Getting reimbursed for damaged baggage.

Getting reimbursed for damaged baggage.

Getting reimbursed for damaged baggage is a hassle as it is – Add to that a fraudulent practice by airlines to circumvent regulation and it’s even more frustrating.

On a recent flight of mine an Airline broke my suitcases wheel – and when i applied for re-reimbursement i was told that the airline doesn’t cover damage Handles and Wheels. When i saw the actual regulation – I was prompted to write this article.

Ever heard or been told that handles, straps, wheels and zippers, aren’t covered as well?
Some airlines don’t even accept claims for handles, straps, wheels and zippers!

Luckily (or unluckily) for me – the Airline had also damaged the body of the suitcase and Samsonite said the repair of the body alone would cost more than replacement – so the airline payed for the replacement – but had that not been the case – the airline would have returned the suitcase – with broken wheels – and expected to get away with it.

Thankfully this practice is actually illegal. While airlines aren’t responsible for “normal” wear and tear – that is the one exemption “normal”. An airline is required however to take basic precautions to protect consumer luggage. No.. driving over your suitcase may be an inevitable occurrence to 1 out of a million suitcases – but it an abnormal occurrence and therefor must be compensated for.

When a customer trusts an airline to transport their baggage the airline must take care of that baggage. The US DOT includes in it’s regulation the handles, straps, wheels and zippers and all parts of your bag.

Airlines that deny to accept claims for damaged handles, straps, wheels and zippers, are in direct violation of the law.

Airlines that accept claims – but reject them saying their policy excludes handles, straps, wheels and zippers are also in violation of the law.

The only acceptable argument – is if the airline claims – and a reasonable person would agree that the damage likely occurred from normal handling of the bag.

If the suitcases handle was too weak to hold the weight of the suitcase – which is the fault of the manufacturer, or if the wheel with a a few bumps here and there came apart – is not the airlines fault – it’s normal to be roughed up a little.

If the damage is clearly the cause of excessive force, the airline is definitely liable.

The US DOT put out the below.

The Enforcement Office considers categorical exclusions for damage to specific parts of the
checked baggage to be arbitrary limitations of liability in violation of Part 254. Although
carriers are not required to cover fair wear and tear, damage to handles, straps, wheels and
zippers often extends beyond what is appropriately categorized as fair wear and tear resulting
from ordinary handling of baggage. In such cases, carriers should be prepared to reimburse the

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