Tuesday, September 27

They have lost my suitcase at the airport, what can I do?

With the summer already started weeks ago, so have the number of flights and checked bags. But this year is being a season of flight delays and cancellations, lost luggage, and time. Social networks have been filled with numerous images showing long queues of suitcases piling up in corridors and conveyor belts at airports.

There is the curious image of flights full of passengers but without baggage or suitcases, which have not arrived on the same flight on which their owners were flying, suitcases that nobody picks up because the passengers are not there.

The steps to claim a lost luggage

In the event of loss or delay of luggage, the airline is, as a general rule, responsible for repairing or restitution for the damage caused, as established in the Montreal Convention.

The first step to follow when we see that our suitcase does not arrive on the conveyor belt is not to lose calm. And later, when we have already confirmed that the suitcase is not there, it is advisable to follow these Steps:

  • Fill out the Baggage Irregularity Report (PIR): We must go to the information counter or the window of the company with which we have traveled with the DNI or passport and fill out this document, of which they have to give us a copy. It contains the flight data and a reference number, which is what we will use to search for the suitcase. This document must be kept, since it is the one that the airline will request when we claim. This form is an essential requirement for the company to process the incident with the luggage: without it, no future action can be taken, together with the tickets and luggage tickets.
  • File a formal claim with the company: The Organization of Consumers and Users (OCU) recommends submitting a claim before leaving the airport for a record of the incident. We can go to the counters of the airline or, if it is not present, to your handling agent or representative at the airport itself at the authorized counters.
  • Save bills for buying clothes or toiletries: if the loss of luggage or the delay occurs outside our place of residence, we must keep all the purchase tickets that we have had to make for a future claim.
  • Take deadlines into account: the times to claim are very specific and vary depending on the incident. Thus, in the case of lost luggage, although there is no established limit, it is advisable to make the claim as soon as possible, once the 21 days have elapsed during which the suitcase has not appeared, or after the company has confirmed that the luggage is lost.
  • claim compensation: Although in most cases the suitcases tend to appear, if this is not the case, we have the right to claim compensation, which is usually a maximum of 1,350 euros per suitcase.

This amount may be higher if we have insured the luggage (with a supplementary fee) that we have checked in and in which we have transferred that the belongings have more value than the maximum compensation established by law.

It will be necessary to send the incident documents to the company, as well as a list with everything we had, specifying the brand, model and year of purchase. With this information, the airline makes an assessment.

In the first five days of the loss, it is the airport that is responsible for locating the luggage. After this period, if it has not appeared, it is the Lost Property Department of the airline company that takes charge of the search for the following 21 days.

If we have lost our suitcases just starting the vacation, we have the right to request the “overnight kit”, that is, the necessary basic personal cleaning products, as well as compensation for delay with a daily expenses bonus or through a reimbursement of receipts.

Recommendations to minimize the risk of lost luggage

If we are going to catch a plane during this summer, it is important to be careful to minimize the risk of losing the suitcases with a series of tips:

If we travel with someone, divide the luggage into two suitcases so that, if a suitcase is lost, we will always have one of our belongings in the other.

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