On arrival at your destination or on your return, did you find your damaged baggage by plane? Find out how to be compensated! You have planned a great trip, or you have just returned from an unforgettable adventure, but upon arrival, you have the unpleasant surprise of seeing your luggage damaged by plane! Just by seeing the way our suitcases are loaded in the device, we can already fear for their integrity. Damaged or even lost luggage during transport is not uncommon. This glitch can then happen to everyone!
If this is your case, then know that the carrier is responsible for your suitcase from the moment you drop it off at check-in and until you collect it after your flight. You can therefore assert your rights and be compensated in the event of damage to your luggage! In this article, we explain all the steps to follow in case of damaged baggage on the plane.
The first step is to report your damaged baggage on an airplane as soon as possible. So be sure to check the integrity of your suitcase or bag as soon as you receive it at the airport. This is crucial to be easily and quickly compensated.
You notice the damage at the arrival airport
If you discover directly at the airport that your baggage has been damaged, you can contact an agent or the baggage service of your airline. They will explain the procedure to follow to obtain compensation. Generally, you will have to complete a return. You will also receive a file number and a confirmation to keep. The airline will most likely ask you for some simple information like your luggage tags or your flight number. Be sure to keep these documents with you on each flight.
You did not notice the damage at the arrival airport
If you ever find that your baggage has been damaged after leaving the airport, be aware that you have up to 7 days after receipt of your baggage to make a claim. In this case, you should contact your airline customer service as soon as possible. The claim for compensation will then be made online, or you will have to send a letter to the company. For this second case, be sure to send registered mail with acknowledgment of receipt!
In all cases, and as soon as the damage is noticed, we recommend that you call customer service to find out the correct procedure to follow. Thus, we will not be able to accuse you of errors or errors. If you have your damaged baggage repaired by plane, you will also have to keep the invoice. The company will most likely ask for it as proof. Finally, we advise you to take photos of your damaged luggage on an airplane to prove the damage suffered.
What compensation is expected for baggage damaged on an airplane?
With the first step, you have properly declared your suitcase or bag damaged during your flight. With this statement, you will most likely receive compensation from your airline. This compensation is however capped by law. And this, even if your loss is greater than the amount entered in the latter. The compensation also depends on the convention that applies to the flight: the Warsaw Convention or the Montreal Convention . This information is normally indicated on your plane ticket. If it is not, you will need to contact the airline to find out.
You have traveled with a European company
As a rule, the ceiling depends on the origin of the airline. For a European company, the maximum compensation for baggage damaged on an airplane is around € 1,391. This amount is fixed in the Montreal Convention.
You have traveled with a foreign company
For a foreign company, subject to the Warsaw Convention, compensation is capped at 19 SDR per kilogram of baggage, or approximately € 23.40 per kilogram. SDRs, for Special Drawing Rights, are a currency based on several international currencies. Compensation is calculated using this SDR currency.
Your damaged baggage on the plane contains valuables
These amounts are the maximum compensation you can receive for your damaged baggage on an airplane. However, you can increase this limit if you are carrying precious items.
Unfortunately, you must first make a special declaration of interest at the check-in of your luggage and pay a surcharge to the company. With this declaration of value assigned to your luggage, you will increase the airline’s liability limit. This will protect you in the event of a problem, if you are transporting valuables. Because in this case, the airline will have to compensate you for the amount declared. Without this declaration, it will be difficult or impossible to obtain compensation greater than the amounts provided for in the law.
Your travel insurance can also compensate you
Also remember to check your travel insurance, which you would have purchased before your flight. Depending on the conditions, this insurance may cover part of the costs of the damage suffered. Obviously, you can always assert your rights with the airline company and obtain your compensation from it!
Contact a mediator
Have you followed the procedures to declare your baggage damaged, but have no return from the airline, or even a refusal? Note that if your airline refuses to compensate you or does not respond within 2 months, you can contact the Tourism and Travel mediator . The company must however have signed the Mediation Charter. You will find all the information to enter this organization on the official website of the French administration.
Initiate legal action
If your efforts still fail, then you can take the matter to court . Your case is valid for two years from the date of injury. You can go directly to court, but the process can be long and arduous.
Please also note that during your legal action, you can also claim damages for the damage suffered: loss or deterioration of luggage, replacement of lost items, etc.
Use a specialized company
To succeed, you can also contact a collection or litigation service specializing in airline-related matters directly. These companies analyze your case, take it to court, and help you get compensation. Above all, they prevent you from bothering with all the administrative and legal procedures!
These organizations can even take care of reminders before taking legal action. Upstream, they can also help you make your approach and tell you whether or not you can benefit from compensation. Once the case is entrusted to the company, they will generally weigh their weight to get a return. If the return does not arrive, then they will sue the company for you. You thus increase your chances of obtaining compensation, without having to manage the legal action. The company is generally remunerated with a percentage of the compensation, and of the damages obtained.
How to avoid having damaged luggage on an airplane?
Finally, be aware that you can protect yourself from any baggage damaged by plane by first protecting your checked baggage.
First, consider putting all of the really fragile items in your luggage. You will avoid the risk of damage. If ever, you must leave precious or fragile objects in your checked baggage, then think about the prior declaration. Certainly you have to pay a surcharge, but you are sure to be compensated for these valuables in case of damage.
Second, you can film your suitcases and luggage at the airport for added protection. In addition, if you plan to carry something fragile like a glass bottle, take care to protect it and place it in the center of the suitcase.
Third, choose solid and robust luggage for your travels. A solid suitcase will last you several years, even a lifetime! Inside, your objects will be well protected against shocks. This greatly reduces the risk of receiving damaged baggage upon arrival. No one wants to start their vacation or trip with something like this.