Lost luggage claims on an increase

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A decade ago it would probably have been one of the least likely uses of travel insurance, but nowadays loss of luggage has hit the top of the list for most claims made, with airlines losing record amounts of baggage daily. According to the travel insurance company Insureandgo, the number of claims for lost luggage doubled in the first 6 months of this year alone and is one of the main problems travellers face on their trips.

The statistics have been collected from the Association of European Airlines (AEA) and outline the scale of the problem. Between January and June of this year, over two thousand claims for lost luggage were made, which was an 85% rise on the same period in the previous year. The average claim amount was over £200, and the company predicts that these loses will continue for the rest of the year as well.

As managing director of Insureandgo Perry Wilson says: "We have seen an enormous rise in claims for lost luggage ... we can unfortunately expect more families' holidays to be ruined by lost baggage."

Moreover, during 2006 and 2007, British airports and airlines have been a particular embarrassment where lost luggage is concerned. Not only did bad weather and a broken conveyor belt cause huge luggage confusion at Heathrow earlier this year, with British Airways (BA) having to send 2,000 items of luggage back to its customers. It was also announced that British Airways has lost more luggage than any other airline since 2006.

According to AEA, for every 1,000 passengers using BA in 2006, 23 bags went missing, and now a year on it is just getting worse and worse. In response to the growing anger, BA's operations director, Geoff Want has reassured its passengers that it is doing everything it can to overcome what has been a bad couple of years.

In the light of these troubles, it is useful for all passengers with travel insurance to know what to do in case an airline loses your luggage. Firstly, it is important to report the loss as soon as you find out: you can do this by speaking to any representative of your airline at the airport. They will then issue you with a Property Irregularity Report which you must use to write to the airline and ask for compensation. It is useful to check the Air Transport Users Council to see how much you are entitled to. Bear in mind that once the claim is made, it may take up to 6 weeks for any compensation to be made.


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