Dublin Airport: What are my rights if my luggage is lost or delayed? Can I get compensation?

Dante was the 13th-century Italian writer who so vividly described the nine circles of Hell. If he were alive today, I can imagine where he might get inspiration for a tenth.

While most passengers board their flights and don’t lose their bags, reports of baggage delays, backlogs (and a “baggage mountain” at Heathrow) have been widespread.

Passengers are understandably concerned, and some have taken to social media to vent… not just about late cases disrupting the start of the holiday, but about several additional circles of customer service hell.

So how can you avoid losing baggage while flying, and what are your rights and compensation if baggage is lost or delayed?

Before you go

The first thing to consider is not to check in any luggage at all.

I know this is easier said than done for families (we all argue about how best to pack outfits, groceries and beach towels like everyone else).

But airports, airlines and ground handlers are under such stress this summer, with backlogs and delays that can turn molehills into mountains, that it might be worth skipping this part of the system altogether – especially if you have connecting flights.

Carrying less baggage saves you money, and carry-on baggage allows you to avoid queues at baggage drop-off (Dublin Airport currently recommends allowing up to an extra hour if you need to check in or drop a bag).

Hand baggage or checked baggage?

If you’re traveling with hand luggage only, make a packing list and learn about safety protocols (specifically the 100ml rule for liquids, gels and pastes).

If you need to check a bag, take a picture of it, write down the label or ID number and make sure your name and contact details are attached (you can also leave a business card inside). Take a moment to remove remnants of ID tags (usually barcode stickers) from previous flights.

Many bags look the same, so consider adding a small item to make it easier to identify – for example, a colorful name tag or a piece of cloth (just make sure it’s neat so it doesn’t get caught in machines) .

As you pack, remember to keep all valuables, memorabilia, and essential medication in your carry-on, along with some basic layers and swimwear to get you going.

Some tech-savvy travelers use AirTags, which can be placed in a pocket, to track their location via Apple’s “Find My” network. Of course, while these can help you locate a lost bag, trackers won’t prevent it from being lost or delayed in the first place.

As a rule of thumb, anything that goes into the hold can be lost or delayed.

After your arrival

If your baggage does not show up on the carousel after a flight, report it to the airline and/or ground handler immediately by completing a Property Irregularity Report (PIR).

It is important to report lost or delayed baggage before leaving the airport.

A PIR describes your baggage and its contents, and provides a contact address (take a photo of the report for your records and remember to keep your boarding pass and baggage tags).

Many airlines have online tracking facilities and phone lines for baggage tracing (Ryanair: 01 812 1367 or here online; Air Lingus: 01 761 7838 or here online), but these can be busy at times.

Ryanair and Aer Lingus handle their own baggage in Dublin, but use third-party providers elsewhere. Other airlines use companies like Sky Handling or Swissport (contact details on Dublin Airport website). Lost baggage is the responsibility of the individual airlines, not the Dublin Airport operator, DAA.

Some airlines offer a daily flat rate for delayed baggage, so ask about it.

The Montreal Convention makes airlines liable for lost, delayed or damaged baggage, with compensation capped at 1,000 SDRs (approximately €1,270).

While you wait for your bag to show up, keep receipts for any essential items you need to purchase. Most luggage is delivered eventually (I’ve never had delayed luggage that didn’t show up), but luggage is considered lost after 21 days.

After that, you’ll enter another Dante-like circle of hell – by filing and negotiating compensation claims with the airline.

Customer service is under extreme pressure and exceptional circumstances (e.g. strikes) can give airlines room to make claims, so get travel insurance. Insurance for lost or delayed baggage usually comes with an excess, but making a claim can prove easier.

See eccireland.ie or thecai.ie for more.

https://www.independent.ie/life/travel/what-are-my-rights-if-my-baggage-is-lost-or-delayed-can-i-get-compensation-41817753.html Dublin Airport: What are my rights if my luggage is lost or delayed? Can I get compensation?

Fry Electronics Team

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