Baggage delivered late or lost, how to get compensation?

Who I am
Pau Monfort

Author and references

As long as you have checked baggage, the carrier is responsible if you cannot find your baggage on arrival. This liability governed by the Montreal Convention is applicable in the event of lost, stolen or damaged baggage.

What is the Montreal convention?

The Montreal Convention is an international convention that governs the liability of airlines for damage caused to passengers, baggage and cargo during international travel.

The United Kingdom having ratified the Montreal Convention, the amount of your compensation for your lost or damaged luggage can be up to approximately € 1, on presentation of supporting documents (invoices, proof of purchase).

This compensation is not fixed, it is a ceiling. The company's compensation may be less than this amount.


How do I report missing baggage at the airport?

Report it immediately to the baggage service of your airline company to complete a document called "Poperty Irregularity Report" (PIR) or "Observation of baggage irregularity".

After submitting your declaration, a file number will be given to you and will be kept in order to be able to follow the progress of the search for your baggage.

Otherwise, you can file a complaint with the airline within 21 days. This complaint can be made either in writing (by registered mail with acknowledgment of receipt) or online on the company's website.


If you have incurred the costs of basic necessities (purchase of hygiene products or clothing for example) due to the absence of your baggage, you are entitled to request reimbursement of these costs. For this, from the date of effective receipt of the baggage, you have 21 days to request a refund by completing an online complaint form on the airline's website.


Damaged luggage, how to get compensation?

If your baggage is damaged, immediately fill out a “baggage damage report” at the airport with the baggage service. Otherwise, make a written declaration to the airline no later than 7 days from the return of the baggage.


Online forms for declaring lost or damaged baggage

  • Air France
  • British Airways
  • EasyJet
  • Ryanair

What recourse if the airline refuses to compensate you?

If your approach to the company is not successful within two months, contact the General Directorate of Civil Aviation (DGAC), either

  • By mail

DGAC Air Transport Directorate
Passenger rights mission
Air passenger office (MDP / P2)
50, rue Henry Farman
FR-75720 Paris Cedex 15

  • On the website of the DGAC

You can also contact the FNAUT (National Federation of Transport User Associations), an approved association of consumers which advises and defends users of all modes of transport and represents them with public authorities and transport companies.

Thus, the FNAUT will be able to support your complaint and will be the interface between you and the company. Note that a complaint supported by a consumer association has more weight with an airline.

Hotline on 0 892 700 332 (€ 0,40 / min)
Monday to Friday 9:30 a.m. to 13 p.m. / 00:14 p.m. to 30 p.m.
or by email, by completing this online form

In the event of absence of compensation, the passenger always has the possibility of taking legal action against the company. The action can be taken within 2 years from the day of arrival of the flight. The passenger must apply to the court of the seat of the carrier or the place where the company has an establishment.


What are the compensation for bank card insurance?

With Visa and Mastercard: you are not covered.

With Visa Premier and Gold Mastercard cards: you are covered up to € 800 to € 850 per piece of baggage (with an excess of € 70 applied to the total amount of damage) and this only if the baggage was placed under the responsibility of a common carrier.

With the "Platinum" Mastercard, the limit is € 3200 per year

With Amex cards: you are covered up to € 150 (green card) to € 800 (platinum card) for delayed luggage. In addition, if on your outbound flight, your luggage has not arrived at your destination airport within 6 hours of your arrival, you will be compensated for the purchases of basic necessities (clothes and toiletries) made within the following 4 days. your arrival up to € 250 per insured person and € 1 per family and per event.


What supporting documents to send?

  • Photocopy of plane ticket, receipt of baggage check-in
  • Photocopy of bills for basic necessities (if necessary)


Model letter to report loss or damage to luggage

If you are making a statement in writing, remember to send your letter to the airline by registered mail with acknowledgment of receipt.

Madame, Monsieur,

I, the undersigned [Name & first name], have traveled on [date] on board your airline [company name], on flight no [x] from [departure airport] and to [arrival airport].

Despite arriving at [arrival airport] on time, my checked baggage [was lost / damaged].

To be specified if necessary

The loss of my luggage resulted in the purchase of [toiletries / clothes etc.] Despite this, the airline refused to compensate me.

Therefore, I ask you to indemnify me, in accordance with the [Warsaw Convention / Montreal Convention].

Please find attached an invoice for basic necessities.

Please believe, Madam, Sir, in my sincere greetings.



My advice

  • If you believe that the real value of your goods is higher than the maximum compensation foreseen of 1295 euros, make a special declaration of interest. You will certainly be charged an additional tax but the company will be required to pay up to the amount declared in the event of damage.

  • Upon receipt of your baggage at the airport, inspect it to make sure that it has not suffered any damage and, if necessary, can file a claim immediately. This will prevent the company from claiming that the damage occurred when the baggage was in your possession.

  • Keep all the supporting documents for your flight (tickets, boarding pass, baggage receipt)

  • Ask the company indicating the nature of the problem (loss, damage to luggage).

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