According to a report published by the Daily Mirror last year, the Civil Aviation Authority recorded almost 1,500 complaints about lost or damaged luggage over a five-year period. When one of those pieces of luggage could be your beloved Bianchi or custom-built Cannondale, the results are less headache-inducing nuisance and more head-in-hands heartache. Of course, the chances of your bike going AWOL are small, but as Benjamin Franklin rightly pointed out, by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail so here’s what you should do if the unthinkable happens.
Get cover for special items
According to Which?, your chosen airline is responsible for checked luggage – but their liability is limited to around £1,200 per passenger. If your treasured Trek exceeds this amount, they recommend that you get a “special declaration of interest in the delivery of your luggage” from the airline.
Report the problem
Citizens Advice says you’re more likely to get compensation if you act quickly so don’t dilly-dally if your luggage is lost or damaged. Make your way to the relevant luggage-handling counter in the luggage reclaim hall and fill out a Property Irregularity Report (PIR). If the luggage is damaged, it’s a good idea to take a few pictures while you’re still at the airport. The airline will then contact you about possible compensation. If the luggage is lost, the airline has 21 days to find it.
Making a claim
If you’re claiming for damaged luggage or missing/damaged contents, you will need to write to your airline within seven days of the incident, enclosing a copy of the PIR. If your lost luggage doesn’t reappear after 21 days, you must write to the airline within seven days. In both cases, include:
• a copy of the PIR
• details of your flight (date, number, departure, destination)
• what happened to your bags
• how much you’re claiming for
• a description of what is damaged or lost
• a list of what you had to buy as a result of the loss/damage
The Telegraph also recommends that you keep a photo of your luggage on your phone in case you ever need to make a claim.
European bike transport
Of course, you can avoid the worry altogether and use our economical and reliable European bike delivery service to transport your wheels to European events. Alternately contact bagSOLO who courier sports equipment from your home to your destination and back again so it’s waiting for you when you land.