My boyfriend and I went on holiday two months ago to San Francisco with British Airways and when we arrived, our luggage was lost.
We were initially told by a BA staff member in the US that it would cover the cost of items we needed to buy.
As we were on a 10-day road trip including camping in the mountains and a change in temperatures of between zero and thirty, we needed to buy a number of things.
We’d saved a long time for the holiday and the cost of buying everything again, along with a new suitcase, really added up so we are significantly out of pocket.
Mia and her boyfriend Sam flew to San Francisco with BA but their luggage was lost on the way
Since we arrived home it’s been nearly impossible to contact the airline and resolve the situation – we’re still without our belongings or any compensation.
I’ve spent hours on the phone trying to speak to someone and have been placed on hold repeatedly but nothing has been sorted.
I’ve submitted two complaint forms and two compensation forms but none of these has been responded to and every deadline we have been given by the airline has been missed.
Now BA has said it won’t cover the cost of the things we had to buy because after the baggage was loaded onto the plane it was no longer BA’s responsibility.
We had travel insurance to cover the cost of the things we had to buy but as BA told us it would cover these costs we’re unsure now where to go to, especially as in order to make an insurance claim we need a letter from BA stating that it lost the items, which we have requested but not received, Mia Briggs, via email.
Rebecca Goodman, of This is Money, replies: Losing luggage at the start of your holiday is a nightmarish scenario and can be costly too, as in your situation.
Your bags were lost on the flight out to California and you had to buy all the items you needed again, including new cases.
While this is annoying, it does happen and in situations like this you should be able to claim either through the airline or on your travel insurance for anything you paid for.
However, in your case BA seems to have made the situation even more frustrating as you have been given so many mixed messages.
You were told it would reimburse you for the items you had to replace, but now you’re back in the UK you have been told this isn’t the case.
On top of that, you aren’t able to make an insurance claim because the airline hasn’t given you the evidence you need to do this.
We approached BA and asked it to look into what had happened in your situation.
Shortly after we had been in contact you were called by BA and it said it would compensate you for the money you had to spend on the replacement items.
A BA spokesperson added: ‘Every day we take great pride in carrying thousands of bags safely and speedily to their final destination where the vast majority arrive on time.
‘We operate hundreds of flights every day, and it’s very rare for a bag to be lost.
‘We appreciate how frustrating this experience has been for our customer, and have been in contact with them to apologise and resolve this matter.’
The Civil Aviation Authority says you can claim for a maximum of £1,000 from an airline but it would be rare to receive that much
Rebecca adds: While it’s good you will receive the money back, this only happened after we had approached the airline.
For two months you were left not knowing what would happen and it doesn’t seem like you would have had a satisfactory response without us getting involved.
Usually in cases where luggage is lost the customer can claim on their travel insurance for anything they need to replace.
If checked-in luggage is delayed, lost or damaged you may be able to claim for compensation from the airline.
There are no rules to say how much compensation should be paid, and the amount depends on the value of what you have lost.
The Civil Aviation Authority says it can be up to a maximum of £1,000 but it would be rare to receive that much.
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It says most airlines will reimburse you for the bare essentials, such as toiletries or laundry costs, and some have a daily rate which they will pay out.
In order to make a claim you need to report the fact your luggage has been lost, delayed or damaged as soon as possible.
You should be given a report by the airline staff detailing what has happened and then you can claim to the airline in writing.
This needs to be done within seven days for lost, stolen or damaged baggage and you will need to provide evidence that the items are worth the amount you are claiming for, such as with receipts.
Airlines won’t allow a new for old replacement – which most insurers will do – and instead will look at the value of the item at the time it was lost.
Therefore claiming on your insurance may be a better option. With travel insurance you have a set limit you can claim for, you should be able to do so on a ‘new for old’ basis, and the process should be quicker.
However, it’s always worth checking the excess you need to pay.
If the excess is worth more than the items you are claiming for, trying to get compensation from the airline will be a better option.
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