The plane lands, you walk miles to find the baggage claim area, your baggage finally comes round the conveyor belt and oh… it’s damaged. Don’t worry, we know exactly what you need to do! We have seen how our luggage can be treated sometimes, even the most robust suitcase can end up with damage of some sort. It is upsetting when your belongings are damaged by someone else, intentional or not which is why all airlines will have a Damaged Baggage Policy.
What is a Damaged Baggage Policy?
This policy allows passengers to have their damaged baggage repaired or be reimbursed when damaged in transit due to mishandling. This only applies whilst the bag is under the airlines control during transit and does not include general wear and tear or superficial damage.
It is important to read up on your airlines Damaged Luggage policy so you know exactly what you need to do if you realise your baggage has been damaged whilst in the airlines care. Every airline is different, so their policy will likely differ too. Almost always there will be a time restriction on how long you have to make the airline aware of the damage and start a claim.
How to Make A Damaged Baggage Claim
Usually, the airline will require pictures of the damage (preferably inside the airport!), an invoice/receipt for the purchase of the baggage item and a copy of your airline ticket/ flight details. To really ensure you have covered all basis we would recommend also completing a PIR form (Property Irregularity Report) which can be provided by airport customer services or Baggage Services. If you do speak to someone at airport we would recommend keeping a note of the day, time and name of the person you spoke to for your records.
To claim on an airline Damaged Baggage policy your claim will need to be in writing. We would recommend email, so you have a clear trail of all information. If you do speak to someone on the phone, always request a confirmation email of what was discussed.
If your claim is successful with the airline, they usually cover the cost for repairs if repairable, replace the suitcase with one similar from a selection of their choosing, or reimburse you. Often this can be a lengthy process, especially if the suitcase needs to be analysed by a repair centre first to see if the damage caused is fixable. Sadly there is nothing that can be done to speed up the process other than to keep in contact with them regularly for updates.
It is worth keeping in mind that some credit card companies offer baggage insurance and your travel insurance may also cover your baggage. Sometimes these insurance policies could offer better or more sufficient coverage than the airline. Especially if you have travelled with a budget airline.
If we can support you in your claim with the airline please do get in touch with our Customer Service team at email@example.com or telephone us on 01732753300.