Q. I will be flying on United Airlines from a domestic U.S. airport to an international destination with a connection in Houston. If my luggage is lost, would domestic or international lost luggage compensation rules apply?
A. Even though you began your trip in the U.S. and connected within the U.S., your trip would be considered an international itinerary. International lost luggage compensation, which is typically lower than domestic compensation, would apply. Domestic compensation tops out at $3300. Compensation for luggage lost on an international flight is capped at 1000 “Special Drawing Rights,” a currency established by the International Monetary Fund, and is governed by the Montreal Convention. One SDR is currently equal to USD $1.50, so your maximum compensation would be $1500. On most airlines, you can buy additional excess baggage valuation (typically up to $5000 of coverage) for a reasonable fee when you check in your bags.