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British Airways Lost Baggage: How to Get Compensation for Delayed and Damaged Luggage

British Airways Lost Baggage: How to Get Compensation for Delayed and Damaged Luggage

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

If you traveled with British Airways in 2022, you were one of over 30 million passengers. And if your baggage was lost or damaged then you know how frustrating the experience can be. Well, the good news is that airlines are required to compensate you for baggage mishandling.

In order to get the money you’re owed, you just have to submit reports and claims in accordance with certain guidelines that we’re going to discuss in this article.

Key Points

  1. If you’ve traveled with British Airways on an internationaflight, you could be compensated up to £1,395 for lost, damaged, or delayed baggage.
  2. For domestic travel, you could get up to £1,000 for damaged and lost baggage.
  3. The Civil Aviation Authority protects your rights on domestic flights, and the Montreal Convention covers your passenger rights if you fly internationally.

What Are Your Passenger Rights

If you had a canceled or delayed flight or if you had an issue with damaged or lost baggage, you have specific rights that protect you as a passenger. If you’re traveling on a domestic flight, you are protected by laws set by the Civil Aviation Authority. In this situation, you could receive up to £1,000 in compensation. If you’re traveling to other countries, then your rights are protected under the Montreal Convention that stipulates airlines to compensate you up to £1,395 for damaged, delayed, or lost baggage.

British Airways Lost Baggage

What Causes Lost Baggage

Airlines can lose your luggage for a few reasons including:

  • Labour shortages
  • Mistakes
  • Mechanical or technological issues with the aircraft
  • Problems with conveyor belts or other machinery
  • Outdated baggage handling technology

In fact, Skift has reported that baggage mishandling is likely to get worse before it gets better because of issues related to outdated baggage handling technology as well as insufficient communication among stakeholders.

The Difference Between a Report and a Claim

Understanding the difference between these two is vital for filing a successful baggage compensation claim.

Filing a report: This is the first step you need to take if your baggage is damaged or delayed. Think of the report as a way to tell British Airways that you have encountered a baggage problem. This gives the airline the opportunity to address the issue. Plus, you need to file a report before you can file a claim.

Filing a claim: This is the second step. A claim is filed with British Airways as a way of requesting compensation for your damaged, delayed, or lost baggage.

British Airways delayed baggage

What to Do for Delayed and Lost Baggage

So, you land at your final destination and realize your baggage is missing. What do you do? Stay calm because sometimes baggage can take up to an hour to arrive on the carousel.

Also, check to see if British Airways has sent you a text or email. If your baggage didn’t make it on your flight, they will contact you to let you know. They will also include a report number. You can use this to track your baggage and tell the airline where to send your luggage.

If you’ve waited a half hour or so without getting a message from British Airways, and your baggage still hasn’t arrived, you should take the following steps to find your luggage.

Make a delayed baggage report

  1. Look for the British Airways Customer Service desk
  2. File a Property Irregularity Report (PIR)
  3. Keep a copy of the report and the PIR number (a 10-digit code with 5 letters and 5 numbers)

You can also file a missing baggage report using the airline’s baggage portal where you can enter the address where your bags should be delivered free of charge.

If you have left the airport, you can also use the baggage portal to file a missing baggage report and enter your delivery details.


If you’ve arrived from an international flight, be sure to complete your customs declaration before you leave the airport and leave it with a British Airways agent.

Time limits for making a lost baggage report

You have 8 days from the date of your flight to file a lost baggage report.

What to do next

British Airways says that most of their lost baggage is delivered within 72 hours, but you can always check the status of your baggage and update any of the details in the baggage portal.

Reimbursement for essential purchases

Understandably, you will have to make purchases for essential items if you are away from home. If you buy essential items, make sure you keep all the receipts so you can add them to your claim.

British Airways Lost Baggage Claims Time Limits

How to Make Delayed & Lost Baggage Claims with British Airways

When to file your claim

Missing baggage is considered to be delayed for 21 days. If 21 days have passed, and your baggage still hasn’t been delivered, then you should begin the claim filing process on the British Airways’ claims page.

Timeframes for Filing Compensation Claims

Damaged Baggage

After 7 days of receiving your bags

Missing or Damaged Contents

After 7 days of receiving your bags

Delayed Baggage

Up to 21 days of your flight’s arrival

Lost Baggage

As soon as possible AFTER 21 days when your baggage is considered officially lost.

What happens next

After you file your claim, you can track the status of it or update any details while you’re waiting to hear from British Airways.

What to Do About Damaged Baggage

If your checked baggage or contents has been damaged, then you should make a report with British Airways before you leave the airport. If you realize your baggage has been damaged after you leave the airport, you have 7 days to make a report.

  1. Complete a Property Irregularity Report (PIR)
  2. Keep a copy and the PIR number
  3. Take photos of the damage. This will come in handy to support your damage claim

British Airways might offer you a replacement bag or repair services, so check with an agent before you buy new luggage.

Filing a Damaged Baggage Claim

You can file a damage claim for harm done to your luggage or to its contents. You can also make a claim for any necessary purchases you had to make as a result of damaged items.

What will not be covered in a damaged baggage claim

  • Damage that occurred before bags were checked
  • Regular wear and tear
  • Small scratches, scuffs, or cuts
  • Damage resulting from improper packing
  • Fragile items
  • Cash
  • Jewelry
  • Poorly designed or faulty luggage

If your baggage has been damaged by the US baggage inspection, you will see a note from the TSA inside your bags or attached to the outside. Use this information to file a claim with the TSA.

Information to add to your claim

  • PIR number
  • Government or official photo ID
  • Flight information
  • Photos of the damage
  • Receipts

What to do next

After you’ve filed your claim, you can check the status of it while you wait for the airline to make a decision about your case.

When will I be reimbursed

For baggage mishandling issues, the claims process can take up to a few months. For this reason, it may be helpful to file claims with your insurance company as the reimbursement amounts could be more than the liability limits of British Airways.

For help filing insurance claims for damage to your baggage or its contents, you can reach the CAA for assistance.

About British Airways

As the second largest airline in the UK, British Airways was founded in 1919 and is based in London, England. They merged with Iberia in 2011 to form the International Airlines Group. British Airways travels to 170 cities in 70 different countries.

Have you had problems with your baggage on a British Airways flight? At AirAdvisor, we hope to offer baggage claim services to you in the future, but for now, we want to make sure you have all the information you need to file a claim without us.

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People Also Ask

What do I do if I checked my baggage but didn’t take the flight because it was overbooked?

If you missed your flight because of overbooking and you weren’t re-routed on a different flight, then your checked baggage should be returned to you on the baggage carousel. Check with a British Airways agent at the gate to find out where to retrieve your bags.

What happens to my baggage if I miss my connecting flight?

If you checked your baggage and missed your connecting flight, your baggage will be sent to your final destination.

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