Compensation for Baggage Delays

April 01, 2013
Fares from Washington DC:

    Q. I returned from a cruise and had a flight back home through Chicago. The plane was delayed so they put me on another flight through Washington. I paid for my checked luggage. When I got home my luggage wasn't there. I live four hours from the airport, so I went home without it. I received my bag two days later. Am I due to receive my luggage fee refunded?

    A. New U.S. Dept. of Transportation rules stipulate that if your bag is lost, then the airline must refund your checked bag fee, on top of providing up to $3,300 in compensation for the lost items. However, there’s no compensation merely for a delay. You could certainly contact the airline and request a full or partial refund, and they might give you a travel voucher in the amount you paid. But I doubt they’re going to give you money back. Next time, consider putting your stuff in a sturdy box and shipping it FedEx or UPS ground service. I bet it’ll cost less than the $50 the airline charged you. And the service will be better, with no waiting at the check in line or the luggage carousel.

    Luggage image via Shutterstock