After a flight, the last thing you expect is to find your luggage broken when you reach baggage claim. Even though it can be frustrating, here are the steps to take if your luggage arrives damaged at the airport:
1. Report the damage immediately
Inform the airline's baggage service office about the damage before leaving the airport. This office is usually situated in the baggage claim area.
Head to the airline's service desk promptly to report the damaged bag. Immediate reporting increases the chance of the airline acknowledging and assuming responsibility for the issue.
Take pictures of the damaged luggage and its contents. These visuals will be valuable when filing a claim with the airline.
Provide flight information, baggage tag numbers, and a description of the damage.
2. Fill the Property Irregularity Report (PIR) form
Airlines often ask passengers to complete a Property Irregularity Report (PIR) to officially document the damage.
Ensure you provide accurate details about the damage in this report.
If you plan to seek compensation, submit a written claim to the airline within seven days of your travel, including a copy of the form.
3. Remember every detail about your bag and check your travel insurance
Offer an accurate description of your bag and its contents. Detail everything you packed and how it was packed. Consider taking pictures of your packed bag and its contents before travel.
If you have travel insurance, review the policy for coverage related to damaged or lost baggage. Notify your insurance provider promptly and follow their guidelines for filing a claim.
4. Repair, replacement, make your claims
Depending on the damage extent, decide between repairing or replacing the luggage. Some airlines offer compensation for repairs, while others provide replacements.
Typically, compensation comes as a cash payment, daily allowance, or reimbursement once your claim and receipts are submitted.
Information on Air India's website about 'Lost and Damaged Bag' can offer additional guidance:
Tip: If the airline is unresponsive or insufficient in addressing the issue, persist in follow-ups. Keep records of all communications and escalate the matter to higher levels of the airline's customer service, if necessary.