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Lost Baggage on Air Canada: How to get Compensation for Delayed and Damaged Luggage

Lost Baggage on Air Canada: How to get Compensation for Delayed and Damaged Luggage

Joanna Teljeur
Written By Joanna Teljeur
Last Updated: April 22, 2024

Has your baggage gone missing while traveling with Air Canada? Lost or damaged baggage issues can cause frustration and stress in even the most seasoned travelers, but take heart. You have passenger rights that require airlines to compensate you for baggage mishandling issues. The key is to file reports and claims within specific timelines. If you follow these steps, you could be eligible for the maximum compensation amounts from Air Canada.

Key Points

  1. Air Canada has a maximum liability of CA $2,339 for damaged, delay, or lost baggage.
  2. Your passenger rights are protected by the Canadian Transportation Agency and the Montreal Convention.
  3. You must follow specific steps within certain timeframes to be eligible for compensation.

Your Rights as a Passenger

When you’re flying with Air Canada, your rights are protected by the Canadian Transportation Agency and the Montreal Convention. Air Canada uses the Montreal Convention’s liability limits for delayed, damaged, and lost baggage. This means that you can claim up to CA $2,339 for baggage mishandling issues.

What Causes Lost and Delayed Baggage

Baggage mishandling is a growing problem that could be attributed to a few causes including:

  • Human error
  • Labor shortages
  • Technological problems
  • Mechanical problems

A recent report from Skift found that outdated technology used for baggage handling as well as poor communication among stakeholders are some of the biggest causes of delayed and lost baggage.

Reports vs. Claims

Many people use these two terms interchangeably when they’re talking about baggage issues with airlines, but the terms are different and involve different steps and timeframes.

A Report: This is what you file immediately as soon as you realize your baggage is missing or damaged.

A Claim: This is what you file after a report in order to get compensated by the airline for damaged, delayed, or lost baggage.

Lost & Delayed Baggage

What happens when you arrive at your final destination only to find that your baggage is missing? FIrst, remember that it can take up to an hour, in some cases, for baggage to make its way to the reclaim area. But if you’ve been waiting for about a half hour, and your luggage is still missing, here’s what you should do:

  1. Find the Air Canada Baggage Service Desk
  2. Tell the agent your baggage is missing
  3. Complete a Property Irregularity Report (PIR)

Once you have made the report, then you can track the status of your baggage or update and add details on WorldTracer.

If you’ve already left the airport, then you should contact Air Canada’s Central Baggage Office by calling 888-689-BAGS. This is toll free and can be used in the U.S. and Canada.

If you’re somewhere besides the U.S. or Canada, you can find the appropriate number in this list.

What to do next

According to Air Canada, most bags are delivered within 24 hours of your flight. So, once your luggage is found, Air Canada will contact you to schedule delivery.

If 3 days have passed and you’re still waiting for your missing baggage, then you should submit a Baggage Tracing Form.

If you have to purchase essentials while your bags are missing, make sure you keep all your receipts so you can file them as part of your claim.

How to file a claim for delayed and lost baggage with Air Canada

When to file your claim

You must submit your delayed and lost baggage claim within 21 days from the time you received your luggage.

Air Canada Lost Baggage Claim Times

Documents needed for your claim

  • PIR number
  • Government issued photo ID
  • Flight number, ticket receipt, or boarding pass
  • Receipts from essential purchases or rentals
  • Receipts for items that were part of your lost luggage

What happens next

After you submit your claim with Air Canada, you’ll have to wait until they contact you about their decision. Be patient as this can take anywhere from a few weeks to a couple of months.

Damaged Baggage

If your checked baggage is damaged when you get it from the reclaim area, the you should take the following steps to file a report ideally before you leave the airport:

  1. Find the Air Canada Baggage Service Counter
  2. Complete a Property Irregularity Report
  3. Take photos of your damaged belongings

If you’ve already left the airport

If you can, go back to the airport to file a damaged baggage report, but if this isn’t possible, here’s what you need to do within 7 days:

  1. Try calling Air Canada’s Central Baggage Office at 888-689-BAGS
  2. You can also submit the damaged baggage report online

For the report, be sure to include photos of:

  • Your boarding pass(es)
  • The bag tags attached to your luggage
  • Your bag’s brand, model, and serial number (if you have it)
  • The damage

What happens next

After you file your damaged baggage report, you have a few options:

  • Take your damaged luggage back to the airport and have Air Canada repair it at an authorized shop
  • Deliver the damaged baggage to the authorized shop yourself
  • Choose a repair shop but be sure to get a quote first and submit it with your claim before you pay to have it repaired.

Air Canada lost baggage

How to file a claim for damaged baggage with Air Canada

After you’ve taken the steps to report your damage, you can file a claim for compensation. You must file your claim in writing within 7 days of receiving your baggage on the Let us Know page or by FAX: 800-237-3563 or 514-422-2900

Damage claims won’t cover:

  • Normally occurring wear from use
  • Small cuts
  • Scratches
  • Damage caused by improper packing
  • Damage to fragile items
  • Cash
  • Jewelry
  • Cameras and video equipment
  • Broken zippers
  • Inconveniences
  • Poorly made luggage
  • Pre Existing damage

Documents to include in your damaged baggage claim

  • File reference number or PIR number
  • Government issued photo ID
  • Flight number, ticket receipt, or boarding pass
  • Photos of the damage
  • Receipts

What to do next

You’ll have to wait for Air Canada to contact you about their decision which can sometimes take up to a few months.

About Air Canada

Founded in 1937, Air Canada is Canada’s largest airline serving 222 destinations around the globe. Their headquarters is in Montreal, Quebec, and they are the country’s national airline.

Here at AirAdvisor we're working to add baggage claims to our services, but while we’re preparing this service, we want to give you as much information as possible so you can claim compensation for baggage mishandling on your own.

We assume all legal costs

All you have to do is submit the application and wait for the compensation to be received.

People Also Ask

I was bumped off my flight because it was overbooked. Can I get compensated for that?

Yes, you can! You have air passenger rights that entitle you to denied boarding compensation in the US, EY, UK, and in Canada.

How are my passenger rights protected if I’m flying somewhere that isn’t part of the Montreal Convention?

If you’re flying internationally to a country that hasn’t ratified the Montreal Convention, then the rules of the Warsaw Convention would apply.

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