Claiming for Damaged Baggage

It doesn’t happen often but when it does it’s a pain in the ass. This happened to me on recent flights between Bangkok and Belfast. To complicate things my claim for damaged baggage had two connecting flights taking in two different carriers. The two airline carriers were Jet Airways and British Midlands (BMI) and the route was Bangkok (BKK) – Mumbai (BOM) – London (LHR) – Belfast (BHD).

My Experience at Belfast City Airport

I was travelling light with a small rucksack. When arriving at Belfast City Airport I find the bag in shreds, contents soaked in water and sealed in a plastic bag. I bring it to Airport Baggage Reception and make a complaint. The lady from BMI says it was likely caught on a conveyor belt. Security laughed saying it looks more likely to have been ran over by a truck. Either way it was totalled. The baggage reception will provide a Damage Report Document (as below). Extremely important. As my bag was in tatters they provided me with a replacement at the airport.

Who is responsible with multiple carriers?

I left Bangkok with Jet Airways and arrived in Belfast with BMI all under the same ticket. From the sealed bag we knew the damage happened between Bangkok and Mumbai. Jet Airways were the carrier that destroyed my bag. However, responsibility for damage is on the final carrier – in this case, BMI. I make a claim through BMI’s authorized insurance agents (Luggage Loss Adjusters).

How to claim for Damaged Luggage?

You need a completed Claim Form (downloadable), the Damage Report (from airport arrival) and Item Receipts (for all damaged items). The most time-consuming task was tracking down receipts. I make most purchases online so quick email searches were enough. For receipts that I couldn’t find I googled replacement costs. For less known items e.g. Vietnamese Weasel Coffee, I was forced to leave out.

The Claim

From arriving at the airport it took less than one week to receive a cheque in the mail. Claims are quick. Here is the response which came with:

What they don’t cover?

Airlines don’t cover fragile or valuable items damaged in checked baggage (camera as above). For these items you will need to make a further claim through personal travel insurance. You will need proof of items not covered by the airline.

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