Anybody with lost baggage claim experience with SW?
I've done a fair share of research regarding the process but I have a couple questions and was wondering if anyone out there could help me out. This is all regarding Southwest.
Hypothetically, 5 days have passed and I file my claim. I then consider that my bag will never be found and need to replace the necessities in the lost luggage. (i put a lot of my clothes in there) I go and re-buy everything. Couple weeks later during the claims process they tell me they somehow found my luggage...did I just buy all the crap I once had for nothing?
From what I know, southwest covers up to $3.3K. They also will ask you for an itemized list of all the contents of the luggage. Does anyone know how good they are with the payout?? And are receipts really necessary?
Any insight with these matters would be much appreciated....
There are alot of things expressly not covered (explained in the contract of carriage and in the checked luggage documents). No electronics, cash equivalent, etc. If items are delayed or turn up 1-2 days later, they will only reimburse a small amount for toiletries and clothing that you'd need to buy for that period of time. They'll even pay for this right at the airport baggage claim office (that is if you are not in your home city).
You're supposed to have receipts for everything in the bag. That rarely happen. If you have some receipts for lost items, even credit card statements / loyalty statements from any vendors showing your spending history, that would help if any of your items raise an eyebrow. One of the most basic anti fraud tests would be to get an approximate weight of everything you're claiming plus the empty bag itself, and compare it to the checked bag weight.
On average they probably expect that shirt cost $20 and pants cost $30 but if a business owner is travelling and only wears $300 custom tailered shirts, then I don't see why that would be an issue since it's below the coverage amount.
If you've made reasonable attempts to follow up on lost luggage claims, and are diligent in at least keeping receipts for replacement items (those receipts are 100% necessary, no question about it), I think they will be prompt in settling claims. If your bag shows up a week or two later, I don't think they will go after their $, since you needed to replace many items thinking they were lost for good.
As a shareholder I expect that their anti-fraud department takes an inventory of items in the bag for which claims have been filed or paid before returning it. That would make for an interesting conversation with someone who had tried to make an extra couple thousand bucks, turning into a lost bag claim into a lost bag of treasure claim....