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:
[First line address]
Baggage Claims Unit (S506)
PO Box 5619
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
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!