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How to ask the airline compensation for lost or damaged baggage?

Lost luggage is a problem that occurs more and more often in airports. Here's how to behave.

That of lost luggage is an eventuality that does not occur very often, but that could still happen, considering the chaos that reigns in airports, especially in high season.

Moreover, it can happen to everyone to be in front of the airport conveyor belt to wait for the arrival of their suitcase and that while all the luggage continue to flow, what you wait for does not arrive. If this happened it would certainly be one of the most annoying unexpected events that can happen to a traveler.

However, before throwing yourself into the most total panic, you need to know that about 80% of the lost luggage after an air travel is found within 24 hours after the loss. The other 20%, however, is found in the next 48 hours. For this reason one should never worry excessively, but do everything calmly, in order to facilitate the work of airport employees.

The first thing to do in case of loss of baggage is to go to the Lost and Found office. The airport officials will ask for the air ticket and the baggage tag (the receipt obtained when the baggage has been loaded at check-in). Once the required information is checked, the office clerk will give the person the PIR (Property Irregularity Report) certificate, to be filled in to file the complaint. The certificate will ask for more information about the suitcase, such as color, brand, size and even the value of the suitcase.

Do not forget to leave your telephone number to be recalled. As soon as the lost object is recovered, the person will be invited to go and get it. If, in the meantime, you have been forced to make urgent expenses, you can request a refund.

The request for reimbursement must be presented at the baggage service at the arrival airport, filling out a specific form that can also be found online. However, not all airline companies provide for reimbursement in case of a late return of lost luggage.

Luggage are to be considered officially lost only in the case in which more than 21 days have passed since the communication of the loss.

In this case, since you will never see your suitcase again, you can ask for compensation for personal items and for the suitcase itself. The amount of compensation is variable depending on some factors. For example, if the airline is part of the European Union, the maximum repayment may not exceed 1,300 euros. In other cases, maximum reimbursement of the declared value can be obtained.

An advice: it is not convenient to lie. In fact, if you declare that you have in your suitcase items for a total of 3,000 euros, while there are only objects for a total of 500 euros and the commission of the airport would come to know, the person who has lied may incur fines and penalties. In other airlines, even the maximum compensation provided is only 388 euros.

Furthermore, it is to be considered that the right to compensation is prescribed within two years from the date of arrival at the airport in which the event occurred. And during this time anything can happen.

At the request for compensation, presented by means of a special letter, the copy of the air ticket, the identification receipt of the suitcase, the loss report and the extra documentation necessary to carry out the investigations must be attached. Generally, companies recognize their responsibilities and proceed to the repayment. If this does not happen, you could contact the Justice of the Peace by suing the airline.

In the event that there are objects in the suitcase whose total price is more than 1,300 euros, it is advisable to protect yourself first. In particular, at check-in, operators must be asked to complete a declaration of value. The latter, if presented after the loss, will allow the return of the real value of the baggage.

Should you wish to complete the declaration of value, some companies may request an additional sum of money. Other companies may also completely reject the issue of the declaration of value.

And if the baggage was damaged?

Withdrawing the suitcase from the tape and realizing that there is damaged, the procedure is the same as for lost baggage. it will take approximately 7 days to file a claim. The company, however, may not recognize its responsibilities, attributing the fault of the damage to the airport company of the airport of arrival. In this case, you can contact the management of the airport request a refund. However, we must immediately know that the chances that airport management will recognize its own faults are very small. In the end you can still contact the Justice of the Peace by suing the airport.