Know Your Rights For Lost, Delayed, Or Damaged Baggage Compensation In Australia

Baggage Issues- Compensation In Australia

Last updated on Oct 17th, 2023 by Renu Dahiya

Imagine you’ve just landed at the airport, you’re excited about your trip, and you head over to the baggage carousel to collect your luggage. But there’s a problem – your bag is nowhere to be seen. It’s very frustrating, right? If you ever find yourself in this unfortunate situation, don’t worry. Take a deep breath, have a sip of water, and let’s figure out what you can do next.

Here, we’ll walk you through the ins and outs of compensation for lost, delayed, or damaged baggage in Australia, making it easy to understand and ensuring you have the information you need to protect your travel experience. 

Your Rights When Your Baggage Is Lost 

  • Domestic Travel – You may be entitled to compensation under Australian law i.e. Civil Aviation (Carriers’ Liability) Act 1959 if you fly domestically. You could get up to $3,000 for checked bags and $300 for unchecked ones.
  • International Travel – Airlines are subject to two international treaties: the Warsaw Convention of 1929 and the Montreal Convention of 1999. The compensation you are eligible for depends on the specific airline.

– When the Montreal Convention is applicable, airlines can be held responsible for a maximum of approximately $1,735 per passenger, which is equivalent to 1,131 Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), an international currency established by the International Monetary Fund. This amount encompasses both checked and carry-on luggage. 

– In the case of international travel governed by the Warsaw Convention, airlines can be held liable for up to about $600 for your carry-on baggage and roughly $30 for each kilogram of your checked luggage.

Your Rights When Your Baggage Is Delayed 

Most airlines offer compensation for essential items you need to purchase when your luggage is delayed. If you are travelling away from your home, this coverage typically includes necessary toiletries, underwear, and laundry expenses. In the event of luggage delay upon your return home, airlines may consider your losses to be lower since you have access to clothing and essential items. Some airlines may also have a daily rate they will reimburse for each day your luggage is delayed.

Your Rights When Your Baggage Is Damaged 

In the event that your baggage sustains damage, it’s important to report it as soon as you arrive at the airport. Typically, airlines have a specialized baggage desk located in the baggage claims area for such incidents. You may be issued a Property Irregularity Report (PIR) at this point. Additionally, within seven days, you will need to submit a written claim to the airline. It’s worth noting that having a PIR does not guarantee that the airline will approve your claim. If your claim is accepted, the airline might cover the cost of repairing your damaged baggage or provide a replacement.

Note – If you need to file a claim for a lost or damaged bag after travelling on two or more different airlines during your journey, you can submit your claim to any of the airlines involved. However, it is usually the final airline in your itinerary that will process the claim, making it a good starting point for your claim process.

Filing A PIR (Property Irregularity Report)

  • Visit the airline’s baggage claim office. They’ll ask for information about your flight and a description of your bag. It’s a good idea to have the tag they gave you at check-in and to share details like your bag’s colour, brand, and any unique features.
  • Lodge the report at the airport before you leave, even if the airline says your bag is on the next flight. Sometimes things don’t go as planned, and airlines may have strict time limits for reporting lost bags. 
  • Keep a photo of the report you fill out. It will have a reference number that helps you track your bag’s status. 

Bonus tip: You might be eligible for immediate cash to cover essential items like toiletries, transportation, and accommodation. Airlines don’t always mention this, so don’t hesitate to ask when you file your report.

Consequential Losses

Airlines typically do not automatically accept liability for any losses you experience as a result of your delayed baggage, unless compelled to do so by a court decision. For instance, if you miss the commencement of a pre-booked cruise due to a 24-hour delay in receiving your luggage at the airport, the airline is unlikely to offer a refund as a matter of course. In such cases, if the airline declines compensation, you may need to initiate legal proceedings and seek additional compensation through a court order.

Is the airline responsible for delivering your luggage?

YES. It’s the airline’s job to track down and return your bag to you. If you’re flying internationally, this can be a bit complex, but you can often request delivery to your place of stay or the nearest airport.”

What’s the difference between delayed and lost luggage?

If your checked bag doesn’t show up when you do, it’s called ‘delayed’ luggage. For the first 21 days, they’re trying to find it. If they can’t, after those 21 days, it might be called ‘lost.’ But don’t worry, most of the time, it’s just delayed, not lost.

Suggested Read – Passenger Rights Regarding Compensation For Lost, Delayed Or Damaged Baggage In India

Official Statistics Related To Lost & Delayed Luggage

In a survey conducted in July 2023, it was found that nearly 1 in 3 Australians, which corresponds to approximately 3.5 million individuals, experienced some form of travel mishap during their overseas journeys in the past year. The study reveals that 14% of respondents had to contend with travel delays, while 8% reported the loss of personal belongings. 

That’s all for now! If you have any more questions or need further assistance, please feel free to drop your inquiries in the comments section below. We’ll get back to you promptly.

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Renu Dahiya    

About Renu Dahiya View All Posts

Renu Dahiya is a passionate writer who worships her profession. Her love for writing has encouraged her to pursue her career as a writer. Her friends call her a “travel worm” and always come to her to know some interesting traveling tips and destinations. Renu is a repository of knowledge about traveling who knows which place should be visited in which season. Oh yes, she is insanely in love with dancing too. Writer, traveler and dancer, a perfect combination! Without a doubt, she is a complete package.

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