Delayed baggage compensation

Millions of baggage pieces are damaged, delayed or lost every year. However, the good thing is that air passengers have the right to receive compensation in these cases. The flight compensation company AirHelp will help you file a damaged, delayed or lost baggage claim against the airline.

Under U.S. and Montreal Convention air passenger rights laws, the average compensation from an airline for lost or damaged checked luggage is $1525 – $3500.

Claim your baggage compensation

Damaged baggage compensation for USA flights

What should I do if my luggage arrived damaged?

If you noticed that your bags were damaged after you received them at the end of your domestic US flight, here is what you should do:

  • Don’t throw away or lose your boarding pass and checked luggage receipts. You may also use any flight document with the booking reference number instead of a boarding pass. The booking reference number is a six-character alphanumeric code assigned to your flight reservation by the airline.
  • Report the damage to your luggage as soon as you get your bags but before you leave the airport. However, you can do this later. We recommend that you check your airline’s policy online as each airline has its policy that may differ from another airline.
  • File a damaged baggage claim for compensation or Property Irregularity Report. Check if your airline has a luggage damage claim form online in case you might decide to do this online.
  • Bring your bags for inspection in case they were repaired or replaced. The sooner you do this, the better — just do this before leaving the airport. An airline representative might negotiate with you and offer you to repair the damage, replace the items, or otherwise compensate you.
  • File a claim for items that were damaged inside your luggage. However, the airline might refuse to compensate you for all damaged items, but if you put forward a strong case that it was the airline’s responsibility, then they will compensate you.

Claim your damaged baggage compensation

Damaged baggage compensation for EU and international flights

What should I do if my baggage was damaged and the airline is responsible for it?

If you had a flight within the EU or an international flight and your luggage got damaged, here are some things you should do:

  • Don’t throw away or lose your boarding pass and checked luggage receipts. You may also use any flight document with the booking reference number instead of a boarding pass. The booking reference number is a six-character alphanumeric code assigned to your flight reservation by the airline.
  • Report the damage to your luggage as soon as you get your bags but before you leave the airport. However, you have the right to report the damage in 7 days from the date you received your bags.
  • File a damaged baggage claim for compensation or Property Irregularity Report. Some airlines have damaged luggage claim forms online, so there is no need to do that at the airport, but you should check if this is possible beforehand.
  • Bring your bags for inspection in case they were repaired or replaced. The sooner you do this, the better — just do this before leaving the airport. An airline representative might negotiate with you and offer you to repair the damage, replace the items, or otherwise compensate you.
  • File a claim for items that were damaged inside your luggage. However, the airline might refuse to compensate you for all damaged items, but if you put forward a strong case that it was the airline’s responsibility, then they will compensate you.

Claim your damaged baggage compensation

Delayed baggage compensation for USA flights

What should I do if my baggage got delayed?

If you were on a domestic US flight and your baggage got delayed, here is what you should do:

  • Don’t throw away or lose your boarding pass and checked luggage receipts. You may also use any flight document with the booking reference number instead of a boarding pass. The booking reference number is a six-character alphanumeric code assigned to your flight reservation by the airline.
  • Report the luggage delay before you leave the airport. You can do this later, but we recommend that you check your airline’s policy online as each airline has its policy that may differ from another airline.
  • File a Property Irregularity Report (PIR). You will receive a reference number of your case after filling the PIR – don’t throw it away or lose it.
  • Request the airline to return your bag fee if you were charged. Each airline has its policy, so ask the airline staff about this process. They might offer you rebates via airline credit but ask for cash. If they refuse, you can add it to your compensation claim.
  • Your case reference number will help you in tracking your luggage. You will find the tracking tool online. It will let you know when your bags might arrive.
  • Don’t throw away or lose your receipts if you will have to buy any necessary items. Necessary items are things that were in your delayed luggage that you can’t manage without for a few days, such as toiletries and underwear etc. You will be able to request the airline to refund you for these additional expenses while filing a claim.
  • File a delayed baggage compensation claim against the airline. We recommend that you check your airline’s policy online as each carrier has its policy that may differ from another. You can claim for additional expenses you may have while you waited for your delayed baggage. You will have to provide your receipts. Most airlines in the USA require you to file a claim within 45 days from the date of your flight, regardless of whether you received your bags or not.

Claim your delayed baggage compensation

Delayed baggage compensation for EU and international flights

What to do if my baggage was delayed?

If you had an international flight or a flight within the EU and your baggage was delayed, here is what you should do:

  • Don’t throw away or lose your boarding pass and checked luggage receipts. You may also use any flight document with the booking reference number instead of a boarding pass. The booking reference number is a six-character alphanumeric code assigned to your flight reservation by the airline.
  • Report the luggage delay before you leave the airport.
  • File a Property Irregularity Report (PIR). You will receive a reference number of your case after filing the PIR – don’t throw it away or lose it.
  • Your case reference number will help you in tracking your luggage. You will find the tracking tool online, search for your carrier tracking tool. It will let you know when your bags might arrive.
  • Don’t throw away or lose your receipts if you will have to buy any necessary items. Necessary items are things that were in your delayed luggage that you can’t manage without for a few days, such as toiletries and underwear etc. You will be able to request the airline to refund you for these additional expenses when filing your claim.
  • When your delayed luggage finally arrives, file a delayed baggage compensation claim against the airline. You can claim for additional expenses you may have while you waited for your delayed baggage. You will have to provide your receipts. You have the right to file this claim in 21 days from the date you received your bags.

Claim your delayed baggage compensation

Lost baggage compensation for USA flights

What should I do if my luggage was lost?

If you were on a domestic US flight and your baggage was lost, here is what you should do:

  • Don’t throw away or lose your delayed baggage reference number that the airline provided you with when you carried out the Property Irregularity Report (PIR).
  • Don’t throw away or lose any receipts if you will have to buy any necessary items. Necessary items are things that were in your delayed luggage and you can’t manage without for a few days, such as toiletries and underwear etc. You will be able to request the airline to refund you for these additional expenses when filing your claim.
  • You have to provide the airline with a detailed list of the items that were in your lost bag. Any receipts or other proof of the items that were in your luggage would be evidence and proof of your expenses. However, the airline might not cover all of the items, but you should be able to get compensation for most of the contents you can prove.
  • File a claim for lost baggage compensation against the airline. Don’t miss the deadline for filing your lost luggage claim. As mentioned before, you should include all the receipts and documents for the items that were in your lost baggage and for additional expenses for necessary items you bought.

Claim your lost baggage compensation

Lost baggage compensation for EU and international flights

What should I do if my baggage was lost and the airline is responsible for it?

If your flight was within the EU or international and your baggage was lost, here is what you should do:

  • Don’t throw away or lose your delayed baggage reference number that the airline provided you with when you carried out the Property Irregularity Report (PIR). If your luggage didn’t arrive after 21 days, it’s considered lost. However, this period can be shortened if the airline admits that they lost your luggage.
  • Don’t throw away or lose any receipts if you will have to buy any necessary items. Necessary items are things that were in your lost luggage and you can’t manage without for a few days, such as toiletries and underwear etc. You will have a chance to require the airline to refund you for these additional expenses when filing your claim.
  • You have to provide the airline with a detailed list of the items that were in your lost bag. Any receipts or other proof of the items that were in your luggage would be evidence and proof of your expenses. However, the airline might not cover all the items, but you should be able to receive a refund for most of the contents you can prove.
  • File a claim for lost baggage compensation against the airline. Don’t miss the deadline for filing your lost luggage claim. As mentioned before, you should include all the receipts and documents for the items that were in your lost baggage and for additional expenses for necessary items you bought.

Claim your lost baggage compensation