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Compensation for
Baggage Problems

Baggage problems

After a relaxing flight you are standing at the baggage carousel waiting for your suitcase. Now the big shock, your suitcase is damaged or was not even transported. Keep calm in any case, because no matter whether you experience baggage delay, baggage damage or baggage loss - Passengers friend helps.

Around 2.2 million passengers per year are affected by baggage problems. Baggage delays, baggage damage and baggage loss are annoying. The good news first: 95% of all lost suitcases turn up again after five days. Especially on flights with stopovers, the probability is high that luggage will not be loaded onto the other plane in time.

Regardless of whether the suitcase is delayed, lost or damaged, the airline is liable in the event of baggage problems. This has been regulated by the Montreal Convention since 1999. The Convention applies worldwide, provided that the states of departure and arrival have signed this treaty.

Delayed baggage

If your bag does not arrive, you should report the loss at the Lost & Found counter and fill out a PIR form (Property Irregularity Report). To do this, you must show your boarding pass and baggage registration number. You will find this number affixed to the back of your boarding pass. At the point of arrival, affected passengers first have the right to obtain the most necessary items for their daily needs and to charge the airline for these items. In this regard, the maximum amount for replacement purchases is 1131 SDRs (approximately €1300).

The Special Drawing Right (SDR/XDR) is an artificial currency, which is a worldwide uniform regulation for the equal satisfaction of liability claims. It should be noted that if the baggage is delayed on the return flight, you have no reason for replacement purchases. The baggage delay and the costs incurred as a result must be reported to the airline in writing form within 21 days of the baggage being recovered.

Luggage delay in a booked package tour

By regulations in the travel law (gem.§ 651 BGB) they could assert a claim to travel price reduction due to lost vacation joys. We also take care of luggage problems with package tours. Look for the contact to your tour operator and contact us.

What are the options for action? Deadline
1. Notification of the delay of the luggage at the airport. Report damage to the Lost & Found desk, or to the airline. IMMEDIATELY (max. 7 days after arrival).
2. Further notification of damage after receipt of the luggage. After receiving the luggage, send another damage report including all receipts to the airline. within 21 days after receiving the luggage. within 21 days after receiving the luggage.
3. Report possible damages after receiving the luggage. If the suitcase is damaged, report the damage or partial loss to the airline. Within 7 days after receiving the luggage.

Baggage delay - these deadlines are important.

Damaged baggage

If, after arriving at the airport, you discover that your baggage or bulky luggage has been damaged during the flight, the airline is obliged to pay you compensation. The rules for this are set out in the Montreal Convention. The airline is also liable if the suitcase has only been partially opened or has been provisionally sealed with adhesive tape. After landing, check the contents of your luggage and contact your airline to report the damage incurred.

If damage has occurred to your baggage, the airline will be liable up to a maximum of 1131 SDRs (approximately €1300). This requires that you report the damage within 7 days of the flight date. If you are responsible for the damage to your luggage yourself, e.g. by checking in a defective suitcase or by not stowing fragile items sensibly, the airline does not have to pay for the damage incurred.

Replacement in case of damaged luggage

If your luggage is damaged, you will not receive a refund in the form of money. In this case, in rem restitution (the repair) applies. The airlines will ask other companies for an expert opinion and repair the luggage if necessary.

Lost luggage

If suitcases are delayed for more than 21 days, they are considered lost. The maximum compensation a passenger can receive is approximately 1131 SDRs (about €1300). Even though lost luggage is annoying, there is no flat compensation. For the compensation calculation, the suitcase as well as its contents are reimbursed based on its current value. As a guideline, an annual reduction in value of between 10 and 30 percent applies. In order to be reimbursed, you must fill out a PIR form at the airport. The airport staff will explain everything else to you. As a passenger, you have the burden of proof. Therefore, in any case, you must inform the airline about the loss of the suitcase within 21 days.

Light bulb Tips: so that the luggage is not lost:

  • Be unique
    If the airline is not at fault for your lost suitcase, a fellow traveler may have illegally stolen your suitcase from the baggage carousel. As a precaution, you could buy colorful or eye-catching suitcases with recognition value or attach luggage tags to existing luggage.
  • Good preparation
    Before departure, remove old luggage tags and take a photo of your suitcase and its contents. This can be helpful in case of loss.
  • Keep track of the time
    Once you arrive at the airport, go to check-in on time. The earlier you are, the more attention the staff will have and your suitcase will get where it needs to go. Boarding early also maximizes your suitcase's chances of being carried.
  • Avoid large turnstiles
    If possible, avoid boarding at large turnstiles. Due to the high volume of baggage, baggage problems can occur more frequently than at smaller airports.

FAQ Delayed Baggage:

What rights do travelers have in the event of delayed baggage?

If your baggage is lost on the outbound flight, you are entitled to replacement purchases such as toiletries and clothing. The amount of compensation depends on the damage, but is limited to 1131 SDR (approx. 1300 €).

What are my obligations in case of delayed baggage?

As soon as you notice that your luggage is not on the baggage carousel, your first port of call is the Lost&Found counter. There you fill out a lost luggage report (PIR). If the problem occurs outside the opening hours of the Lost&Found counter, contact the airline. When the suitcase arrives at your home, you must report the damage, including the loss report and bills, to the airline within 21 days.

What is the difference between delayed and lost baggage?

From 21 days we speak of a baggage loss, before that we speak of a baggage delay.

FAQ Damaged Baggage:

What rights and obligations do I have if my luggage has been damaged?

If damage has occurred to your checked baggage, the airline is liable regardless of fault. The documented damage must be reported to the airline immediately. As compensation, you will receive either the repair costs incurred, a replacement suitcase or the current value of the suitcase.

Take photos of your suitcase, collect receipts such as your boarding pass, baggage tag and baggage tag and submit them to us.

When is the airline not liable for compensation?

A prerequisite for compensation payment by the airline is the observance of the proper packaging of the suitcase prescribed for transport. Examples of this would be, for example, not to use defective suitcases or to close zippers before check-in.

What if my baggage contents are not covered by the compensation cap?

In this case, you can take out additional insurance at the airport and additionally insure the difference. Thus, in case of damage to the suitcase, the complete contents are insured.

FAQ Lost Baggage:

When is a suitcase considered lost?

A suitcase is considered lost after 21 days. The legal basis for this is the Montreal Convention.

What compensation am I entitled to in the event of lost baggage?

After 21 days you are entitled to a refund of the current value and contents of your suitcase. If your suitcase was lost on the outward journey, you are additionally entitled to replacement purchases.

For liability, the maximum limit is 1131 SZE (about 1300 euros) per person.

What can I do if I lose my suitcase?

As soon as you realize your suitcase is lost, report to the Lost & Found counter and fill out a lost report (PIR form).

What documents are important for lost luggage?

  • Travel documents (booking confirmation, boarding pass and baggage registration number)
  • Loss report (Property Irregularity Report)
  • List of luggage contents
  • Invoice of replacement purchases
  • Invoice or approximate purchase value/year of purchase of the suitcase

Some airlines offer a digital baggage service. After checking in your baggage, you can display your baggage receipt in your app. It can serve as a basis for finding your luggage in the event of a baggage loss.

Are you also affected by a baggage problem? Submit your documents to us. Passengers friend will make sure that you get your money back, under the usual conditions.