You've checked in your bags and are now relaxing on board, getting excited for your holiday to start. Little do you know that only meters away, your luggage is being transferred from the terminal to the plane.
How many times have you looked out the window to watch baggage handlers load or unload aircraft? Probably a good thing that you don't see how your bags get treated, as it would give anyone cause for a heart attack. Those horror videos are indeed true so it's probably a good idea to know what to do and how to deal with a situation where baggage handlers have damaged your luggage.
Happy snaps: Before checking in your luggage, put your boarding pass on or next to your suitcase/bag with the handle up and take a few photos from different angles (including all wheels). When you get to your destination, quickly check over your bag again. If you find any damage take some more photos and then head straight to the airline you flew with and take it up with them before you leave the airport. You have photo evidence for what it looked like before and what it looks like after so there can be no confusion. Make the airline pay for your damaged case as it was done in transit. Attach any and all photo's of your case with any emails you send to the airline.
I'm insured: Travel insurance is always a good idea no matter where you are flying to, but in the instances of damaged luggage it really isn't feasible to claim through travel insurance, as the excess you pay is most of the time more than what the bag is worth. If the airline says you need to go through your insurance, nicely inform them that it isn't your fault that the bag is damaged and you refuse to claim through insurance. Be firm but not overly nasty or aggressive.
I'm still away though: What happens when your'e away and notice that something isn't working or has been damaged? This is a little trickier as you have left the airport and the airline can decline your requests for compensation. If you are able to get around with the bag in the state it is in, then do so and email the airline to explain what you are going through. The same goes if you need to buy a new case/bag. Email the airline and explain the inconvenience to you. They may or may not want to reimburse you but it's worth a shot.
Same, same but different: If and when the airline does reimburse you for your damaged case or bag you may not get back exactly what you had. Sometimes the airline will give you a bag of similar size, weight and capacity but it may be a completely different brand. Other times they will reimburse you a cash amount but it is totally up to the airline which way they will go. Emails are a great way to request which option you find more convenient but again, it's up to the airline.
Remember if it was in good condition before check-in, then you shouldn't have to pay for airline damage. Good luck....
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