Articolo disponibile anche in: Italian
It’s not unusual to lose your baggage at the airport. If you read the news you see how often these accidents happen, often due to inefficient organisation of airport services, especially when the airport staff has to deal with an increasingly significant number of travellers.
But if you find yourself in this situation, it’s important to know that the passenger has a series of rights that must be respected by the company with which he has travelled. What are these rights?
What to do if your baggage is lost
The first thing to do is to report the incident at the lost property office. There is usually one in every airport. Obviously, in order to do so, it’s necessary to keep all the travel documents, that is the flight ticket that indicates the airport of departure and the arrival, and the sticker showing the identification number assigned to the baggage during the boarding procedures.
Once you’ve completed the PIR (Property Irregularity Report) form, describing the dimensions, the model, the colour of the baggage and eventual particular signs, you can also state your preference for the personal collection of the baggage or for the redelivery through Courier service. At this point, all you can do is wait. If after 21 days the baggage has not been found, it will be declared officially lost and the passenger will have the right to compensation.
What happens if the luggage is not found?
You have to send a letter by registered post to the air company to ask for reimbursement for the lost baggage. You need to state the damage that has been caused, with a pecuniary estimate and provide proof of the event. It’s vital to remember that this procedure must follow the terms and conditions set by the Montreal Convention, the agreement for the protection of passengers that almost all airlines join – that is within 7 days for damages, 21 for the delay and after 21 for loss .
As far as the reimbursement amount is concerned, however, it is necessary to distinguish between the companies that adhere to the Montreal Convention and all the others: the first quantify the amount to be paid for each lost bag at around 1,167 euros, while the latter are required to pay the passenger 20 euros for each kilogram of lost luggage.
However, it must be underlined that the value to be paid for a lost bag can be increased by means of a “declaration of value”, which must be made at check-in, by paying a special additional fee that allows the company to increase the liability limit.