Delayed luggage

Updated: 8/23/2016

If your luggage is delayed, it may incur additional costs for you, such as purchase of clothes or other items which are necessary while you wait for your luggage.

You can be entitled to compensation for these additional expenses. But bear in mind that you should keep the expenses to a minimum. 

The airline does not have to pay damages to you if it has done all that could reasonably be required to avoid your luggage is delayed or if it was impossible for the company to take such action. 

If the airline has conditions that forbid you to pack specific items in the checked luggage, such as valuable documents, keys, business documents, electronic devices and valuables, you cannot expect to receive compensation if you, nevertheless, pack such items and the luggage is delayed. 

Check your insurance 

You can possibly be entitled to compensation for your delayed luggage through the travel protection contained in your home insurance or through your travel insurance. Check with your insurance company. 

You can also have an extra travel insurance if you have paid with debit/credit cards. According to many insurance contracts, compensation for delay are paid out as a lump sum, i.e. you get a certain amount for a number of hours of delay and there is often a maximum amount per person and one single amount for the whole family. 

Flat-rate compensation can be paid out from several companies. If you have subscribed multiple travel insurances, for example through your home insurance and your debit card, you can submit a claim to both companies.

Checklist: If your luggage is delayed

  • Report directly at the airport the fact that your luggage has not arrived. Make sure that you fill in a PIR (Property Irregularity Report) together with an airline representative.
  • If you have suffered additional costs (so called covering purchases) because you have been forced to wait for your luggage, you can make a written claim to the airline (if you were flying with a regular flight) or to the tour operator (if the flight was part of a holiday package). You have an obligation to limit the costs to a reasonable amount. Remember to attach copies of all the receipts. Send a complaint within 21 days after you have received your delayed luggage.
  • If you have not received your delayed luggage within 21 days, the luggage will considered lost. Find out more about your rights in the article "Lost luggage ", see link next to this article.
  • If you do not get any answer from the foreign airline/the foreign tour operator or you get an answer you are not satisfied with, you can contact the European Consumer Centre.