Baggage lost at the airport: what does United Airlines owe you

Airlines say they are improving so they don’t lose baggage, in part thanks to new tracking technologies. But millions of bags are still lost every year. Isn’t that enough then?

It’s a terrible feeling – waiting for your bag on the airport conveyor belt when everyone has already collected theirs. And your suitcase is not showing up.

A frustrating experience for millions of passengers, but why does this happen?

– Missing or delayed baggage

If your baggage does not arrive at its destination, report it to United Airlines baggage agents in the claims area / desk before leaving the airport so that your carrier can obtain the relevant information to locate your baggage. Lost, damaged or delayed property must be reported to United Airlines® within 24 hours and a written claim made within 45 days giving a full description and value of the missing property. If your baggage has been misplaced, United makes all reasonable efforts to return your checked baggage within 24 hours to the United States. If you do not receive your baggage after three days, a baggage tracking / complaint form should be sent to you to file a written complaint.

– Interim purchases

If you need to make provisional purchases, please ask a baggage representative for directions. If you are still traveling away from home, United may consider a refund of up to 50% of the essentials purchased, taking into account your ability to use the new items in the future.

Claim compensation from United Airlines

If your bag has been located and returned to you and you wish to request reimbursement of related expenses, or your bag has been missing for more than 3 days and you wish to file a claim, please send your request in writing to Central Baggage Services Office at the address below. They are responsible for reimbursement decisions in connection with delayed and lost baggage. Please include a copy of your ticket receipt, any claim checks, a copy of your delayed baggage report, and any itemized purchase receipts pertinent to your claim. If filing for a missing bag, please forward these items with your Baggage Tracing/claim form within the 45-day required time frame to the following address: United Airlines, Central Baggage Services – HDQLZ, P.O. Box 66140 Chicago, IL  60666-0140

Damage claims

Damage must be reported and resolved by the United Baggage Services office where the damage was discovered. If this is not possible, please direct your report and complaint to the airport staff at the location nearest to you within 24 hours. The airline needs a copy of your ticket and the claim check and will perform a visual inspection for any damage.

Limits of liability

United Airlines’ domestic liability in cases of loss, damaged, or delayed baggage is limited to a maximum of $2,800 US dollars per ticketed passenger, unless the passenger elected to declare and pay for “excess valuation” at check-in. United’s international liability is $9.07 USD per pound, up to 70 pounds per bag, or a total of approximately $635 USD per checked item, not to exceed two bags per ticketed passenger.

United is not liable for damage to fragile items, spoilage of perishables, loss/damage/delay of money, jewelry, cameras, electronic/video/photographic equipment, computer equipment, heirlooms, antiques, artwork, silverware, precious metals, negotiable papers/securities, commercial effects, valuable papers, or other irreplaceable items and/or any item where a liability release was signed by the passenger.

Baggage Services/Lost & Found

To file a complaint, to file a complaint, you can do it online, or by phone by calling 800.2216.903

Babages lost: compensation is variable

If your baggage is lost or damaged, address the airline, without delay in the first case, and within seven days of discovery of the damage in the second, a written complaint. For the rest, the amount of your compensation depends on your situation …

Your flight depends on the Montreal or Warsaw convention. These two conventions set the rules for compensation in the event of bodily injury, flight delay and loss of baggage during an international flight. To find out which convention your trip is subject to, just check it on your plane ticket.

According to these two conventions, the airline is responsible for your baggage from check-in to return. In return, your compensation is limited to 26 euros per kilo of checked baggage, if your flight is subject to the Warsaw Convention, or 1640 euros, if it is subject to that of Montreal.

Lost or damaged baggage: can United refuse the reimbursement package?

You have the right to refuse the reimbursement package and to claim an amount calculated on your actual damage if you can prove that the company committed an “inexcusable” fault (eg: your luggage was left unattended at the airport after their registration).

In general, the courts judge these requests favorably. First, send an out-of-court complaint to the company. If this fails, go to court.

These provisions only apply to your baggage transported in the hold of the aircraft.

You are responsible for the baggage that you keep in the cabin, unless the damage occurs during the flight (fall from the baggage compartment for example) or, again, if the company has committed an inexcusable fault. In this case, the compensation is capped at 480$ if your flight falls under the Warsaw Convention or € 1600 if the Montreal Convention applies.

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