Lost luggage

Updated: 8/23/2016

If your luggage is lost during a flight, you may be entitled to compensation.

If the airline acknowledges that your luggage is lost, or if the checked luggage has not arrived within 21 days from the day on which it ought to have arrived, you are entitled to compensation for what your luggage was worth.

We strongly advise you to present your claim as soon as possible. 

The airline's liability is limited to 1131 SDRs (special drawing rights) per passenger. The current value is available on the Swedish Riksbank's website – see the link next to this article. 

Expensive items

If your luggage is worth more than 1 131 SDR, you should notify the airline when checking in your luggage. By making a so-called "special declaration ", you can get a higher compensation if your luggage is lost. The compensation amount is in that the case the one that you notified to the airline. The company is entitled to collect a fee from you when you make a "special declaration ". You can never get higher compensation than the value of your luggage.


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 they disappear. 

Check your insurance

You can possibly be entitled to compensation for your lost 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, ie 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.

Force majeure policy is often mentioned in different contexts. It can prevent you from claiming compensation even though the insurance applies.


Checklist: If your luggage is lost

  • 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 the airline acknowledges that your luggage is lost, or if the checked baggage has not arrived within 21 days of the date on which it ought to have arrived, you can send a complaint to the airline (if you were flying on a regular flight) or to the tour operator (if the flight was a part of a holiday package). Remember to enclose copies of all the receipts for the items contained in the luggage.
  • You ought to send your complaint as soon as possible but no later than 7 days after the luggage is found to be missing.
  • 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, se the link next to this article.