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TheLawLDN, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 183
Experience:  Expert
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I have travelled without my luggage due to the known issues

Customer Question

I have travelled without my luggage due to the known issues at Heathrow airport. I am left without clothes, medication and my computer's accessories for 48h already. Can I claim compensation for this?
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Living in London, travelled to Greece
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: Declared the missing lunge with athens ground handling and contacted them via email, no answer yet. I do not think the problem is in Greece. The luggage is piled at Heathrow, unlikely they are going to ship a suitcase without the passenger, especially if it has not been scanned in security
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: No, I have already spent extra money in clothing I did not need. I am very frustrated by the lack of updates.
Submitted: 11 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  TheLawLDN replied 11 days ago.

Hello, I'm an adviser with JA and I will try to help you.

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Expert:  TheLawLDN replied 11 days ago.

Hello, can you clarify when did you travel and what is the airline?

Expert:  TheLawLDN replied 11 days ago.
In the lack of the clarifications requested, I will provide you with some general information on mishandled/lost luggage (based on the assumption it is checked-in luggage).

It should be noted that many airlines have, in their T&Cs, a clause stating that, whenever possible, checked-in luggage will be carried on the same plane as the passenger, unless the airline decides to carry it on an alternative flight for safety, security or operational reasons (for example, if they have reached maximum take-off weight allowance). If the checked-in luggage is carried on a subsequent flight, it will be delivered to the passenger, unless any applicable law requires for the passenger to be present to go through customs.

If the luggage does not show up at the airport of arrival, the passenger must inform the luggage handling desk at such airport, providing the receipt for the checked-in baggage, so that they may open a Property Irregularity Report (PIR), which normally enables the airline to trace the misplaced luggage and have it returned to the passenger free of charge.

If the luggage is delivered in delay and it is damaged, a claim for damaged luggage must be submitted and the deadline for that is usually 7 days.

Luggage is considered lost if it remains unaccounted for for 21 days from the date of arrival, and again a claim must be filed - for lost luggage - within 7 days.

In application of the relevant Convention and European Union Council Regulation (this is normally mentioned in the airline's T&Cs, which should be checked), the airline shall be liable only for recoverable compensatory damages for proven losses and costs in accordance with the Convention.

Airlines generally do not accept liability for any stress, inconvenience or further problems resulting from the mishandling of baggage.

Also, pursuant to Article 22 of the Convention, airlines may reject liability for damage occasioned by a delay of the checked baggage if they can prove that they or their servants and agents took all measures that could reasonably be required to avoid such damage or that it was impossible for them to take such measures.

If you made disbursements directly linked with the displacement of your luggage, and you have the receipts, you may claim compensation, within the liability of the airline (which is limited under the international conventions: T&Cs to be checked), if these disbursements are a direct consequence of your luggage not being available and this can be proven.

However, given that the misplacement of the luggage may - as you say - be a consequence of the disruption of the services at Heathrow airport, you should be prepared to the airline challenging your claim saying that the delay was not their fault and I think it would be advisable that you complain also to the airport.

I hope this information is helpful and I wish you the best.

Please do not hesitate to contact JA again if you need help and you may ask to speak with me directly if you wish.