Can I File a Lost Baggage Claim After I Leave the Airport?


If your luggage is lost or damaged, you can claim up to $1,200 for each lost item. In the US, you can claim up to $3,500 for each lost item.

If you lost or damaged your luggage due to an airline or airport error, there are some simple steps you can take to claim compensation.

Can I File a Lost Baggage Claim After I Leave the Airport?

You can still file a lost baggage claim after you’ve left the airport. All you need to do is call the airline and give them your PIR tracking number. It is recommended to file a lost baggage claim at the airport as it will be easier, but you can always file a claim even after you’ve left the airport.

Related: How Do I Claim Compensation for Lost Luggage?

How To Claim Lost Baggage Compensation

First, you must immediately report the loss to the baggage kiosk and the airline. Then, submit a PIR to initiate the insurance process. After 21 days, your luggage will be marked lost, and you can get compensation from the airline. 

Go to the baggage kiosk

If your bag didn’t make it to the conveyor belt at the airport, don’t leave the building with the intention of calling the airline. Report it at the baggage kiosk.

It is also important that you inform the airline about your missing baggage before leaving the airport.

After submitting your complaint, the airport staff will send you an inquiry report or a personal injury report (PIR).

Submit the PIR (Property Irregularity Report)

You should make sure that all of the details are included in the form. This will help you track down the items that were lost and value them.

If the airline won’t give you the compensation at the time, then ask for funds to replace your essential items. There is no rules for set amount, so describe your situation and ask for a reasonable amount.

File a Claim for Compensation

If it has been more than 21 days since your luggage was last found, it will be labeled as lost. If your bag got lost, you can file a claim for compensation.

This procedure works by estimating the amount of damage caused by your lost bag and the list of items that it contained.

Most airlines have a policy that allows you to submit your claim up to 14 days after your flight.

What to Know Before you Leave the Airport

You must not leave the airport before contacting your airline’s customer support. Speak with a representative for guidance on the procedure and leave your contact information for updates. Be sure to inform the baggage kiosk about the loss too. 

Before you leave the airport, make sure to contact the airlines to get in touch with their customer service department. It will help them track down the details of your lost bag.

Which airline should I submit the claim with if I had a connecting flight?

Due to the complexity of international travel, many airlines have started transferring luggage from one aircraft to another. This method accounts for 48% of all delayed bags.

If your journey included a connection, then please contact the airlines that operated the last flight to your final destination.

How You Should Fill Out the PIR

You must report the loss at your arrival airport. The representative will give you the PIR form that you must fill out and make sure to leave your contact information. You should also keep the PIR reference number safe to follow up. 

Your contact information is also important to ensure that you get the compensation you deserve. You may be getting less compensation than you deserve if you lied about the value of your luggage.

How Much Compensation You Get As Your Essential Items

The airlines have no specific limits on the reimbursement amount they can give you for essential items. Typically, you can get between $1,800 to 3,500 on average for the essentials. The exact amount depends on the airline and the things that you lost. 

While waiting for your luggage to be returned, an airline must provide you with the funds to replace the essential items that were left behind. These include clothes and toiletries.

The amount that airlines are allowed to reimburse passengers for interim expenses is not specific. However, they can’t set an arbitrary daily amount.

The DOT has no specific amount that airlines are allowed to set aside for expenses, but they do state that they cannot provide an arbitrary daily amount.

What You Need to File a Compensation Claim

The baggage receipt you received when checking in your bag is essential for filing a claim. You will also require your PIR reference number for the reimbursement. Moreover, your boarding pass or online ticket will also be helpful for proof. 

If you don’t have receipts for the contents of your luggage, it may be worth less than its value. Your boarding pass or eticket, which you can use to prove you were on the flight.

The Property Irregularity Report is a document that travelers can use to prove that they filled out their bags before leaving the airport. This report shows the exact contents of their bags.

Bottom Line

If you’re not sure how to handle the whole process, just declare your luggage as delayed, fill out the paperwork and file a claim online.

Claiming compensation for lost luggage can be challenging, especially if you have a lengthy fight with the airlines. This is why it is important to set yourself up with the right steps in order to receive the compensation you deserve.

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