Your rights if your luggage is delayed, lost or damaged on a flight
The airline is responsible if your luggage has been lost, delayed or damaged during a flight. An overview of your options and rights, and assistance to lodge a complaint if your claim for compensation is rejected, is presented below.
Once the airline has received your luggage at check-in at the airport prior to departure, it is the airline’s responsibility if your luggage is delayed, damaged or lost.
You must report delayed luggage immediately
If your luggage has not arrived with you at your travel destination, you must contact your airline or its handling agent in the airport arrival area as soon as possible and complete a Property Irregularity Report (PIR).
The PIR confirms that you have not received your luggage on time, and documents the delay if it becomes necessary to claim compensation from the airline. The airline or handling agent will also be able to guide you on your rights, deadlines and tracking of your luggage.
The quicker you report delayed luggage, the sooner the airline can initiate tracking.
If you have purchased a package tour and your luggage is delayed during the trip, you should also report the delay to your tour operator as soon as possible.
Report damaged luggage within seven days
You can also claim compensation if your luggage is damaged. You must report the damage to the airline or its handling agent as soon as possible, and within seven days of receiving the damaged luggage. If possible, contact your airline or its handling agent in the airport arrival area upon arrival and fill out a Property Irregularity Report (PIR).
Compensation for delayed luggage on outbound trip
If the airline cannot deliver your luggage to you on arrival at your destination, you may be missing items like underwear, swimwear or toiletries. You are therefore entitled to buy essential items that you are missing and have these purchases reimbursed by the airline. You must keep your receipts.
If your luggage is delayed on the return trip
If there are problems with the handling of your luggage on arrival in your home country, you should also contact your airline or its handling agent in the airport arrival area and fill in a Property Irregularity Report (PIR).
You have the right to be reimbursed for any necessities purchased. However, these purchases must always be reasonable in relation to how long the luggage is delayed. Note that the airline will assume you have most necessities at home. Contact the airline and your insurance company to find out what they will consider to be necessities and reimburse.
If your luggage is delayed for more than 21 days, it is considered to be lost and you are entitled to compensation.
You have 21 days to claim compensation
If you buy underwear, toiletries etc. while waiting for your delayed luggage to reach your outbound destination, you have 21 days to claim compensation for your expenses for these items. The deadline applies from the date you receive the delayed luggage.
The maximum compensation you can receive in the event of delayed, damaged or lost luggage is EUR 1,300 (approx. DKK 10,000). You must attach your receipts and other relevant documentation.
Compensation for lost luggage
In some cases, the airline may never find your delayed luggage. If you do not receive your delayed luggage within 21 days of reporting the delay, the luggage will be considered lost.
You will then be entitled to compensation for the value of the luggage, up to EUR 1,300 (approx. DKK 10,000). The compensation amount will depend on an assessment of your specific loss and include any purchases of underwear, toiletries etc. that you needed on the trip.
You must lodge a complaint in writing to the airline to claim compensation if you have not yet received your delayed luggage after 21 days. You cannot expect the airline to contact you.
Your insurance company can also help you
If you have travel insurance, home contents insurance or a separate insurance (e.g. via your credit card), you should also contact your insurance company, as they may compensate you for the damaged or lost belongings.
The insurance may also cover the costs of purchasing necessities while waiting for your delayed luggage at your outbound destination. You must use the PIR when reporting your claim to the insurance company.
If you have had problems with your luggage, you can enter your details in our calculator at flyregler.dk for clear information about your rights.
Get help with your luggage complaint
You can lodge a complaint with European Consumer Centre Denmark if you cannot find a solution with the airline for your lost, damaged or delayed luggage.
Tips if your luggage is delayed, lost or damaged
- Ask for a PIR from the airline or its handling agent immediately if your luggage is damaged or delayed
- Do not make expensive replacement purchases – you cannot be sure of getting the full amount reimbursed
- Keep receipts for your expenses
- Find out if your travel and/or home contents insurance provides cover
- Observe the deadlines for compensation claims.
Before you travel, consider these tips:
- It is a good idea to store your car keys, prescription medication, tablet and PC in your hand luggage
- If you want to ensure you are adequately covered for luggage damage, you can purchase a higher compensation limit from the airline (at check-in or before).