Luggage damage

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Luggage damage

There is nothing more annoying than when your luggage goes missing. What options are there in this situation? Someone who often travels with aeroplane, must have experienced already that annoying and helpless situation when ones luggage doesn’t arrive after landing. It often also happens, that the luggage arrives in a worse state than it was before check-in. What can one do in this situation? Who is responsible for the damage? Who can you contact for help? In case of a lost or damaged luggage unfortunately we can not help you directly. However below we will explain in detail your options and what you need to do.

Missing luggage

It often happens that checked-in luggages go missing. Sometimes it takes days for the luggage to turn up. In the worst case it is lost for good. In this case you should go to the Lost and Found Counter immediately. With the help of the luggage tag you will find out very quickly where the luggage is exactly. Good news is that more than 80% of the lost luggages are really just delayed and not lost forever. The percentage of the stolen or lost for good luggages are very little, only 3.3%. So if your luggage hasn’t arrived at the same time as you, there is a good chance that it will turn up later. It is especially true in the case of connecting flights, where the chance of your luggage getting lost is even bigger. It is slightly more difficult to find the luggage, if the luggage tag has fallen of it and that’s the reason why it gets lost. In this case they try to retrieve the luggage based on its content. It is a great help, if you put your name and address inside your luggage. Like that you can avoid your luggage being lost for good. There is a new option with which the passenger can track his or hers own luggage online. This makes the search easier and reduces the worry of the passenger. The World Tracer is central database, where all luggages are registered with a reference number and their main attributes. This does not mean that you should start looking for your luggage on your own. Do not forget to report it to the Lost and Found Counter. It is important to know that the responsibility for the lost luggage is always the airline who you travelled last with. This is very important for a connecting flight.

Damaged luggage

It is not rare, that when a luggage arrives, it is not in the same state as it was before check in. What can you do in this case? If you luggage turns up broken, open or force opened, the first thing you should do is to check if anything is missing. After this you should go to the Lost and Found Counter. You should explain what happened to you luggage and wait till all the documents get filled out. In case only your luggage got damaged, you need to take it to a luggage repair shop, where it either gets mended or you get a new luggage. If this happens on your way back to Budapest, the best place to take you luggage is Javitohaz Bt. Their address is: 1082 Budapest, Harminckettesek Tere 6/A. Make sure you take all the paperwork that you received at the airport with you. If the damage did not happen on your homeward journey, you will definitely need a new suitcase. Make sure you keep the receipt as you will need this when you claim compensation.

Abroad without your luggage

The delayed arrival of you luggage is not only annoying, but it also puts you in an awkward position. It is a very unpleasant situation to be standing at an airport abroad at the beginning of a holiday or a business trip without a spare toothbrush. This can overshadow a joyful holiday. In this situation you need to buy the most necessary things. A few clothing items and hygiene products. It is important to keep all the receipts as all these costs will be reimbursed by the airline. The compensation amount varies of course from airline to airline. There are airlines who reimburse for the expenses and there are others who pay a daily rate for the luggage delay. The compensation may vary according to your ticket type, based on which class you were travelling on. Your luggage insurance can play a big part in the reimbursement of your costs as well. Before you start going on a shopping frenzy based on your lost luggage, bare in mind that the airlines usually only pay up to a certain amount. Do not panic even if you can not afford to buy the most necessary items. Most airlines will give you a certain amount straight away, so you can buy a few basic clothing items and toiletries. The big advantage of having a luggage insurance is that it provides a similar immediate help in case your luggage goes missing. Of course you have to report your lost luggage immediately to your insurer as well.

Compensation for lost or damaged luggage

The case of damaged or lost luggage is governed by the Montreal Convention of air transportation, which entails the responsibilities associated with air transportation. The Montreal Convention sets out the responsibility of the airlines and the means of compensation, which is binding on all EU Member States. In the Montreal Convention the limit amounts of compensations are given in SDR (Special Drawing Rights), that can be followed up through the International Monetary Fund. 1 SDR is roughly 1.3 EUR. According to the Convention the airlines are only responsible for lost or damaged luggage, if the luggage was damaged or lost onboard or during a period when the airline was responsible for it. So if your luggage gets damaged, because you pulled it against the stairs at the airport, you can not claim compensation. The state of your luggage can be a reason to reject your claim. If the damage occurred by your own fault - for example a bottle got broken in your luggage, that damaged the content of your baggage, that is not the airline’s liability- you can not claim compensation. A delayed luggage is considered lost if the airline can not find it within 21 days. In this case you are entitled for compensation. According to the Montreal Convention the compensation amount for lost or damaged baggage can be maximum 1131 SDR. This is roughly 1470 EUR. The compensation amount can be higher if the passenger has made, at the time when the checked baggage was handed over to the carrier, a special declaration of interest in delivery at destination and has paid a supplementary sum. It is very important to report the lost or damaged luggage to the airline. In case you left the airport by the time you realised the damage, you have 7 days to write a written claim to the airline, otherwise you loose your right to claim compensation. In a case of delayed baggage, you have 21 days to hand in your written claim. However, as mentioned before, it is worth reporting it at the airport at the Lost and Found Counter. A baggage is declared lost by the airline after 21 days, that’s when compensation can be claimed. However if you have done your claim earlier, than you cant miss the deadline. In Hungary the delayed baggage cases fall under consumer protection law. In case you are unsuccessful with your claim by the airline and you need further help, you should turn to the County District Office. We hope that we were able to point you ink the right direction with regards to lost and damaged baggage.

 
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