According to AAA, air travel is up for the 2015 Memorial Day Weekend. Unfortunately, thievery of items by baggage handlers is also strong at such airports as Miami International and JFK.
How do you avoid losing your jewelry, cash, iPad and cameras to baggage thieves and/or be reimbursed if those items are lost, damaged or stolen?
First, don’t pack them in luggage you intend to check. Pretty simple. Your airline should have a web page listing the items considered “unsuitable” for checked baggage, usually including but not limited to: cash, jewelry, cameras, watches, computers, art objects, furs and medications. Wear them, pack them in carryon luggage or leave them at home.
Secondly, if you need to file a claim, be aware of the time limitations: my buddies at Southwest Airlines, for example, state that “Damaged or lost baggage must be reported, in person, within four hours of Customer’s arrival at destination.”
Third, be aware of the limitation on the airline’s liability: Southwest lists the domestic maximum, which is $3,400.00, so pack items with that ultimate figure in mind.
Fourth, if you must bring valuables that you can’t carry on, such as that Picasso “Guernica” that you just can’t bear to leave, contact the airline’s customer service ahead of time to ask if you can bring it and have its loss or damage covered.
Finally, if the airline will not accommodate you for extra valuables that you must have at your destination, ship the item.
DO’S AND DON’TS
DON’T pack valuables in luggage you intend to check.
DO wear, pack in carryon luggage or leave valuables at home.
DO be aware of the airline’s time limitations, if you must file a claim.
DO be aware of the limitation on the airline’s liability, which is currently $3,400 for domestic flights.
DO contact the airline’s customer service ahead of time to ask if you can bring a valuable item and have its loss or damage covered.
DO ship the valuable item if you must have it at your destination and the airline cannot accommodate you.
Note from HandelontheLaw.com: This article is to be used as an educational guide only and should not be interpreted as a legal consultation. Readers of this article are advised to seek an attorney if a legal consultation is needed. Laws may vary by state and are subject to change, thus the accuracy of this information can not be guaranteed. Readers act on this information solely at their own risk. Neither the author, handelonthelaw.com, or any of its affiliates shall have any liability stemming from this article.