Lost Luggage - How Much to Expect?

Old Jan 10, 21, 1:28 pm
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Lost Luggage - How Much to Expect?

I recently took a flight on Delta, and they lost my suitcase. I have submitted a loss report and am awaiting their response.

If the baggage is declared lost and I donít get my suitcase back, how much can I expect them to reimburse me? Will they reimburse me at the full amount for all reported expenses, or will they reimburse less (for example, on the basis of depreciation)?
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Old Jan 10, 21, 1:37 pm
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Very very very few bags are "permanently" lost relative to those that are delayed and then delivered to the customer at DL's expense. You can claim a moderate amount (with receipts) for items that you must purchase at your destination (not at home or the origin of a RT ticket) if the bag is delayed by more than a day or so.

Fair market (depreciated) value is generally the criterion, but how much can depend on whether it was a domestic or international flight and other details. Some items such as electronics are excluded as they shouldn't be in checked bags or should be declared at check in. (It once was possible to purchase excess valuation insurance, but I haven't heard of this in a long time.)
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Old Jan 10, 21, 8:27 pm
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What was your routing? That will make a difference, particularly if there was an international segment as the maximum reimbursement is approximately $1,650.

Your bag is not considered lost until after the 20th day. At that point, DL will reimburse you for the fair market value of the bag and its contents less any interim reimbursements it has made for expenses while you wait for your bag. As you can imagine, the FMV of a a shirt which cost $100 is nowhere near $100 once it's been worn a few times.

It is possible that your travel insurance is more generous, e.g. full replacement value. Worth checking on that.
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Old Jan 10, 21, 8:41 pm
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I would expect that your suitcase will be "found." In the meantime, they generally reimburse reasonable expenses for things like clothing that you need while your bag isn't with you. I once had a suitcase that was delayed and spent about $100 on clothing to wear while I waited that was reimbursed with a check pretty promptly.
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Old Jan 11, 21, 7:57 am
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Sorry to hear about this severe inconvenience. Poster did not indicate if this occurred at the beginning or end of their trip. Whats the status of your bag now? Have you received any updates from Delta as to whether it has been found at the airports of origin or arrival?
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Old Jan 11, 21, 1:23 pm
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Delta/AF lost a bag for a month while I was traveling from US-Europe. While in Europe they allowed for $200 to replace items while there. Bag was found later and returned to US after we'd ended the trip and we received a $250 travel voucher.
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Old Jan 11, 21, 2:10 pm
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Originally Posted by williwaw View Post
Delta/AF lost a bag for a month while I was traveling from US-Europe. While in Europe they allowed for $200 to replace items while there. Bag was found later and returned to US after we'd ended the trip and we received a $250 travel voucher.
Yikes, that's a pretty awful allowance. Picturing having to buy new clothes to last a 7+ day trip - I don't wear super expensive brands, but $200 might buy 2-3 pairs of pants and shirts, and that doesn't include shoes, socks, underwear, etc.
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Last edited by WillSkiGT; Jan 11, 21 at 2:16 pm
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Old Jan 11, 21, 2:38 pm
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Originally Posted by WillSkiGT View Post
Yikes, that's a pretty awful allowance. Picturing having to buy new clothes to last a 7+ day trip - I don't wear super expensive brands, but $200 might buy 2-3 pairs of pants and shirts, and that doesn't include shoes, socks, underwear, etc.
We were... less than thrilled. Luckily it was one of several bags and we were not high and dry.
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Old Jan 11, 21, 3:23 pm
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OTOH you keep the items you purchase, so unless you're forced to buy stuff you won't wear/use again, DL is augmenting your wardrobe.
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Old Jan 11, 21, 6:12 pm
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
OTOH you keep the items you purchase, so unless you're forced to buy stuff you won't wear/use again, DL is augmenting your wardrobe.
This is true - we used the money to subsidize a nice dress from Avignon.....
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Old Jan 11, 21, 8:00 pm
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On an international trip, the carrier is responsible for your reasonable out-of-pocket expenses. There is no "allowance" and it is a relatively simple DOT complaint (under the Montreal Convention) so long as you have properly documented every expense. But, remember that any interim reimbursements come off the total maximum in the event that the bag is lost or destroyed.

Best for 7-10 day trips is not to check bags. Second best is to have decent travel insurance.
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Old Jan 12, 21, 12:11 am
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Many (good) homeowner policies would provide some coverage. People might also have some insurance from a credit card.
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Old Jan 13, 21, 10:50 am
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
On an international trip, the carrier is responsible for your reasonable out-of-pocket expenses. There is no "allowance" and it is a relatively simple DOT complaint (under the Montreal Convention) so long as you have properly documented every expense. But, remember that any interim reimbursements come off the total maximum in the event that the bag is lost or destroyed.

Best for 7-10 day trips is not to check bags. Second best is to have decent travel insurance.
How you can pack for a 7-10 day trip without checking a bag is beyond me. Maybe for a leisure trip in the summer / to a beach destination.

But for work or in colder seasons, it would be very difficult without re-wearing some clothing. I pack pretty light and just don't see how it would be possible and my wife is much worse. Her bag for a 10 day trip would be well over the 50lb limit.
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Old Jan 13, 21, 12:53 pm
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Originally Posted by WillSkiGT View Post
How you can pack for a 7-10 day trip without checking a bag is beyond me. Maybe for a leisure trip in the summer / to a beach destination.

But for work or in colder seasons, it would be very difficult without re-wearing some clothing. I pack pretty light and just don't see how it would be possible and my wife is much worse. Her bag for a 10 day trip would be well over the 50lb limit.
Hence hedging your bets with travel insurance
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Old Jan 20, 21, 1:41 am
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A lot of travelers don't actually realize that their credit cards come with some sort of travel insurance as a benefit.
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