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Can You Claim for Damaged Luggage with an Airline and What is the Procedure?

Can You Claim for Damaged Luggage with an Airline

While traveling by air, checked luggage or cabin belongings may undergo damage. A majority of air carriers provide baggage in the same condition as before. Occasionally, the bags may be broken or not be in their original condition. In such instances, claiming for damaged luggage as soon as possible is suggested. A claim can be made via offline and online modes. Once the claim is submitted, an airline will provide PIR i.e. Property Irregularity Report. After executing the procedure, the carrier will compensate or repair the flier’s items or bags.

Can I Claim for Damaged Luggage?

For any damaged luggage, flyers can make claims to the specific airline. This can be initiated prior to leaving the arrival airport. The officials here will provide a letter detailing the damage as well as a Property Irregularity Report (PIR). However, ensure that the luggage damage claim is submitted within 7 days of the occurrence of the issue. 

How Do I Claim for Damaged Luggage?

When a traveler’s luggage has been damaged due to an airline’s fault, she/he can file a claim online or offline. 

  • To make a claim online:
    • Use the official website of the specific airline or airport. 
    • Report damaged baggage by sending an email to the carrier.  
  • When you claim for damaged luggage offline, take into account the following methods:
    • Go to the airline’s counter at the arrival airport before leaving. 
    • In addition, one can make a call to the airline/airport.

How to Write a Letter to Claim for Damaged Luggage?

A passenger can write a letter to claim his/her damaged luggage with an airline. This letter is meant to be a guide and it is easily customizable to explain one’s particular circumstances. One can email this letter and if needed, send it by regular post. Also, ensure to save a copy for documentation or records. 

The steps below can guide one on how to write a letter to claim for damaged baggage. 

  • Initially, mention the subject i.e. “Damaged Baggage Claim”. 
  • Mention addresses in “To” and “From”. 
  • Then write a description of how, when, and where the bags were damaged. 
  • Enter the name and make a signature for proof. 
  • Further, attach certain documents, including:
    • Boarding pass
    • Copy of PIR form
    • Baggage label
    • Copy of payment receipt for baggage claim
    • Pictures of broken or damaged luggage 

How Much can You Claim for Damaged Luggage?

When damage occurs to a passenger’s bag while it is in an airline’s care during transit, it is responsible for compensation up to some amount. Based on exchange rates, one may be eligible for compensation up to £1000. Some air carriers may compensate for the loss by providing vouchers or coupons. 

It is to be noted that airlines are not responsible for paying compensation for bags that were already damaged or improperly packed at the time of travel. 

How to File a Claim with Delta for Damaged Luggage?

During a voyage, when a traveler’s bag has been damaged by Delta Air Lines, he or she should make a claim to its Baggage Office. At this office, any damages are assessed by its officials. Further, for the luggage damage claim, if a form is required to be filled out, the officials will provide instructions. 

For domestic travel, a flier needs to report a claim within 1 day or 24 hours. For international travel, the procedure should be completed within 7 days. 

What Responsibilities Do Airlines have in Case of Damaged Luggage? 

In case a flyer’s baggage sustains damage while it is in the airline’s custody during transit, it is liable for either repairing it or paying the expenses up to specific liability. However, when the damage to the suitcase has already occurred or has been brought on by incorrect packing, airlines will not be held liable. 

Also, note that in case airlines are responsible, they will bargain for the compensation figure for both the bag’s depreciation as well as its value when the damage is beyond repair. 

  • Airlines may disclaim for specific damaged items in luggage, including:
    • Cash 
    • Electronics
    • Fragile objects
    • Perishable products
    • Other valuables
  • Carriers are not obligated to provide coverage for normal wear and tear. 
  • However, carriers are liable for any damage to the:
    • Wheels, 
    • Straps, 
    • Handles, 
    • And, other parts of checked luggage 


Sometimes, due to the airline’s fault, one’s checked luggage can be damaged at the end of the trip. Remember to make claims as soon as possible to recover the cost of it. Otherwise, to avoid such circumstances, ensure that bags are properly packed and sturdy during the baggage handling procedures.

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