Passenger Rights: Damaged and Lost Luggage
What happens if my luggage was damaged or got lost on a train, bus or air journey?
One thing needs to be said: in general, you yourself are responsible of your luggage. This means that all valuables should be kept in hand luggage and that you should keep an eye on larger suitcases if possible. Also, if something gets lost, you might be asked to prove the exact value of your belongings, which can be tricky. If you want to be on the safe side, we recommend taking a photo and keeping the receipts. However, if you can also prove that it was the respective transport company’s fault that your bag went missing or that something was damaged, you might be entitled to a compensation. Read on to find out what exactly happens, if your travel luggage goes missing.
Bus Passenger Rights: Damaged and Lost Luggage
Since the UK is exempt from the European regulations regarding bus passenger rights, it can be rather tricky for customers to claim compensation. We highly recommend checking the individual coach companies’ Conditions of Carriage if you’re unsure. At National Express, for example, you can get a refund of up to £500 for lost or damaged luggage but only if you can prove that it was caused by the provider’s negligence. In general, all UK coach companies recommend getting travel insurance for your luggage and to put any valuables in your hand luggage.
Train Passenger Rights: Damaged and Lost Luggage
Your rights with regards to lost and damaged luggage are set down in the National Rail Conditions of Travel. In general, you are responsible for keeping your luggage safe which includes keeping all your valuables close to you. However, should it be the train company’s fault that your luggage was lost or damaged, you can claim compensation. In this case (and if it can actually be proven that it was not your own fault), the maximum liability of the train company is £1,500 per passenger.
Air Passenger Rights: Damaged and Lost Luggage
Everything to do with luggage on a plane journey is defined by the Montreal Convention. The maximum you’ll get when your luggage is damaged or lost is 1,131 SDR in a normal case. If you can prove that your luggage was willfully destroyed, then you can claim even more. It does not matter if the respective airline was responsible for the damage or not, except for if it was caused by some kind of special feature of your luggage, such as sharp studs etc.
Hint: You have to put forward your claim within seven days. If the suitcase or bag in question was handed to you later than expected, the time limit is 21 days.