Luggage Issues

Passenger Rights

If you depart from an EU airport or arrive in the EU on an airline based in the EU, UK, Iceland, Norway or Switzerland, and your air journey is disrupted, you have significant rights and entitlements under EU law, which covers situations where your flight is cancelled/delayed/overbooked or you are denied boarding, are downgradedyou missed a connecting flight or your luggage is lost/ damaged/delayed.

One of the most important pieces of EU air travel rights legislation is Regulation (EC) 261/2004, which established rules for these rights below.

Issues relating to damaged, delayed, lost or destroyed luggage are regulated by the terms of the Montreal Convention and is measured in Special Drawing Rights (SDRs). The value of SDRs will vary each day as it is linked to currency exchange rates. The daily values of SDRs is tracked here and all compensation to passengers will be paid in its approximate value in the local currency.

Delayed Luggage

The air carrier liability for baggage delay is limited to 1,000 SDRs. Some airlines offer on-the-spot once-off cash compensation to cover emergency purchases until the delayed bag is delivered. Others will pay a set amount per day, up to a maximum number of days. Other airlines reimburse a passenger’s expenditure on essential purchases based on receipts.

If your bag is not returned within 21 days of your flight, the airline should treat it as lost and settle your claim on that basis.


Lost Luggage

If your luggage fails to arrive, we recommend the following:

  • Complete a Property Irregularity Report (PIR) at the baggage claims desk.
  • Provide details of your bag and keep a copy for yourself.
  • Keep your boarding card and baggage tags.
  • Enquire about the air carrier’s daily allowance policy.
  • Check if the airline uses an online tracking system for luggage.
  • Keep receipts for all necessary expenses resulting from luggage arrival delays.

You can now submit a claim for compensation to the airline together with evidence of the value of the lost items.

The maximum liability of an airline in the event of lost or delayed luggage is limited to 1,000 Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) per passenger.

Note: Most air carriers decline responsibility for valuable items such as jewellery and electrical goods carried as checked baggage.


Damaged Luggage

If you notice damage to your luggage, we recommend the following steps:

  • Complete a Property Irregularity Report (PIR) at the baggage claims desk.
  • Describe the damage in details and take photos.
  • Keep your boarding card, baggage tags and a copy of the PIR.
  • Gather evidence of damage, e.g. take photographs, obtain confirmation from an independent source stating that the baggage is damaged beyond repair or an estimate for repairs.
  • Source the receipts for the items damaged or destroyed.

You only have 7 days from receiving the damaged luggage to submit a claim for compensation.


Learn more about luggage issues and due compensation here.