What to do if your suitcase is lost and how to claim compensation

Arriving at the destination airport and not having your suitcase appear on the baggage carousel is not exactly how you had imagined the beginning of your trip.

NewsEditor
NewsEditor
29 June 2022 Wednesday 01:00
66 Reads
What to do if your suitcase is lost and how to claim compensation

Arriving at the destination airport and not having your suitcase appear on the baggage carousel is not exactly how you had imagined the beginning of your trip. However, this can happen and it is important to know what rights you have as an affected passenger and how you should claim in such a situation.

To be exact, 4.35 out of every 1,000 checked bags are lost or delayed according to the latest SITA (Société Internationale de Télécommunications Aéronautiques) Baggage report. This happens more frequently on international flights and especially when there are connecting flights, since the suitcase goes through more intermediaries. The good news is that most of the lost packages are usually recovered in a few hours, but you will still have to file a claim with the airline. Here we explain how to do it step by step.

If your suitcase has been lost during your flight, the first thing you have to do is go to the information counter or window of the airline you were traveling with and request the Baggage Irregularity Report (PIR) or Property Irregularity Report in English. It is essential to fill out this document before leaving the airport to record the incident and be able to claim the suitcase and compensation from the company. Once done, make sure you keep one of the copies that you must later attach together with the claim.

The claim must be formal and submitted in writing to the airline's customer service department together with the PIR. In the event that you have flown with several companies, you can claim any of them. Now, keep in mind that the deadlines for submitting the claim vary depending on the type of incident:

In the event of a delay or loss of luggage, it is important to keep all the documentation such as tickets, billing labels and boarding passes. In addition, it is essential to keep all invoices and purchase receipts corresponding to essential expenses caused by the incident so that they can be reimbursed.

As a passenger affected by both delay and loss of luggage, you have the right to be compensated. Let’s see what compensation you can get:

The company has to offer you compensation based on the days of delay and must reimburse you what you can credit as an expense during the days in which you do not have your suitcase.

On the other hand, keep in mind that if you have just started your vacation and have arrived at your destination without luggage, you have the right to request the "overnight kit" with basic personal hygiene products.

If it is confirmed that your luggage has been definitively lost, you can claim compensation from the company. But, what financial compensation can be received in these cases?

This type of compensation is measured by special drawing rights (SDR), a unit that fluctuates daily and corresponds to an average between different currencies. Its value is established by the International Monetary Fund and can be consulted on the Bank of Spain website.

The maximum that can be received in compensation per bag is 1,131 SDRs, which is equivalent to a little over 1,000 euros. In these cases, the airlines usually compensate by weight, paying a price for each kilogram invoiced.

Unfortunately, there are few cases in which a quick agreement is reached with the airline and it is possible that as an affected party you will have to insist. In this case, you have a period of two years to claim in court. Once the lawsuit is filed, there is a greater chance that the company will pay you what you claim to avoid taking the case to trial.

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