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Lost Luggage: Airline Compensation Set To Rise

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On Wednesday, the  reported that the International Civil Aviation Organisation is set to increase the amount passengers can claim from an airline if their luggage is lost by 13.1%. 

From 2010, passengers may be able to claim up to £1,060.48 compensation if their luggage disappears.  The current ceiling is £972.80.

This will be the first increase since the Montreal Convention, which linked compensation to the value of the lost luggage, came into force in 2004.

Increase compensation = less lost bags

Air transport communications specialists, SITA, recently reported 32.8 million bags were mishandled in 2008.  This is down from 42.4 million in 2007, but still a staggering amount.

On hearing news of the increase, a spokesperson for Air Transport Users Council said: 

"It's something we welcome, although in our experience few people do actually get the full amount of compensation. 

"While lots of people do have insurance, we still get hundreds of complaints every year."

Although 98% of lost bags are eventually recovered, millions of passengers still find themselves out of pocket.  Most arrive at their destination with only the clothes they're wearing and have to buy replacements.

The Montreal Convention says compensation should be paid in these circumstances, even if the luggage is eventually found.

Unsurprisingly, the news of an increase did not curry favour with the British Air Transport Association:

"Despite this being the first adjustment in a number of years, it is still a big increase. 

"These are tough times economically for airlines and this rise comes at a time when we are looking to cut costs rather than increase them."

Additional Information & Advice

You can obtain further information about compensation under the Montreal Convention on the website.

Depending on the circumstances of your case, however, it may be a good idea to speak with a solicitor who specialises in aviation law. 

You can be in your area for free via solicitor matching services, which can also help you to understand the best course of action for your situation and whether you are ready to hire a solicitor.

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