87% of Travelers Don’t Claim Airline Compensation for Lost Luggage
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
These days, airlines seem to always be finding new and creative methods to nickel-and-dime passengers. However, it turns out that one of the many significant ways that air travelers lose money is actually completely preventable – they just don’t know about it.
Case and point: a new survey by passenger rights group AirHelp that found 87% of travelers don’t claim airline compensation for lost luggage, and 90% of passengers don’t know the full extent of their airline rights. That adds up to a whopping $6 billion in compensation left unclaimed globally by passengers each year.
The study, conducted in February 2018 through SurveyMonkey, asked 2,000 participants involved were all over 18 years old and lived in the United States. The survey further found that 31% didn’t know about their rights period, and 29% didn’t know how to file a claim with an airline carrier.
Henrik Zillmer, CEO of AirHelp, believes that it is the airline’s responsibility to inform passengers of their rights. “Many U.S. travelers are unaware of their rights under the Montreal Convention, which was ratified by more than 120 countries,” says Zillmer. “It protects passengers when their luggage is delayed, damaged or lost while in the care of the airlines.”
The Montreal Convention is an agreement that was installed to protect passengers rights to compensation. Drafted in 1999, the convention states that airlines are liable for lost baggage up to 1,131 Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), which is equivalent to about $1,525. And that’s not even including the US Code of Federal Regulations, which set the limit for compensation for lost baggage at no less than $3,500. Meaning that passengers entitled to compensation in the thousands are not getting what they are owed, hence the $6 billion left in the ether.
With airlines raising bag fees frequently (and bags returning damaged, late, or even shredded and burnt to a crisp), it’s time now more than ever to know your rights as an air traveler. Last August, AirHelp held the first “Passenger Rights Awareness Month,” however plenty of people are still in the dark.
If your bag gets lost or damaged at the airport, don’t sweat it. We’ve compiled a guide of what you should do to earn proper compensation.
Featured image by Thomas Barwick via Getty Images.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
WELCOME OFFER: 60,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,200
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- 2X points on dining at restaurants including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.