Passengers Still Not Compensated For Lost Luggage
Montreal Convention has failed to make a difference
By TravelMole on 18 March 2009 in News
Airlines are still not compensating passengers properly for lost or delayed luggage, according to a report released today by the Air Transport Users Council.
The AUC says the Montreal Convention, which came into force in 2004, has failed to make a difference to the way airlines compensate passengers.
“On the basis of over 2,000 written complaints to the AUC about baggage since 2004, the Montreal Convention appears not to have brought about the benefits to passengers that we had hoped for,” the AUC report concluded.
“This is because complaints to the AUC suggest that, even after the coming into force of the Montreal Convention, too many settlements from airlines continue to not meet the claim made by the passenger.”
It said airlines often act like insurers when dealing with baggage claims about lost or damaged bags.
“But we think this is inappropriate; airlines, unlike insurance companies, are responsible for the bag being mishandled,” it said.
“They should not expect passengers to keep receipts for all items in their bag as proof of ownership - this is not practical. And they need to remember that by taking account of depreciation they will not cover the costs to passengers of buying a new item as a replacement.
“With delayed baggage, we want airlines to commit to reimbursing passengers for reasonable (and practical) expenses for replacement items purchased whilst they are without their bag.”
AUC chairman Tina Tietjen said: “According to the latest industry data, airlines mishandled 42 million bags worldwide in 2007 compared to 30 million in 2005.
“We know that a number of airlines have gone to great lengths to address their baggage handling performance. We commend these efforts. But airlines should also turn their attention to what happens when something goes wrong and offer settlements that better reflect the loss to the passenger. Airlines are still too quick to load risk onto the passenger.”
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