You can also get a PIR form (property damage report) in the service area and fill it out. You need to provide a detailed description of your belongings, as well as leave your contact information and indicate where you are staying during your vacation.
If the luggage did not arrive due to a delay, the claim must usually be filed no later than 21 hours after the flight, but the time frame may vary. Passengers should receive compensation that covers the purchase of basic necessities such as toiletries, underwear, etc. Receipts and checks should be kept to prove the expenses.
What happens if the airline loses your luggage but you receive a notification of its return? In this case, you can claim reimbursement for travel expenses to pick up your belongings. If airlines lose luggage during the return flight, they consider it a smaller loss than if it happened at the beginning of the vacation. Carriers often offer a fixed daily cost rate.
How to file a claim if my luggage is missing
The maximum amount of compensation that an affected passenger can receive is approximately £1,200. To file a claim, you must provide all the necessary documents, including your boarding pass. The exact list can be obtained by contacting a specific company.
If an airport loses your luggage, it is common practice to submit a claim in writing or fill out a claim form by contacting the customer service department.
We advise you to include the following wording, "I claim compensation in accordance with the Montreal Convention". This indicates that the passenger is aware of their rights. In addition, the following information must be provided in the application form:
- date, flight number, place of departure and destination;
- what happened to your belongings;
- a description of everything that was lost or damaged;
- the amount of money you expect to receive;
- copies of the documents required to support the claim;
- a list of things you had to buy because of the delay that occurred when the airline lost your luggage.
You should keep the original documents (boarding pass, receipts, etc.), as well as a copy of the claim itself. This will be needed if you need to appeal the decision.
What happens if the airline loses your luggage and does not respond
If the client is not satisfied with the result of resolving the situation with the things lost due to the fault of the carrier, or if you have not received a response at all, you need to contact the Civil Aviation Authority. To do this, you need to file a claim with a request to resolve the issue of the luggage not arriving at destination or being damaged.
Another option to deal with the problem is to file a lawsuit in a small claims court.