Once you check in a piece of luggage, the airline is responsible for it arriving intact at your destination. You have rights if you discover your luggage is delayed, lost or damaged. The most important step is to fill out a Property Irregularity Report (PIR) form at the airline’s baggage service office or the airline desk before you leave the airport.
If your luggage is damaged, you may be entitled to compensation of up to €1,600, depending on the value of the contents of your suitcase. Take pictures of the damage and complete a PIR report at the luggage service desk at the airport before you leave. Take a copy of the form with you, and keep it in a safe place. Within seven days, make a claim to the airline. Remember to attach a copy of the PIR form, boarding pass, luggage receipt and receipts of your purchases, pictures of the damage, and purchase receipt (or receipts) of your luggage.
Luggage is considered delayed if it isn’t there when you get off the plane but it is delivered to you within 21 days. If there is no sign of your suitcase when you arrive at your destination airport, go immediately to the airline’s baggage office. If they don’t have one, go to the airline’s service desk. Complete a PIR form and keep a copy for your records. If you have to buy basic necessity products while your luggage is missing, you have the right to claim reimbursement from the airline. You have 21 days from when you receive your luggage to send your claim in writing to the airline company and request the reimbursement for the necessity purchases. Attach a copy of the PIR form, boarding pass, luggage receipt, and receipts of your purchases to your letter.
If your luggage is missing for more than 21 days or if the airline informs you that your luggage has been lost, then you may be entitled to a compensation for losses up to €1,600. The company has to reimburse you for any necessary expenses you can prove you have incurred. Be aware that airlines will not replace personal effects on a new-for-old basis. Send a claim in writing as soon as possible after it is officially considered lost (which is after 21 days) or when the airline informs you.