Reader Question: Items Stolen From Emirates Checked Luggage

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A LoyaltyLobby reader sent me a question regarding stolen items from checked luggage on an Emirates flight.

Reader Question Emirates

Remember that you can always email me, sent a message via Facebook or use Twitter and include photos too. I’ll try to cover Reader Questions & Comments here several times a week.

Here’s the email from the reader:

Hi I was on the emirates flight Saturday and my suitcase had been sliced open and the back and completely destroyed and mutilated and was in a clear plastic bag not even tied up

going through my case at the airport loads of my things had been stolen Chanel handbag camera Bose speaker dress incent burners Chanel flip flop ted baker fit flops oud Perume and other trinket bits photo album of the Atlantis private section

The man at Heathrow gave me on other case he said 2kg were missing which was incorrect as my case was light weight so it was about 6kg

Are the air Line responsible and will the replace all my items there are some items which can not be replaced as they were brought in Dubai the amount stolen comes to over £3000.

I have emailed most of the receipts and photos of the case to Emirates

I only took out middle tariff insurance and extra gadget insurance but surly the airline in responsible is this correct

This has completely reunited my holiday can I also claim compensation for this or they give me a holiday free of charge or flights this was very distressing for myself and my daughter and some of the things were hers that were stolen can you advise

Here’s what Emirates Conditions of Carriage say:

15.5 Baggage

15.5.1 We will not be liable for Damage to Unchecked Baggage unless we caused the Damage by our

negligence.

15.5.2 We will not be liable for Damage to Baggage resulting from the inherent defect, quality or vice of the Baggage (for example, destruction of, or damage caused by or to, fragile, perishable and other items which you are prohibited from including in your Baggage by Articles 8.3 and 8.4).

Likewise, we will not be liable for fair wear and tear of Baggage resulting from the usual and normal rigours of transportation by air (see also Article 8.7.6 regarding the suitability of your Baggage for transportation by air).

15.5.3 Our liability for Damage to Baggage is limited to the maximum amounts stated in Articles 15.5.4 (a) to (e) unless you prove that the Damage resulted from our act or omission either done with the intention of causing Damage or recklessly and with knowledge that Damage would probably result. You may wish to make a special declaration of value (see Article 15.5.5) or buy yourself insurance to cover instances where the actual value or replacement cost of your Checked Baggage or Unchecked Baggage exceeds our liability.

15.5.4(a) The National Currency Equivalent of 332 SDRs (approximately US$400) per Passenger

applies to Damage to Unchecked Baggage where the Warsaw Convention applies to your carriage;

15.5.4(b) The National Currency Equivalent of 17 SDRs (approximately US$20) per kilogram, or any

higher sum agreed by us pursuant to Article 15.5.5, applies to Damage to Checked Baggage where the Warsaw Convention applies to your carriage;

15.5.4(c) The National Currency Equivalent of 1,131 SDRs (approximately US$1780) per Passenger, or any higher sum agreed by us pursuant to Article 15.5.5, applies to Damage to both Unchecked and Checked Baggage where the Montreal Convention applies to your carriage;

15.5.4(d) The limit of liability for Damage to both Unchecked and Checked Baggage laid down by local law applies to your Baggage where local law applies to your carriage instead of the Warsaw Convention or the Montreal Convention.

15.5.4(e) The limits of liability for Damage to both Unchecked and Checked Baggage specified in Articles 15.5.4(a) and (b) apply to Damage to Unchecked Baggage and Checked Baggage respectively where neither the Warsaw Convention nor the Montreal Convention applies to your carriage and no limit of our liability is laid down by applicable local law.

15.5.5 We will increase our liability to you for Damage to Checked Baggage to an amount specified by you and agreed by us at the time you hand your Checked Baggage to us at check – in, but only if you pay to us an additional charge calculated in accordance with our Regulations. This is known as a “special declaration of value”. Please ask us for details of the applicable charges if you want to use this option.

15.5.6 If the weight of your Checked Baggage is not recorded on the Baggage Check, we will presume that it is not more than the free baggage allowance for the class of carriage for which you were booked.

15.5.7 Where carriage of your Baggage is performed by successive airlines and either the Warsaw Convention or the Montreal Convention applies to that carriage, you are entitled to make a claim against us if we are the first or last airline in that carriage, even if the Damage to the Baggage did not occur during carriage by us.

Conclusion

A friend had a much worse experience on Emirates, when his whole bag was stolen from the belt in Amman. While Emirates liability was limited to that under the Montreal Convention, he was fortunate that the airline covered the full replacement value of his bag and contents, perhaps due to his Skywards Gold status.

Reminder that you should never ever put any valuables into your checked in luggage, although I know that this is not always feasible.

The airline is required to cover the lost items based on their weight using SDR’s (Special Drawing Rights) according to Warsaw or Montreal Conventions. This compensation would likely be minuscule compared to the value of the items purchased.

You should check with your insurance what they would cover and try to also recover something from Emirates.

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