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What are my rights if my registered luggage got lost, damaged or delayed?

For the train

If your registered luggage is lost or damaged during your trip, you have a right to compensation, unless it was inadequately packed, unfit for transport or had a special nature.

The compensation amount can go up to 1300 euros per piece of registered luggage – if you can prove the value of its contents. It can go up to 330 euros per piece if you can’t prove the value.

For boat travel

You can submit a claim for compensation for any loss or damage during an accident at sea to a court in the country:

  • where the carrier has its main place of business or permanent residence, or
  • where your place of departure or destination is, or
  • where you permanently live – if the carrier has a place of business there and is subject to that country’s jurisdiction, or
  • where the travel contract was concluded – if the carrier has a place of business there and is subject to that country’s jurisdiction.

If your luggage is lost or damaged, you must inform the carrier in writing. You should ideally do this either by the time you leave the ship or by the time the luggage is eventually delivered. At the very latest, you must inform the carrier within 15 days of disembarkation or delivery, otherwise, you will lose your right to compensation.

For the bus

In case of an accident, you also have a right to compensation from the bus company if your luggage or other belongings are lost or damaged in a bus accident on a long-distance journey.

For planes

If you want to file a complaint for lost or damaged luggage, you should do it in writing to the airline within 7 days, or within 21 days of receiving your luggage if it was delayed. There is no standard EU-wide form.

  • If your checked-in luggage is lost, damaged or delayed, the airline is liable, and you’re entitled to compensation up to an amount of approximately EUR 1 220.
    However, if the damage was caused by an  inherent defect in the baggage itself, you’re not entitled to any compensation.
  • If your hand luggage is damaged the airline is liable if it was responsible for the damage.

Travel insurance

If you’re travelling with expensive items, you may, for a fee, request a higher compensation limit (in excess of EUR 1 220). To do this, you should make an advance declaration to the airline at the latest when you check in. However, to ensure you have sufficient coverage, it’s advisable to take out private travel insurance.

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