We helped a member get her money back after an airline refused to refund the cost of her replacement items…
Two of our Which? Legal members flew from Gatwick to Innsbruck, Austria, for a walking holiday with friends.
Unfortunately, the holdall containing their walking boots did not arrive with them, so before leaving Innsbruck airport they completed a Property Irregularity Report (PIR) to log it as missing.
The holdall was eventually found and delivered to their hotel, but they had already bought replacement boots at a cost of £310 after waiting three days without an update.
On returning to the UK, they contacted the airline and asked to be reimbursed for the cost of the replacement boots. After the company offered £50 compensation instead, they contacted Which? Legal for advice.
We advised that they were protected under the Montreal Convention 1999 and the Package Travel Regulations 1992.
We explained that they were legally entitled to claim for reasonable costs of replacing the items that didn’t arrive with her in Austria, as walking boots were an essential item to allow them to enjoy their holiday.
As the airline refused this refund, they then had the right to escalate the complaint to be independently reviewed by the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR).
This can often be used as leverage to influence tour operators to reconsider their position.
This resulted in a full refund of £310 to reimburse them for the cost of replacing the walking boots.
Articles 18 and 19 of the Montreal Convention 1999 make the air carrier liable for damage or loss of baggage while under its control, so it was legally responsible for ensuring the bag arrived in Austria.
The tour operator was ultimately responsible for the holiday under the Package Travel Regulations 1992.
Under both these laws, the members were entitled to claim for their financial losses.
Have you had a holiday ruined by lost luggage? What’s your experience of getting refunded for the disruption caused by misplaced bags?