Millions of check-in baggage are either lost or damaged every year. When you check-in your luggage, you expect to see it again at your destination. But what should you do if it is not there?
Make A Report
Before you leave the baggage reclaim area, find the airline staff or the customer service desk to file a report. You will be given a Property Irregularity Report (PIR) to fill in. Do this on the spot and ask for a copy. This form together with the baggage stub that you were given at check-in (the check-in counter staff usually sticks it to your boarding pass or passport) are essential if you want to make a compensation claim from the airline or travel insurance. The PIR is not a claim, you must still make a claim in writing within 7 days.
Compensation for Delayed Baggage
If you are on your outgoing journey, be sure to ask for some cash for first needs. The airline may suggest you buy your essentials and they will refund the receipt. Agree on the spending limit in advance and don’t expect the airline to be generous.
On your homebound journey, the airline will not be so forthcoming as they assume you have everything you need as you are returning home.
It will take up to 21 days before the airline admits your bag is lost. In this case, you are eligible for compensation but you have to write in again.
Compensation for Lost Luggage
Under the Montreal Convention, travellers can claim up to a maximum of 1131 Special Drawing Rights (SDR) for lost luggage per person. As of 05 Oct 2015, 1 SDR = 6.1274 MYR. Airlines will not be in the hurry to pay the compensation and the amount you receive will depend on how much proof you have of the value of your contents.
Compensation for Stolen Items
If items are stolen from your bag, it is difficult to get compensation from the airline because you would have the impossible task of proving it was there in the first place. It’s recommended to use a good quality luggage and not put any valuables (cash, mobile phones, cameras and jewellery) and take a travel insurance.
Compensation for Damaged Baggage
When your baggage is damaged, contact the airline and insist on the cost of repairs or a replacement bag.
Travel insurance can help. It is important to choose a policy that provides adequate coverage for your needs and for any shortfall in compensation offered under the Montreal Convention.
- Choose to fly direct. Transits increase the chance of baggage missing or delayed.
- Secure your bag – use a travel padlock
- Never pack valuables or money in your luggage
- Have a change of clothes, medication and toiletries in your hand luggage. Remember to stay within the 1 liter of liquid rule.
- Check-in early
- Always keep you baggage receipt given to you at the check-in desk. You will need this in case of baggage lost or delayed.
- Buy a travel insurance
- Tag your bags with your details