Until you see your luggage at the end of your flight, there’s going to be a little bit of worry that your luggage has been delayed or lost. With thousands of people travelling across the globe every day, losing your luggage can be extremely stressful and difficult to retrieve. Despite this, there are some things you can do if your luggage is delayed or lost.
When your luggage is delayed
Airlines have a 21 day period where luggage is considered delayed, as opposed to lost, where they should be trying to find it and return it to you. There are no standard rules on how airlines need to deal with this, but they should cover any emergency costs you have due to not having your luggage. You will have to speak to the airline you were flying with to see what they’ll offer you. They may give you an immediate one-off payment; pay you a set amount for every day your luggage is lost, up to a certain point, or they may reimburse you for any emergency expenses (at which point, you should keep all your receipts).
If you have travel insurance you may be able to get a bigger amount of money, so it’s worth it to check your travel insurance coverage. Airlines rarely accept responsibility for stress or any other negative effects of your luggage being delayed, so if you feel you’ve suffered and should be compensated; you’ll need to make a court claim.
When your luggage is lost
After 21 days, your luggage is considered lost and you can make a claim for compensation. The airline will ask for a list of the missing items. It’s best to be able to provide receipts, although this isn’t always possible.
After you’ve made your claim, the airline most likely won’t offer you the full amount that it would cost to replace everything unless it was brand new, due to wear and tear. There’s a possibility that you could get more money if you claim for lost luggage through your home contents or travel insurance policy, so you may wish to check your coverage. You will need receipts to send as proof with your claim.
What if your luggage is lost on a connecting flight?
When your journey has connections, it’s common to only see your luggage once you’ve reached your final destination. If you lose your luggage on a flight with connections, you can make your claim to any of the airlines you flew with throughout your journey, however, most airline expect you to make the claim with the last airline of your journey.
Sometimes none of the airlines will take responsibility and refuse to deal with your claim. This is not allowed, and if it happens, you need to contact the Civil Aviation Authority for advice on what to do next. Once more, you may be able to claim for your luggage through your travel or home contents insurance.