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LOST (or possibly delayed) Luggage

posts: 14
reviews: 88
LOST (or possibly delayed) Luggage

On March 12th SAS sent our checked in (in Birmingham) luggage on the flight after ours from Copenhagen to Oslo-no explanation, no apology, but it did at least eventually arrive.And they knew where it was. As we were staying at an airport hotel it was no big deal and we shrugged it off-we travel a lot and this has never happened to either of us before.

We got back to Birmingham last night-one of our (2) checked- in bags did not. They don't know where it is , which I find slightly worrying,not least because airlines are supposedly so hot on security. I realise it won't be classed as 'lost' until after 21 days . And as we are now home this may seem relatively unimportant and I appreciate it could be worse. But the said bag contains all our thermal underwear, a fleece( all especially purchased for the holiday) and 8 heavy- duty cotton shirts belonging to my husband, as well as thick sweaters, trousers etc . Given the present freezing weather in the UK, we could do with these items . Would I be justified in asking the airline for fairly immediate partial compensation ? Even if it does eventually turn up-and there have been two flights from Copenhagen today so I'm not hopeful- am I entitled to some redress for the delay in such circumstances?

We do have good travel insurance, with only a £35 excess, which would compensate us to the full value (approximately £1500 including the case itself, which is new and expensive). Should I just forget the airline and go straight to them?

Out of curiosity does anyone know what happens if they compensate you and the case turns up? There are a couple of items which have some sentimental, if not monetary, value which I cannot replace and would really like back (a mirrored compact and an engraved hip flask containing whiskey, neither of which I could put in my hand luggage-I'm just glad our walking boots were in there)

I would add that the said case while large and black does have a bright pink strap around it with our name on it, plus address labels inside and out... I did my best to make it identifiable

Edited: 8:37 pm, March 21, 2013
Destination Expert
for Bangkok, Air Travel, Thailand
posts: 13,895
reviews: 71
1. Re: LOST (or possibly delayed) Luggage


You can of course *ask* for anything, but largely most carriers will only approve what is required under their Contract of Carriage term, applicable international convention or regulations..

Naturally, they can do more if they like, you don't have.a lot of leverage to demand such. I'd take a read thru your carriers CoC and see what regulations your travel falls under.

Baggage issues is one of a few aspects of travel that is really well covered and defined by either CoC, international conve took or regional regulations.. For the most part, its very objective in terms and application.

As to what IF your bags is classes as lost; you're paid for it, THEN later on its found.. When you "settle" with the carrier what you are really doing is selling or transferring your ownership of this lost item, from you to the airline...

In many cases the airline requires you to sign paperwork, many call it a Liability Discharge and Release form or similar.. Contained in that release is language that says once you accept their payment, that ends their liability to and that they also own the lost property and retains all rights to it.

So, IF its found it will probably be the property of the carrier- not you.

Some will return it to you gratis.. I've heard uncornfirmed reports of carriers offering to sell it back to you at some percentage of your previously settlement amount.. But largely unless there is a regulation that covers your travel, once a carrier settles with you, and you sign for and accept their payment, the bag no longer belongs to you and therefore they are free to do with it as they please.

A rough equivalent would be a stolen car.. On e your insurance carrier pays you for your loss- whatever they deem that to be- you don't then ALSO get to keep the car if its later found, its the insurance carriers car now.t

Travel Safe,

Chicago, Illinois
posts: 6,366
reviews: 75
2. Re: LOST (or possibly delayed) Luggage

You can ask the airline. It never hurts. They may just say wait 21 days and then make a claim.

With your travel insurance, you probably will have to read the terms and conditions to see if it has to be lost for a certain amount of time before they'll consider it lost. Also, a lot of travel insurance compensates you for delayed bags as well as lost bags. Check your policy details.

With your sentimental items, I'm sure you realize this, but you should never put anything in a checked bag that you care about seeing again. All airlines lose bags. It's part of traveling. If you had items that could not be replaced and could not go in your hand baggage, it's safer to ship them. Airlines do not track luggage like a shipping company tracks packages. It's actually pretty easy for an airline to lose a bag. All it takes is for the luggage tag to fall off.

posts: 7,084
reviews: 24
3. Re: LOST (or possibly delayed) Luggage

We are frequent Travellers....always check luggage..and frequently have bags go astray.

The time that the bag/s have been delayed has ranged from a few hours...to the longest being 5 days.

At that point you're thinking it is definitely gone ...not to be found......only for it to thankfully show up.

Following this incident of the bag going AWOL for 5 days...we have packed totally differently. At the time this bag contained all of my Spouse's clothing...with very little to wear in the carry-on. We now mix clothing for each of us in both bags so if one does not appear, we both have some options.The carry-ons also have an assortment of clothing choices for us both. I never place anything in the checked bag that I couldn't bear to lose.

Our credit card that pays for the Airline tickets has a Luggage delay Coverage. If the bag is delayed by longer than 6 hours, we are automatically compensated $500.....Bills for replaced items submitted. Check your credit card coverages.

posts: 42,170
reviews: 88
4. Re: LOST (or possibly delayed) Luggage

We got back to Birmingham last night-one of our (2) checked- in bags did not. They don't know where it is , which I find slightly worrying,not least because airlines are supposedly so hot on security.


Hold luggage is scanned. So not knowing where it is, isn't a security issue.

Worthing, United...
posts: 5,222
reviews: 11
5. Re: LOST (or possibly delayed) Luggage


Perhaps security is to do with theft rather than explosives or drugs.


posts: 14
reviews: 88
6. Re: LOST (or possibly delayed) Luggage

Yes but if it still has its electronic label on they should be able to find it?

posts: 14
reviews: 88
7. Re: LOST (or possibly delayed) Luggage

I'm having trouble finding their CoC online-I suspect they deliberately make it hard to find! What I really want to know is the max. they will pay in compensation

posts: 14
reviews: 88
8. Re: LOST (or possibly delayed) Luggage

Yes I usually 'mix' clothing too. On this occasion we took only one large case and , as we were coming home, I put walking boots,overtrousers and a couple of other heavy items into what I travelled out with as hand luggage and checked it in also.Fortunately that was the one that turned up!

Thanks for the tip re Credit Card Will check it out

posts: 14
reviews: 88
9. Re: LOST (or possibly delayed) Luggage

I'm not desperately upset just mildly regretful. Agree would never put anything of huge value sentimentalor otherwise in checked baggage

posts: 14
reviews: 88
10. Re: LOST (or possibly delayed) Luggage

PS we've obviously been very lucky-in the last year we have travelled all over New Z with stop offs at Sydney and Bangkok and covered much of North India. Prior to that tour of New England and New York Plus over the years many many 'trips' to Europe . All without mishap.It was too good to last!

Edited: 9:03 am, March 22, 2013