Lost, Delayed or Damaged Baggage with American Airlines: Your Rights
A few weeks into the summer, you are probably making your last flight reservations. Take your precautions, and find out now about your rights in the event of disputes (lost or damaged baggage, etc.).
When traveling by plane, it may happen that your baggage is not at the arrival airport. Whether it is lost, delayed or damaged, the airline is obligated to pay you compensation up to a certain limit. But what are the modalities?
Baggage is considered to be delayed if it is not present when you disembark but is delivered to you afterwards.
If, when you get off the plane, you notice that your baggage did not arrive on the carpet even though everything has been unloaded, you must report it to the counter of the company that operated the last flight. She will register your complaint and search for your baggage.
If you cannot find a counter, contact the airline as soon as possible (by phone, for example) to inform you that your baggage is missing and obtain a file number. Do not wait until you get home to take this step.
If during the period of absence of your baggage, you have had to purchase basic necessities, you can claim reimbursement from the airline on presentation of invoices for these products.
For this specific case, you have 21 days from the date the baggage was made available to make a written complaint to the carrier. If the claim is not made within this period, your action against the company will not be admissible.
Lost luggage: what solution to recover your suitcases and your objects
First of all, American Airlines apologizes for the mismanagement of its passengers’ baggage and understands their concern and the inconvenience caused. The American company invites its aggrieved customers to fill out this form relating to the delay in delivery of a baggage will allow it to intensify the searches in order to locate their lost baggage.
If the airline recognizes the loss of your checked baggage or if it has not arrived at its destination within 21 days of the date it should have arrived, it is considered lost. You can then claim reimbursement for your lost property and baggage.
In this case, you can claim compensation up to a limit set at € 1,330. Be careful, however, be aware that in the event of loss of luggage, companies do not reimburse lost personal property based on their new value, but often carry a discount.
To obtain reimbursement for your goods, you must send a written request to the company, enclosing the invoices for the purchase of lost goods. If you do not have these supporting documents, the company can offer you compensation based on the weight of the luggage lost (approximately € 20 per kg).
If, upon receipt of your suitcase, you notice that it has been damaged or destroyed during transport, you are entitled to demand from the carrier reimbursement of the price of your suitcase and the damaged goods.
To do this, you must send a letter to the company within 7 days of receiving your suitcase, giving as much detail as possible of the damaged goods (photographs of the damaged goods, purchase invoices, etc.).
If your baggage in the care of American Airlines has been damaged or even lost – that is, if it has not arrived at its destination within three weeks of the date on which it should have been delivered or if he arrived late, she must compensate you. She is responsible for checked baggage until it is delivered to the conveyor belt.
It is up to you to prove your damage (especially in the event of delay) and the value of lost or damaged items. Compensation may not exceed 1,000 Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), the rate of which varies like that of a currency (1,000 SDRs = approximately 1,150 euros), a ceiling calculated per passenger.
This limit may be exceeded if you have made a special declaration to the carrier when checking in your baggage. In this case, you will have to pay a supplement (for example $ 50 for a declaration of value of $ 5,000 on the company American Airlines). In this case, the carrier will be required to pay up to the amount declared.
For your damaged or stolen hand luggage, insofar as it travels under your care, it will be more difficult for you to question the liability of the airline. It will be necessary to prove a fault on his part. For example, a failure to close the luggage compartment which would have caused an object to fall and damage it.
Compensation from insurers
With your high-end bank card (gold, partinium, etc.), you will certainly benefit from luggage insurance. If not, take a look at the insurance that airlines sell as an option with the purchase of your ticket, as well as those offered directly by insurers.
Always check the compensation limits and how they are calculated: per event, per piece of luggage, per person, per family and sometimes over a period (for example, no more than one claim over 365 days). Taking into account a delay in the delivery of baggage will only give entitlement to compensation after a certain number of hours (for example, more than 6 hours or beyond 12 hours, 24 hours).
Only the so-called basic costs (clothing for example) will be reimbursed and you will most often be asked for proof of expenses. You can earn 100 euros with the American Express card.
What to do in case of litigation?
If your company refuses to compensate you in the event of lost or damaged baggage, you can file a complaint online with the General Directorate of Civil Aviation (DGAC) or contact the travel tourism mediator to find a solution to the amicable.