Airlines are required to compensate you for lost, delayed, or damaged bags. If a passenger’s bag is delayed, airlines will pay reasonable expenses the passenger incurs while he or she waits for the delayed bag. If a passenger’s bag is damaged because of rough handling, airlines will pay for the repairs or negotiate a settlement to pay the passenger the depreciated value. If a passenger’s bag is lost, airlines will reimburse the passenger the depreciated value of his or her lost belongings. Virtually all airlines require that passengers submit a claim and provide documentation such as sales receipts to back up the claims in order to be provided compensation.
Currently, airlines are prohibited from setting a compensation limit below $3,500 per passenger for air transportation within the U.S. and setting a limit below $1,536 per passenger for most international air travel.
Airlines are required to accept all reports of mishandled baggage, including reports of damage to wheels, straps, zippers, handles, and other protruding parts of checked baggage beyond normal wear and tear, even if an airline’s agent believes the airline is not liable.