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Get airline compensation for lost or delayed luggage

Air travel can be hard on your luggage, with bags occasionally getting beat up or even disappearing completely. But we can help you make the right moves at the right time to get as much compensation as possible.

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Lost luggage? Damaged? Get $1,525 – $3,500 CompensationCheck Compensation

Damaged Luggage on US Flights

For domestic flights within the United States, here is what you should do if your bags arrive damaged:

1) Hold onto your boarding pass and your checked luggage receipts.
If you don’t have your boarding pass, you can use any flight document with a booking reference number. This number is assigned to your flight reservation by the airline and is a six-digit code, which may include both letters and numbers.

2) Report the damage before leaving the airport after receiving your bags.
If it is not possible to report the damage before leaving the airport, you may be able to do so later, but requirements vary from one airline to another, so check your airline’s policy online.

3) Fill out a damage claim form, or Property Irregularity Report.
You will probably be asked to do this if you report the damage in person, but some airlines have the forms online, as well.

4) Present your bags for inspection so they can be repaired or replaced.
Again, it is best to do so before you leave the airport, if possible. The airline will negotiate a solution with you, whether they repair the damage, replace the items, or otherwise compensate you.

5) File a claim with the airline for damaged items in your bags.
There are several exceptions to what the airline will cover in terms of packed items and they may deny any responsibility at all, but if you can provide a compelling case that they are liable, it might be worth your time.

Damaged luggage on EU and international flights

If you’re on an EU or international flight and your bags arrive damaged, here is what you should do:

1) Hold onto your boarding pass and your checked luggage receipts.
If you don’t have your boarding pass, you can use any flight document with a booking reference number. This number is assigned to your flight reservation by the airline and is a six-digit code, which may include both letters and numbers.

2) Report the damage as soon as possible.
You have up to 7 days from the time you receive your bags to do so, but it is always best to report the issue before you leave the airport.

3) Fill out a damage claim form, or Property Irregularity Report.
You will probably be asked to do this if you report the damage in person, but some airlines have the forms online, as well.

4) Present your bags for inspection so they can be repaired or replaced.
Again, it is best to do so before you leave the airport, if possible. The airline will negotiate a solution with you, whether they repair the damage, replace the items, or otherwise compensate you.

5) File a claim for damaged items in your bags.
There are several exceptions to what the airline will cover in terms of packed items and they may deny any responsibility at all, but if you can provide a compelling case that they are liable, it might be worth your time.

Delayed luggage on US flights

If you’re on a flight within the domestic United States and your bags don’t arrive when you do, follow these steps:

1) Hold onto your boarding pass and your checked luggage receipts.

If you don’t have your boarding pass, you can use any flight document with a booking reference number. This number is assigned to your flight reservation by the airline and is a six-digit code, which may include both letters and numbers.

2) Let the airline know as soon as possible that your bags didn’t show up.

It’s best to do this before leaving the airport, but requirements vary from one airline to another, so check your airline’s policy online.

3) Fill out a Property Irregularity Report.

When you fill out the Property Irregularity Report or PIR, you’ll also be given a file reference number for your case. Hold onto both.

4) Request a bag fee rebate from the airline if you were charged one.

Policies vary from one airline to the next, but it won’t hurt to ask. Some airlines only offer rebates via airline credit, but insist on cash, if possible. If they refuse, consider adding it to your reimbursement claim (step 7, below).

5) Track your luggage using your file reference number.

Many carriers provide tracking tools online. This should hopefully give you a decent idea of when your bags will catch up with you.

6) Keep your receipts if you have to replace necessary items.

These include items like toiletries or underwear—things that were in your bags that you can’t really do without for a few days. Once you file a claim, you may be able to get reimbursed for these expenses.

7) File a claim with the airlines.

This is where the receipts for those necessary items come into play. Most airlines require that your claim be made no later than 45 days from the date of your flight even if your bags haven’t arrived yet. Again, this varies from one carrier to the next, so check your airline’s policy online.

Lost luggage? Damaged? Get $1,525 – $3,500 CompensationCheck Compensation

Delayed luggage on EU and international flights

For international and EU flights, follow these steps if your bags don’t arrive when you do:

1) Hold onto your boarding pass and your checked luggage receipts.

If you don’t have your boarding pass, you can use any flight document with a booking reference number. This number is assigned to your flight reservation by the airline and is a six-digit code, which may include both letters and numbers.

2) Let the airline know as soon as possible that your bags didn’t show up.

It’s best to do this before leaving the airport, if possible.

3) Fill out a Property Irregularity Report. (delayed_international_fill_out_report)
When you fill out the Property Irregularity Report or PIR, you’ll also be given a file reference number for your case. Hold onto both.

4) Track your luggage using your file reference number.

Many carriers provide tracking tools online. This should hopefully give you a decent idea of when your bags will catch up with you.

5) Keep your receipts if you have to replace necessary items.

These include items like toiletries or underwear—things that were in your bags that you can’t really do without for a few days. Once you file a claim, you can get reimbursed for these expenses.

6) File a claim with the airline once your luggage shows up.

This is for reimbursement of any expenses resulting from the delay in receiving your bags, such as replacing necessary items (step 5 above). You have 21 days from the time you receive your bags to file this claim and you’ll need to provide your receipts, as well.

Lost luggage on US flights

For domestic flights in the United States, here’s what to do when the airlines lose your bags:

1) Hold onto your file reference number that the airline provided you.

You should have received this when you filled out the Property Irregularity Report (PIR) after your bags were delayed.

2) Keep your receipts if you have to replace necessary items.
These include items like toiletries or underwear—things that were in your bags that you can’t really do without for a few days. Once you file a claim, you can get reimbursed for these expenses.

3) Assemble a detailed list of contents for your lost bags.
Any receipts or other proof of the items will be helpful. There are several exceptions to what airlines will cover in terms of packed items, but you should be able to get reimbursed for most of the contents you can account for.

4) File a claim with the airline for compensation.

Check with your carrier to see what the deadline is for filing a lost luggage claim. Include the receipts and documents for both your replacement items and the contents of your luggage.

$1,525 – $3,500
The average compensation from an airline for checked luggage that is either lost or damaged is $1,525 – $3,500, under U.S. and Montreal Convention air passenger rights laws.