Lost luggage during the flight: what to do? How do I get compensation?

A rare passenger travels without luggage. And with luggage, as you know, anything can happen: lost, spoiled, confused. What to do when misfortune happens with bags and suitcases? Where to contact?

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Situation one: lost

You stand at the airport near the transport belt and wait for your luggage to appear. Your companions have already received theirs, but yours is not and is not. After a while, the guess will obviously come that the luggage was lost. Do not try to search on your own, but immediately go to the representative office of the airline you flew in. It is the airline that is responsible for the passenger's baggage, and only it will compensate for the loss if something happens. If you find yourself in some godforsaken country where there is no representative office of your airline, then go to the office of the company that is the national carrier of this country. And it doesn't matter when you got into trouble – day or night: airline offices work at airports around the clock.

At the office, you will be asked to show a ticket with a luggage coupon pasted on and will ask in detail what color, size and shape your suitcase was, whether it had any special features, and also ask about its contents. They will draw up an act of loss and start looking. If the airline is decent and values its reputation, then you will be allocated a small, but completely free loan – so that you have something to buy new essentials: a toothbrush, a hairbrush and a pair of fresh socks. Do not count on a large amount, but you will get $ 50.

First of all, we can assume that your baggage was either not loaded onto the plane at the airport of departure, or it was loaded onto the plane, but not yours. If so, it will take from a week to three to find and return your baggage. Moreover, searches can be greatly facilitated by special baggage tags that most airlines issue to passengers before check-in for a flight and which are tied or glued to things. Usually, the tags contain the name and surname of the owner of the baggage, his home address or contact phone number. Don't neglect this offer.

Most companies try not to pay out money in the first 24 hours. After 14 days of absence – the baggage is considered lost and the passenger is paid compensation. Under the Warsaw Convention, the mandatory minimum amount is $ 22 per kilogram, and carriers very rarely pay more. Moreover, the air carrier absolutely does not care what was in your suitcase – old linen or expensive evening dresses. So we advise you not to check in your luggage cameras, camcorders, expensive jewelry and other valuable items – the airline is not obliged to compensate for their loss in full. However, if there are receipts for purchased items, the airline may partially or even fully pay you money for these items.

But it often happens that the luggage was not lost, but the most valuable items were opened and taken out. In this case, you also need to contact the airline. Further events will develop according to a similar scenario: you present a ticket with a luggage coupon pasted on and describe in detail what was stolen. As material evidence, it is necessary to present a suitcase with torn off locks or a cut body. The airline will draw up an act of theft and send it to its central office. An investigation will be carried out and a special commission will decide how much to pay you in compensation.

Situation two: spoiled

You stand at the airport near the transport belt and wait for your luggage to appear. The suitcase finally appears, but badly disfigured: the locks are damaged, the body is cut open, the handles are gone.

Do not spit on this matter, but go to sort out the representative office of the airline whose plane you flew in. The airline, represented by competent employees, will decide how much damage was caused. Either you will be given money to buy a new suitcase, or – to repair a damaged one. The amount of compensation depends solely on the decision of the airline, which in most cases is not subject to appeal. But do not think in advance that the airline will pay you clearly less than it should. Reputable airlines value their reputation and are interested in customers.

Situation three: confused

You stand at the airport near the transport belt and wait for your luggage to appear. The suitcase appears, you pick it up and leave. Already at home, it turns out that the suitcase, although it looks like it, is not yours at all. If you are a decent passenger, then immediately go back to the airport and hand over someone else's suitcase to the representative office of the airline you arrived. There, either you meet face to face with the legal owner of the suitcase you have taken, or you give someone else's baggage from hand to hand to the airline employees.

As for your luggage, there are two options: either it will be waiting for you at the airline's office, or someone has also picked it up by mistake. In the second case, it remains only to tell the airline representatives your address or phone number, and they will already start looking.

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