Step 1 - Immediate Inspection
As soon as you retrieve your bag from the baggage carousel or upon receiving it from the airline, inspect it thoroughly for any visible damage. Check for signs of broken locks, torn fabric, damaged zippers, or any other noticeable issues. It is crucial to identify and document the damage immediately to strengthen your claim as in most cases it’s not the luggage brand who is responsible for the damage but the airline or luggage handling company.
Step 2 - Take photos
Travel experts advise that travelers should always take pictures of their bags and its contents to show the initial travel state in case you have to lodge a complaint against the airline.
Step 3 - Report the Damage
It is advisable to take your damaged baggage to baggage services immediately, though in some cases we know you will only notice dents, dings and cracks once you get home. In these cases you often have seven days to lodge a complaint with the baggage services department of your airline. '
Step 4 - Explore Compensation OptionsDifferent airlines have varying policies regarding baggage damage. Some may offer repair services or reimburse you for the cost of repair, while others may provide compensation for the loss of value or offer a replacement bag. In terms of compensation, airlines are limited to a max liability, meaning that for checked and unchecked bags, there is a maximum level of compensation you will be able to claim. For example, SAS’ liability is limited to 1,288 SDR (Special Drawing Rights = a currency exchange rate that may vary). Familiarize yourself with the specific compensation options available to you and negotiate accordingly.
Step 5 - Contact Your Travel Insurance ProviderIf you have travel insurance that covers baggage damage, notify your insurance provider about the incident. Provide them with the necessary documentation, including the damage report and photographs, to initiate the claims process. Follow their instructions and provide any additional information they require.