There are few greater inconveniences for travelers than something happening to their luggage, especially if the airline isn’t all that helpful.
Now, the airlines most reported for baggage problems have been revealed in an investigation by financial comparison firm Forbes Advisor.
Ryanair passengers have made the most complaints about lost, stolen or damaged baggage, research shows, with British Airways and EasyJet coming in second and third.
Many This is Money readers have already told us about their baggage woes, including bags being sent on 12,400-mile trips and luggage being destroyed while the airline refuses to help.
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Budget airline Ryanair received nearly 1,000 luggage-related complaints between 2018 and the third quarter of 2022, according to Forbes Advisor.
And British Airways, the UK’s largest airline, turned out to be the second worst for baggage complaints, with 844 over the past five years.
The figures do not take into account the number of passengers carried by each airline.
The findings analyzed complaint figures from the airline regulator, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).
Although the total number of baggage complaints per passenger is low, filing a complaint with the CAA is the last step a traveler can take if their airline does not help them.
Is your airline refusing to help you with your lost or damaged luggage? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Three low-cost airlines, EasyJet, Wizz Air and Norwegian, round out the top five.
Kevin Pratt, Forbes Advisor travel insurance expert, said: “While the number of complaints is relatively small relative to the thousands of flights these companies operate, we must remember that each one will have been a source of significant inconvenience. for the traveler in question enough to escalate their complaint to the Civil Aviation Authority.
|Classification||Airline||Number of complaints|
|Source: Civil Aviation Authority complaint figures for flights via UK airports|
A Ryanair spokesperson said: ‘Ryanair operates more than 3,200 daily flights to more than 230 destinations and leads the industry with the fewest lost bags – one mishandled bag for every nearly 10,000 passengers. Any claim to the contrary is false, including this Forbes study that does not take into account the volume of passengers carried by each airline.”
A British Airways spokesperson said: “Every day we pride ourselves on getting thousands of bags safely and quickly to their final destination, with the vast majority arriving on time.
“When bags are delayed, our teams do everything they can to reunite customers with their belongings, looking at various methods of transportation to get it done as quickly as possible. We also help with essentials while clients wait for their bags to arrive.’
An easyJet spokesperson said: “Between 2018 and 2022, the period covered by the study, easyJet carried around 322 million customers and their baggage in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.
“As the figures confirm, incidents of delayed baggage are extremely low and reports from World Tracer, the industry’s independent baggage tracking system, show that easyJet has one of the best results in the industry.”
Your rights if your baggage is damaged, lost or delayed
Airlines are responsible for their losses when checked baggage is lost, delayed or damaged, according to the Civil Aviation Authority. However, there are no rules that set the amount of compensation you should receive.
Also, airlines may not cover the full cost of replacing your items if something happens to your luggage. This means that taking out travel insurance that covers loss or damage may be a safer bet.
Before you leave
Before you pack, check the airport or airline’s website to make sure you’re up to date with current security restrictions. This means you won’t be surprised when you go through security or customs.
Photograph and scan important documents like passports, travel insurance policies, and accommodation reservations, in case they get lost.
And take pictures of valuable items like jewelry, as this can be helpful if you need to make a claim.
Do not put valuables such as money, insurance documents and other important items in your checked baggage; you must place these items in your carry-on baggage.
Remember to label your luggage with your name and contact information.
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If you are concerned about security and are not satisfied with the inclusion of personal information such as your address, you should at least include your full name and mobile phone number so that we can contact you.
Remove old airline tags from previous trips where your luggage was in the hold. Previous flight tags can cause confusion when routing baggage.
Make sure you’re covered
You should make sure you have adequate travel insurance. By law, airlines only have to cover a specific minimum amount for your luggage, so it’s important that your travel insurance covers loss, damage, or delay.
Otherwise, you could be stranded on vacation with just the clothes you wore on the flight.
Most policies will cover your personal belongings, but you should purchase separate or additional coverage for any items that are of high value.
If your luggage is lost or delayed
If you find that your luggage has been lost, the first thing you should do is inform the airline and request a Baggage Irregularity Report. Your bags are considered lost after 21 days, but fill out a PIR form right away.
Once you have completed the PIR, you must submit it to your travel insurance provider, who will speak with the airline to resolve your compensation for the lost items.
Unless you have made a ‘special declaration of interest in delivering your baggage’, the most an airline will pay you is £1,000.
However, many airlines have separate policies and you are unlikely to get anywhere near this amount.
If you need to claim compensation for damage, you must write to the airline within seven days of receiving your baggage. If your baggage has been delayed, you must write within 21 days of checking in your baggage.
If your bag is stolen, you should report the incident to the local police and obtain a crime reference number; you will need it when you file your insurance claim.
Be sure to save all receipts for items you purchase as a result of your lost luggage, as this will make the claim process easier.
If your claim is unsuccessful, you can go to the Civil Aviation Authority.
Pratt of Forbes Advisor said: “It’s easy to imagine the annoyance and frustration of having your bags lost or their contents damaged.” That’s why it pays to make sure everything is properly tagged and tagged before they disappear along the conveyor belt at check-in.
“And it’s also important, whenever possible, to carry valuables in your carry-on bag, especially if the items contain personal information that could be exploited if it fell into the wrong hands.”
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