Under the terms of The Montreal Convention, you can claim compensation if your checked luggage fails to arrive on time or is damaged. The Convention does not provide guidelines on how to calculate the amount of compensation to be awarded in each individual case and you will find that air carriers’ policies differ in their approach to compensation options.
Before you fly, you should always read the relevant terms and conditions of carriage of the airline you are flying with in order to ascertain the applicable baggage restrictions. Most air carriers decline responsibility for valuable items such as jewellery and electrical goods carried as checked baggage. Consider taking out insurance that provides adequate cover.
If your checked luggage is lost, damaged or delayed, the airline is liable to pay you compensation up to €1,300. However if the damage was caused by an inherent defect, you are not entitled to any compensation. If your hand luggage is damaged the airline is liable, if it was responsible for the damage.
If you submit a claim for lost or damaged luggage, you should do so in writing, to the airline within 7 days.
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, if applicable.
- Request the contact details of the baggage department and ask if there is any online tracker system available to check the status of your bag.
- Keep receipts for all necessary expenses resulting from luggage arrival delays.
Unless the airline admits to the loss of the checked baggage at an earlier stage, checked baggage is considered “lost” if it has not arrived at the end of 21 days from the estimated date of arrival. You can then write to the airline to claim compensation.
If your checked baggage is damaged or destroyed, you may be required to prove the extent of the loss, e.g. receipts for damaged items.
We recommend that you:
- Inspect your checked baggage upon collection and, if damaged, complete a Property Irregularity Report (PIR) at the relevant baggage claims desk.
- 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.
Under the Montreal Convention, you only have 7 days from the date of the receipt of the damaged luggage to submit a written claim for compensation.
If you wish to submit a claim, you should do so in writing, within 21 days of receiving your luggage if it was delayed.