Is your suitcase arriving at the end of the holiday?

Here is the least (and the most!) you can demand on from the airline

Experienced travelers know it well: every successful trip is about good arrangements (by  99%) and good luck (by 1%). Any lost, delayed, or damaged baggage would barely be the option for anyone to impatiently be looking forward to enjoying a holiday. Should any of these happen to you, do not panic and do not postpone to undertake the few steps which would really help you.   

What do you need to do at the airport

Is your suitcase missing or are you realizing it has been damaged?  You should fill in a special protocol in which you will have to describe the particular matter. In case your baggage is missing, you will need to be able to prove what was in and how much it cost.  Practice shows that one rarely tends to keep any bills proving items purchased years back. However, should you need to carry some sentimentally precious items, you should ideally be equipped with price proof or have it packed in your hand baggage. You may opt for ensuring items list is in place.  

Are you short of necessary items?

A consumer faced this inconvenience when landing on a ski trip in Switzerland when her baggage appeared missing. The suitcase emerged not to have been lost however the airline would have delivered it at the end of the trip. The lady has meanwhile reported the lost baggage protocol. She was advised that the bag would not be returned immediately and guided her to buy some necessary items on the account of the trader.

What consumers need to know is that they are indeed entitled to such a solution in this event. Expenses should however be reasonable.

The airline may consider such purchases as ungrounded in case they are made on the day of baggage recovery. The particular consumer found herself in such a dispute with the airline. She insistently stated that a large stake of her trip passed without her items whilst the airline declined to reimburse expenses made on the day the suitcase was brought back. The consumer contacted us. ECC Bulgaria worked on this case with ECC Austria who involved in tough negotiations with the trader. Two options were achieved for the consumer to choose from: either could she handle to the airline the items worth around EUR 1 500 or accept an extra amount to the compensation already provided, and keep the items.

She preferred the first option and she managed to send the items back to the airline amid a volume of administrative difficulties with the customs requiring ECC Austria involvement. The airline delivers on the commitment undertaken.

Lost or delayed luggage: when and how much?

We advise you to not waste any time. You should duly turn to the airport’s baggage claim office while still at the airport premises. You should fill in a complaint to the airline in 7 days. If your bag is  not identified within 21 days, another complaint needs to be filled in as the bag would be considered as“lost” beyond this deadline. Consumers are entitled to claim compensation pursuant to the Montreal Convention. The updated limit it provides is  1 288 SDR which is equal to around EUR  1 600. However, if some irregularity has been there about the suitcase prior to the flight, the airline would hold no responsibility. You may like to, as a matter of a good habit, check your bags prior to any journey. If you are set to take a flight and you detect some problem about the bag, you should claim a complaint before the trader you shopped it from.

What is meant by “necessary items”?  

Items of personal use including garments, toiletries and pieces of clothing are typically meant by this category.  You may be offered some reimbursement for part of this stuff or be provided with toiletries set in case your luggage is not there. What you need to mind is that conditions may vary with the different airlines.  

It would be proper to consult the airline representative prior to making those kind of expenses in case you are unable to find any relevant information on the carrier’s web site and make sure all relevant bills are kept.  

If you aren’t particularly sure what your consumer’s rights are in a particular event and are a Bulgarian resident, feel free to reach our prompt consultancy.  If you are already in a dispute with an airline registered in another EU country, Iceland or Norway and are unable to solve it on your own, fill in a complaint. We will undertake the negotiations with the trader professionally, fees-free, for purpose of exploring a mutually acceptable development.

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