Responsibility for damages or consequential losses to passenger's belongings.
Luggage: Incidents with baggage
The airline is responsible for the damage caused in the case of destruction, loss or damage to checked-in baggage when the event that has caused the damage has occurred onboard the aircraft or whilst in the checked baggage is in the custody of the company.
However, the company shall not be responsible if the damage is due to the nature, defect or flaw in the baggage itself.
In the case of hand baggage, including personal objects, the company is responsible if the damage is its fault or that of its sales clerks or agents.
It is responsible for the damage caused by delay in baggage transport, unless it is proven that all measures reasonably necessary to avoid the damage were taken or said measures were impossible to take.
Acceptance of checked-in baggage without protest on the part of the passenger constitutes the presumption, unless proven otherwise, that the baggage has been handed over in good condition and in accordance with the transport document.
It is essential that in the event of any incident with checked-in baggage (destruction, loss, damage or delay), you immediately go to the desk of the airline or its handling agent (company providing ground assistance to airlines) to make the corresponding complaint at that time, completing the form called Property Irregularity Report (P.I.R.), which is a necessary requirement to establish that the incident occurred and for its processing by the airline.
If you have any difficulty in locating the company's desk, go to the information desk that Aena has in each airport, where the location will be provided to you or where you will be informed of the procedure to follow for making your claim.
Irrespective of whether you have completed the P.I.R. before leaving the airport, you still have the following time limits for presenting a claim:
- In the event of damage, the passenger must present a complaint to the carrier immediately after noticing the damage and, at the latest, within 7 days of receiving the checked-in baggage.
- In the case of delay, the complaint should be made no more than twenty-one days after the date on which the baggage was made available to the passenger.
All claims should be made in writing and be submitted or issued within said time limits.
If you receive no response from the company or if you are not satisfied with it, you can take legal proceedings within a period of two years from arrival of the aircraft or the day it should have arrived.
If you notice that an object in his luggage has been stolen, report a complaint as soon as possible in the police station.
Compensation limits for delay, destruction or loss of baggage depend on the international agreement signed by each country.
In accordance with European Community legislation, which incorporates the Montreal Convention, the carrier's liability for the delay, destruction, loss or damage to baggage is limited to 1,131 special drawing rights (SDR) per passenger.
These liability limits do not imply an automatic compensation of the maximum amount.
Passengers can choose a higher liability limit by making a special declaration for the value of their baggage no later than at check-in, and by paying a supplementary charge.
The Montreal Convention has been in force since 28 June 2004. It is applicable to companies making international flights between two points located in the territory of two signatory States or between two points located within one state with stopover in another State. The signatory States are: European Union member states, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Barbados, Belize, Benin, Botswana, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada, Colombia, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, Gambia, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Mexico, Namibia, Nigeria, New Zealand, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Syria, Tanzania, Romania, St Vincent and the Grenadines and Tonga (information May 2004).
The Special Drawing Right is a unit defined by the International Monetary Fund, whose value is the sum of certain quantities of different currencies: US dollar, euro, Japanese yen and pound sterling. You can check the current value in US dollar on the International Monetary Fund website (www.imf.org). The equivalent value in euro is on the website of the Bank of Spain (www.bde.es).
Special declaration of baggage value
If you think that the value of your baggage is over the maximum limit determined by the different international conventions regulating the responsibility of the airlines with respect to their passengers and baggage, you can "Declare-Insure" the value of the baggage with the company by paying an extra charge.
You can only do this if you arrive sufficiently in advance at the check-in desks to perform the corresponding checks and valuations.
The respònsability of airlines for baggage incidents is contained in two international treaties: the Warsaw Convention of 12 October 1929 and the Montreal Convention of 28 May 1999. And, in the context of the European Union, in the Regulation (EC) 2027/97 of the Council, of 9 October 1997, amended by the Regulation EC 889/2002 of 13 May.