Last updated on December 15th, 2014 at 01:58 pm

Sometimes, luggage for some reason or another never arrives at its intended destination, or if it does, it might turn up damaged, or with some of its contents missing, or even destroyed. These situations (in addition to grievances arising from delayed flights) are covered by the Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules for International Carriage, known as the Montreal Convention.

Under this Convention, the airline is liable for damages. The Convention sets out a maximum limit on the airline’s liability of 1,000 Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) per passenger in the case of luggage delays and it sets out time limits on making claims for compensation. Please follow this link in order to obtain the latest accurate value of  1 SDR in euros: 

Lost , damaged or delayed luggage

  • In the case of damaged luggage, the person entitled to delivery must complain IN WRITING  to the carrier as soon as possible after the discovery of the damage, and, at the latest, within seven days from the date of receipt (in the case of checked baggage) and fourteen days from the date of receipt in the case of cargo.
  • In the case of delayed luggage, the complaint must be made at the latest within twenty-one days, IN WRITING  from the date on which the baggage or cargo have been placed at his or her disposal. If you need to buy essential items such as toiletries and clothes  while  waiting for  your luggage to be retrieved,  it is very important  that you retain all receipts of your  purchases in order to claim the expenses you have incurred.

Important : the carrier shall not be liable for damage caused by such delay if it  proves that it and its servants and agents took all measures that could reasonably be required to avoid the damage or that it was impossible for it or them to take such measures

  • In the case of lost luggage, if your checked luggage has not arrived within 21 days after your notice, or the carrier itself has admitted that your luggage was lost, you are entitled to compensation of the value of the luggage. You must put forward your complaint within 7 days after the baggage has been declared lost.

What to do in case your luggage does not reach its destination:

  • It is important to compile a Property Irregularity Report (PIR) at the airport, at the baggage claims desk. It is important to keep a keep a copy of the PIR.
  • It is always important to keep your boarding passes and the luggage receipts that you were given at check in.
  • Make sure that you have contact details of the luggage department where you can contact until you wait for your luggage. There may also be the possibility to check the status of your luaage through an online tracer system.
  • Retain all the receipts of any purchases made in order to claim the expenses you have incurred, as a result of the delay.