British Airways Baggage Claim and compensation for lost or mishandled luggage

British Airways reported record profits in 2007 but they also broke another record: losing my baggage on the same route twice. British Airways has the poorest record of lost, damaged or mishandled baggages among 24 European airlines.

The Air Transport Users Council published in 2007 that British Airways mishandles the baggage of 23 passengers in 1,000. In other words, the chances are that at least 5 passengers in an average plane will have their baggage mishandled by BA!

Not only the loss or damage is unsettling: wasting time queueing to claim your baggage, waiting to have the baggage delivered for days, calling an indetermined number of time to get updates about the baggage, buying basic items that were left in the baggage, etc. The liability for baggage delay is limited to approximately EUR1,000 or £800 (1,000 SDRs) upon the Montreal Convention.

The liabilities notice of British Airways do not specify which are the criteria to claim and to reimburse compensation for mishandled luggage and their only available information is deliberately blurred, since they are not legally obliged to do so. Neither they specify for how long you can claim compensation after they mishandled the luggage. You might be able to claim back for more than one year from the day of the incident but please check the specific terms and conditions at the time of the purchase of your bookings.

British Airways site has an online lost baggage claim form which it not followed by a confirmation of the submission by email or with a letter. I keep a template for my claims and it works, so you may just print it or save for your next flight. I hope that you don’t need it:


[Date]
[Name]
[First line address]
[Town]
[Postcode]
British Airways
Baggage Claims Unit (S506)
PO Box 5619
Sudbury
Suffolk
CO10 2PG
RE: Lost baggage claim File Reference:
Dear Sir or Madam,
I am writing to you in connection with the above claim of [date].
This is my formal request for you to send me a cheque with compensation for every day without my baggage and for the expenses I incurred in due to your loss of my baggage to a total of [Euro/GBP]. I attach copies of the invoices for items such as toiletries, underware, , etc.
The flight code was from the airport . The baggage was delivered two days later at an address in . I refer to the form I filled on for further details.
I look forward to receiving the compensation that I am entitled to within the next 10 working days
Yours faithfully,
Name

You may download the template of Lost baggage claim.

It British Airways lost or delayed your baggage, not let 21 days pass and claim all the expenses you incurred in. Don’t expect an explanation of the incident and far less an apology frin British Airways, but to claim your cheque!

17 comments for “British Airways Baggage Claim and compensation for lost or mishandled luggage

  1. Simon C
    4 May 2009 at 12:12 am

    There is a US law company who are filing a class action lawsuit against BA on behalf of US customers citing “Reckless Handling”. If proven, it will remove the limit of liability, and prove to be very expensive for BA.

  2. Neil Pande
    25 September 2009 at 4:17 am

    We have had the exact same scenario. It has been almost 3 months since we filed a claim but there is nothing concrete. We were trav elling as a family of 3 to the US for a holiday and got our luggage only after 14 days. It did come to our Boston address after 5 days, but we had left for LA by then. Inconvenience, we did understand, but this delay is driving us crazy.

  3. jadzia lewicki
    30 January 2010 at 12:26 pm

    If your luggage was lost for a few days but then delivered you should consider yourselves very lucky. Mine was lost on a trip from Rome to Vancouver on September 22, 2009, and to-date January 30, 2010, still no sign of it and no refund or compensation, from British Airways, for all my best clothes and gifts purchased in Rome. Has anyone out there had better luck with B.A.?

  4. 10 February 2010 at 3:17 am

    I am interested in your correspondent’s blog…Simon C 4 May 2009 referring to a class action lawsuit against BA for US passengers alleging “reckless handling”. my client lost the benefit of a 16 day “trip of a lifetime” in Feb 09 travelling business class with BA when BA lost her luggage on the Sydney -London leg where she was connecting to a Munich flight. She had to cancel some business and turn up to other meetings in the clothes she wore out of Sydney Summer. Luggage turned as she was about to leave on London flight bound for Vancouver.Flight delays and a squalid overnight hotel stay with starvation level food voucher, followed with indifference and discourtesy from BA staff regardless of Biz class tickets. On delayed arrival in Vancouver, no luggage again!!! Her on-flight to a Rockies ski resort meant she had to depend on Vancouver to find her luggage. It turned up 9 days later, the night before she was due to return to Vancouver. In the meantime all she had to wear was what she wore or could borrow, because the ski resort did not carry much stock of clothes or substitutes for her packed requirements. It was a Au$ 24,000 disaster. Please do not publish this as a blog without consent of my client, as it may prejudice negotiations with BA.

    There is a line of authority in Australia based on the common law concept of “fundamental breach” of contract, which says that there are certain fundamentals in contract which can’t be disclaimed by exemption clauses. The fundamentals are “transfer me and my luggage safely from A to B”. Perhaps the US lawyers are looking at that. Trouble is getting around the international conventions (Warsaw, Montreal) which acknowledge liability for damage but circumscribe the payout.

    Can you put me in touch with Simon C so I can enquire whether he knows the name of the US Attorneys who are planning to commence a class action to which my client might be interested in participating?

  5. Rick Patino
    4 August 2010 at 7:02 am

    One of my bags were lost last week from PHX AZ to STR Germany. What a horrific ordeal! No one at BA gave a damn and the lack of Customer service was applaling. Plenty of Lip service just to shut me up! I just wanted to know if my bag was even checked in at PHX but they could not even call U.S. or give me access to thier supervisor..this really pissed me off! BA reps repeatly said they will call me back but not once did they.

    The bag contained ALL my wife’s shoes, custome taliored pants @ $300 and my favorite leather jacket.. so long my old friend.. One BA guy said to buy stuff and save the reciept but I wanted this in writting via e-mail but of course he was not allowed to send me this bit of wisdom.
    Beside we had zero time to shop or even where could we shop – we did not rent a car and the biggest Stat was to far?

    Luckly or unluckly the bag arrive on the last night prior to departure..minus my True Religion pants, UGH boots, and my old friend.. go figure.

    They did offer to upgrade us to 1st class but wait .. sorry it was full and so was Biz. Yet we seen open places once on board??!!??

    People please dont let them do this to us! I am going to file a claim at AZ small claims court and forget the BA claim forms with the +8week responce time.. of couse they have Lawyers galore but stay tune for Mein Kampf
    RICK 480 284-1600

  6. elisabeth jensen
    14 June 2011 at 3:21 pm

    Ba lost my bagage over 6 weeks ago, they dont answer at all and i send them all my original tickets. i am chocked i dont know what to do. how ca n this be possible??? IN SWEDEN THE LANDVETTER AIRPORT RECOMENDED ME TO WRIGHT TO THEM IN GERMANY AND GIVE THEM A CLAIM ON MY LOSS, BUT THEY DONT ANSWER!! i AM GOING CRAZY..WHY DOESNT ANYBODY STOP THEM FROM DOING WHAT THEY DO FOR SO LONG?? DONT THEY HAVE RESPONEBILITY??? MOTHERFUCKERS, AND THIEFS ALL OF THEM. STEEL PEOPLES BAGAGE THATS WHAT THEY DO AND GETTING AAY WITH IT

  7. Lizzy
    14 September 2011 at 4:28 am

    Hi- I just read this earlier and not even sure if the website is around anymore.
    So Im from the UK and live in San Francisco with my husband and 2 children. We went back to the UK for 3 weeks and flew back last Monday 5th Sept 2011. After a ling flight with a 2 and 4 year old it was clear my baggage had not turned up:( Terminal 5 at Heathrow Airport ( London) phoned the next day to ask my name, address and was I missing luggage. After having such a sigh of relief my luggage had been found I was told it would fly out on 7th Sept and be delivered to my house. To cut a really long story short, amongst 2 trips to Dan Francisco Airport and many emails to London Heathrow, my suitcase is lost. My goodness what a horrible experience!! So it was lost, found and lost!! I’m devestated and silly me had, computer with everything on there, 2 pairs of new glasses my parents had brought me, camera, gifts, clothes…. I’m struggling and not sure what to do :( edit 21 days!! How could they loose it twice with tracking record?? Anyway sorry everyone else went through this. 7 others on my flight assail but they had them returned. Unlucky me. I think the lady who originally weighed the luggage forgot to tag my suitcase as we were busy going over paperwork as the person dho called me next day said the only way they found me was because of my own label. Hope this makes sence. On my iPhone….
    If anyone can give me any advice as I feel helpless and do upset and what a terrible experience I would be glad to gear from you:)
    Kind Regards
    Lizzy

  8. bernard doraiswamy
    29 September 2011 at 5:34 am

    IM STILL FACING ALOT OF PROBLEM WITH THIS BRITISH AIRWAYS I HVE TRAVELLED FROM LONDON HEATHROW AIRPORT TO MUMBAI AIRPORT (INDIA) FROM THE FLIGHT BA 199 N I HAD A BAGGAGE MISSING SO I PUT A COMPLAINT FOR MY MISSING BAGGAGE N EVERYDAY WHEN I CALL TO KNOW THE STATUS OF MY MISSING BAGGAGE THE ONLY ANSWER I GET THE BAG IS STILL UNDER TRACING N NOW ITS GOING ON N ON TILL IT WAS 21 DAYS THEN THEY TOLD ME TO PUT A CLAIM FOR UR COMPENSATION N WHEN I DID SO I HAVE NOT RECEIVED ANY FEED BACK FROM THEM I THINK THE BRITISH AIRWAYS STAFF FROM THE MANAGERS LEVEL TILL THE GROUND STAFF ALL ARE HAVING A GOOD TIME WITH MY BAG PROBABLY THEY HAVE SHARED ALL MY GOODS AMONG THEMSELVES AND NOW THEY ARE MAKING EXCUSES OF THEY CANT TRACE A BAG . I THINK EVERY TIME THEY DO THE SAME THING TO ALL THE PASSENGERS WHICH IS REALY A SHAME TO HOPELESS COMPANY LIKE BRITISH AIRWAYS

  9. caroline ginel
    12 November 2011 at 12:58 pm

    BA lost my bag 1 year an one month ago bow, after spending so much time on the phone to only reach stupid answer machines, and send email that don’t seem to arrive, i finally got something today, an email telling me they will only pay half of what i am claiming, and they refuse to pay for my medications they lost and i had to replace (not the easiest thing to replace!) anyway i will keep on fighting until i get more than half what i am due, good luck to everyone, keep on fighting sometimes it’s worth it!

  10. Pixy
    6 January 2012 at 11:32 pm

    BA is the worst airline on international route,still can’t find my suitcase since october2011, and all I get is ‘it happens’ they delayed our flight out of NiGeria and as a result we missed our connecting flight to LA, put us up in a small hotel and had us re-check our baggage in the next morning b4 flying, on getting to LA I couldn’t find one of my bags, after reporting It was seen on the system as one of the bags not checked in, and asked to give a few days for it to be delivered,till date it hasn’t been found…and they expect you to provide receipts for everything you claim was in…question-who shops for gifts and personal clothings and keep the receipts ‘incase they go missing’ ???? And they never ever pick the number the provide when you call, lost all my most expensive shoes and shirts, not to ,mention money(which of course I can’t claim) that will be the last they see me flying with them!

  11. dave wilson
    29 September 2012 at 1:40 am

    ba lost my bag between heathrow and lax on sept 17th .must have been an unannounced airdrop over the arctic sea…ba response has been zero…waste some computer time,fill out the form and dont expect any help…ceo’s e-mail address is keith.x.williams@ba.com…he must be proud of his company!

  12. Sam
    26 October 2012 at 3:40 am

    on 22nd Aug, 2012 BA lost my 1 bag and after a lot of emails today (Oct 25th) I got an email that they will be only reimbursing me $860…although I lost and claimed much more….But I did not have any receipt of stuff so they say this is what we can offer….But why would I carry bills along!!!! Any comment what can I do??
    PS: BA sucks…

  13. Kwame nkrumah
    2 November 2012 at 10:49 am

    I kindly request the great lawyers in the world to come together and sue BA, a sum that would bring the company down. In my candid opinion the institution is filled with a bunch of thieves and armed robbers.

  14. Carolyn
    12 January 2013 at 2:57 am

    My bag got delayed on a BA flight from Edinburgh to Boston (via) Heathrow on December 16. Apparently, it didn’t make it on the plane from London to Boston because the layover was so short. I got my bag the next day, free of hassle, only to discover that my $300 leather purse was missing from my suitcase. After calling and email customer relations asking for reimbursement, I got an automated reply saying they would get to me shortly. This was all on December 18. Today (January 11), I finally got a semblance of a human reply that went on and on about their luggage tracking system and how sorry they were that it didn’t work for me. Then, this: “I would be glad to contribute towards the cost of your purse. The fastest and most secure way to settle your claim is by bank transfer to an American account. Please provide the following information so I can set up your bank transfer: Bank name, Branch name, Routing number (9 digits). Account number (1-20 digits).”

    So this seems extremely strange to me. I have absolutely no desire to provide my bank account info, for a vague “contribution” toward the cost of my purse, via email after receiving a strangely worded email. This unspecific contribution could be $10 for all I know. So I call BA and get a snippy response telling me that the email is legitimate and that there is no other way to be reimbursed, but I am extremely leery about giving them my bank info.

    Has anyone else had this type of issue with them? What a hassle!

  15. Carolyn
    5 February 2013 at 3:47 am

    New development in my case! I contacted BA and told them I was not comfortable giving my bank account information (see above comment), and just got a reply telling me to expect a check for 300 USD in the mail in a few weeks. This is almost too good to be true. We’ll see if this pans out – hopefully I’ll be getting a check soon.

  16. Grace
    19 February 2013 at 9:21 pm

    Lost our bag 23/12/12 . Filled in a claim form after 21 days and nobody from BA has bothered to send mail . Their local offices are just clerical offices its o disgusting!They are so disappointing and it looks like they don’t care a hoot abou their passengers. I wish someone would acutually sue them….

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