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Nancy Parode

What to Do When Your Airline Damages Your Checked Bag

By November 12, 2012

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I've been reading Dave Carroll's book, United Breaks Guitars, about his disastrous experience with his expensive Taylor guitar on a United Airlines flight and his subsequent trio of songs and videos about that event. As a guitarist, I both laughed and cringed when I first saw Carroll's YouTube music video, which went viral almost instantly, and as a traveler, I worry every time I hand a bag over to an airline agent.

What can you do if, at the end of your flight, you retrieve your baggage and discover that it has been damaged?

Each airline has a damaged baggage policy, and these policies include liability exclusions for certain items you might wish to pack. Baggage damage liability on international flights is determined by a specific international convention. In other words, it's complicated.

If you know your airline's baggage policies and understand what to do if damage does occur, you stand a better chance of obtaining compensation for a ruined suitcase.

Photo © Bryan Alexander / Creative Commons

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