Lost or Damaged Baggage

Official Regulation

Under the Montreal Convention, an international air transport treaty to which Canada is a party, airlines can be held liable for baggage that is damaged or lost during international travel, up to approximately $2100. To provide better protection to passengers travelling within Canada, the  airlines will be held liable for up to the same amount for baggage that is lost or damaged during domestic flights.

A passenger must file a claim for expenses with the airline. For damaged baggage, the claim must be submitted within seven days after the passenger receives the baggage. For potentially lost baggage, the claim must be submitted within 21 days after the day it was supposed to arrive.

In addition, the regulations require airlines to reimburse passengers for any baggage fees paid if their baggage is damaged or lost.

Our Interpretation

It’s important to establish two critical definitions:

  1. Damaged Baggage, damange caused to baggage that is directly related to the transportation of the bag by the airline
  2. Lost Baggage, baggage that cannot be found within 21 days is declared lost. It is different from delayed baggage.

This policy is not covering any compensation related to the delay of the baggage, rather, it is related to bags that cannot be found within 3 weeks of arrival. This occurs incredibly rarely. There was one instance where my bag was not even tagged, and the baggage was lost, even that was recovered, though checking the “lost baggage tag”, it did a tour across North America before being safely returned to me. If that bag could be traced back to its owner, then rest assured, your bag will as well.

If the baggage is damanged, this is a great option for customers to claim compensation. Likely, the airline will send it for repairs, with a significant time delay, however, this regulation should enforce that damaged bags will be repaired. Due to this regulation, you might encounter a check-in agent doing a bit of testing on your checked-in luggage to ensure it is not damaged, and if it is, you will be asked to sign a form waiving your right to claim damaged baggage compensation.