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Lost Baggage | What To Do When The Airlines Lost Your Baggage

Lost Baggage | What To Do When The Airlines Lost Your Baggage


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When you arrive at your dream vacation destination, losing your luggage is the last thing you want to happen. However, there are a few things you can do to increase your chances of finding your belongings, or receiving compensation in the event of a total loss.

What to do if the airline loses your luggage

Lost luggage is the second most common travel accident Australians have to deal with, according to a Finder survey. The processing method is as follows:

Step 1: File a report before leaving the airport

If you fear the worst while waiting for your luggage to show up on the conveyor belt, you need to sign up for luggage service ASAP.Here you will be asked to put together Property Irregularity Report (PIR). This will help the airline find your lost luggage, but is also essential if you need to make a claim later.

This usually includes the following information:

  • what does your bag look likeIt’s a good idea to take a photo of your bag before you ask to help the staff find it among the crowds. If you have not already done so, you should provide as much information as possible, including the colour, make and any identifying marks on the luggage.
  • Airline and flight information. This includes your point of departure, any connecting flights you may have taken and flight numbers.
  • continue traveling. In order to contact or deliver your lost luggage, you will need to provide details of where and how long you have stopped.

good to know. Even if the airline tells you your bag is on the next flight, be sure to report it. This is something you will have written proof of in case other problems arise.

Step 2: Determine your rights and who is responsible

Lost checked bags are considered delayed by the airline within the first 21 days. At that point, it’s the airline’s responsibility to find it and deliver it to you.

If the airline can’t find it in time, you’ll be covered for damages. The rules vary slightly depending on whether you are traveling within Australia or not.

Australian domestic travel

Under the Civil Aviation (Carrier Liability) Act 1959 or supplementary state legislation, airlines are required to compensate you for lost baggage. The airline’s liability limit for lost or damaged checked baggage is $1,600 per passenger and $160 per passenger for carry-on baggage.

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international travel

Airlines are governed by two international treaties: the 1929 Warsaw Convention and the 1999 Montreal Convention:

Where Montreal Convention When applicable, airlines are responsible for paying up to 1,131 Special Drawing Rights (SDR), an international currency created by the International Monetary Fund, or approximately US$1,735 per passenger. This is the total amount you can charge for checked and hand luggage.

under warsaw pact For international travel, the airline will cover up to 250 francs (about AU$30) per kilogram of your checked luggage and 5,000 francs (about AU$600) per kilogram of your carry-on luggage.

nice to know. If you are carrying items that are worth more than the airline’s liability limit, you have the option to declare a higher value for your luggage and items when you check in your luggage at the airport. Airlines usually charge you a higher amount of coverage.

Step 3: Follow up with airlines

Once you leave the airport, the only thing you can do is hope that your lost luggage will be found. Some airlines will give you a tracking number that you can use to follow any progress online. For others, you may need to make a few calls to check for lost luggage.

In the best case scenario, you will find your luggage held up and your airline should arrange to have your items returned to you as soon as possible. Most airlines will arrange for a courier to deliver your luggage to your accommodation.

Good to know. If your luggage doesn’t show up within 12 hours of arrival, you can file a claim with your travel insurance for delayed luggage. This will help cover the cost of essentials you have to buy due to the delay, including clothes and toiletries.

Step 4: Wait 21 days before filing a claim

There are two key points to a lost luggage claim:

1. airline. For both domestic and international flights, most airlines will officially consider your luggage lost if it has been lost for 21 days. Once these three weeks have passed, you can file a claim with the airline. This doesn’t take too long and usually involves filling out a claim form on your airline’s website.

2. travel insurance. Airlines tend to cover only what the law expects of them; checked bags often cost upwards of $1,600. If there is a difference between what the airline paid you and the value of your property, you can claim the difference through travel insurance.

Top tips. If you’re traveling with valuables like laptops, jewelry, or cameras, you’ll want to make sure your coverage limits are high enough to fully cover them if they’re lost with your luggage. Alternatively, you can insure each item individually.

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What should I do if my luggage is left at the airport?

Airlines typically give themselves up to 90 days to find the owner of a lost bag, before auctioning it off to the highest bidder or donating the item to charity.

How much is the compensation for lost luggage?

For domestic travel in Australia, passengers are entitled to pay $1,600 per passenger for checked bags or $160 per person for carry-on bags. This does not include any benefits you may have received from your travel insurance.

Will the airport sell lost luggage?

If airlines can’t find the owner of a lost bag after 90 days of trying, the bags are usually sold or donated to charity.

How long does it take to retrieve lost luggage?

It usually takes 2 or 3 days to retrieve lost luggage. However, if your waiting time exceeds 21 days, your luggage will be officially declared lost and you should be compensated by the airline.

Can I track my lost luggage?

Most airlines will give you a tracking number that will allow you to check the status of your lost luggage. Some passengers are opting to do it themselves, keeping tracking devices inside their bags in case they get lost.

Can I sue the airline for lost luggage?

When it comes to lost luggage, the rights and responsibilities of passengers and airlines are laid out in both the Warsaw Convention and the Montreal Convention. Unless an airline violates this legislation, it will be difficult to prosecute them.



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