Fanny explains: your right to compensation in the event of delayed, lost or damaged luggage


Fanny is a legal advisor at ECC Sweden, and she is used to answering questions regarding flight travel. In the fourth and last article in our series "Fanny explains", she answers questions regarding your right to compensation in the event of delayed, lost or damaged luggage.

Bild av Konsument Europas juridiska rådgivare Fanny.

Hello Fanny! As an air passenger, what should I do if I realise that my luggage is lost or has been damaged during the flight?

- You should report this immediately to baggage claim at the airport. Make sure you fill out a PIR (Property Irregularity Report). Save all documentation. If the luggage has been damaged, it is good to photograph it.

What do I do if I have to wait a long time for my delayed luggage: does the airline compensate me for purchased clothes, toilet requisites etc.?

- If you have supplementary costs due to the fact that your luggage has been delayed, you may have the right to compensation of those costs. But you have to remember to limit your costs and only buy things that are necessary, and not unreasonably expensive. The airline does not have to compensate you if it can prove that it has taken all reasonable measures to avoid the damages, or that it has been impossible to take such measures.

What happens if I never get my luggage back?

- If the luggage has not arrived within 21 days, you have the right to compensation in accordance with the value of the luggage. Same rules apply if the airline admits that the luggage is lost.

How do I seek compensation? What do I have to submit and where do I do it?

- File a complaint in writing, where you explain that you would like compensation and why, and send the complaint to the airline, preferably by letter or e-mail. In case of delayed luggage, you have to file the complaint within 21 days from the day you get your luggage back. If the luggage has been damaged, however, you must file a complaint as soon as you have discovered the damage, and 7 days, at the latest, from the day you have got your luggage back. Submit all copies of all your documentation; ticket, luggage receipt, Property Irregularity Report, receipts and photos. You should also save a copy of your complaint, in order to be able to prove that you have filed a complaint.

What do I do if I do not get a reply, or if I am not happy with the reply?

- Then, you can contact ECC Sweden.  We can assist you in case the airline is based in another EU-country, Norway or Iceland.

More information

Read more about your rights in the articles damaged luggage, lost luggage or delayed luggage.