Millions of people fly every day, many without any hassles at all however, a growing number of travelers have experienced issues with lost, damaged or delayed baggage over the years. As air travelers, we have rights, the right to have a seat that we pay for, a right not to be discriminated against and the right to get reimbursed if our bags are lost or damaged.
In the latest Air Travel Consumer Report issued by the Office of Aviation Enforcement and Proceedings Aviation Consumer Protection Division, baggage complaints were the number 2 complaint from January to March 2015. With 738 total complaints during this time, it was second only to flight problems which totaled over 1,500 complaints which included cancellations, delays and misconnections.
So what are your rights?
In 2011, the airline industry underwent a number of changes to improve the serice and protections of those traveling by air. These changes included requiring refund any fee for carrying a bag if the bag is lost, compensating passengers for reasonable expenses for loss, damage or delay in the carriage of passenger baggage, full disclosure of all fees, doubling the compensation for bumped passengers and increased fined for tarmac delays.
With regard to baggage, these rights allow for a certain amount of adjustments to reimbursements for damaged or lost baggage to adjust for inflation. In 2013, the amount of liability was increased from $3,300 to $3,400. Part 254 further allows for updates for inflation in 2 more years, which is this year. The inflation rates have now been announced and the liability limit of airlines with regard to your luggage has once again been increased $100 bringing the limit to $3,500. A number of other rates which relate directly to your baggage and denied boarding compensation have also increased this year. To find out more about these rates, you can see them online here.
What do you do if your baggage is lost, damaged or delayed?
If you find problems with your luggage, it is important that you deal with it right away. If your luggage is lost, damaged or delayed, don’t leave the airport without talking to someone at your gate. They will be able to help you. For lost luggage, you will also need to fill out and submit a detailed report to the airline to claim your losses.
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