Airlines Hand Luggage Policy Prompts Insurance Confusion

Travel insurance expert, Allianz Global Assistance UK, is urging travellers to know where they stand when it comes to having their aircraft hand luggage put into the hold at the airline carrier’s request. Many passengers only need to carry hand luggage, but increasingly airlines are insisting hand luggage is put into the hold due to a lack of available overhead lockers to house passenger cabin bags.

Allianz Global Assistance is reminding holidaymakers that if their hand luggage is put into the hold and any valuable items are lost, stolen or damaged, they may not be covered under their travel insurance policy and is giving advice on what to do in the event of such an incident.

“If you are travelling abroad by plane this summer it is possible that you may have your hand luggage taken off you and put into the hold, as many aircrafts today simply do not have the capacity to carry all hand luggage in the cabin,” explains Barry Smith, Underwriting Manager for Allianz Global Assistance in the UK.  “If this happens to you, you must ensure you remove all valuables, such as wallets, keys, laptops and mobile phones, before they take the case away and put it in the hold.  Typically travel insurance policies will not cover an individual for valuables that unexpectedly go missing from hold-stored luggage.

“If hold luggage is lost, delayed or damaged in transit it is the airline that is liable.   Therefore, it is important that you inform the airline as soon as possible if there is an issue with your luggage. Indeed, most airlines have a dedicated baggage desk within the baggage claims area, so be sure to visit that desk before you leave the airport.  Staff there will complete a Property Irregularity Report (PIR) which you must keep safe.  Also, all claims to the airline must be made in writing, with claims for lost, stolen or damaged items made within 7 days, and claims for delayed luggage within 21 days.

“People automatically assume that their travel insurance policy will provide cover in the event of their luggage being lost, damaged or stolen whilst in the care of an airline, but this is not necessarily the case.  To ensure holidaymakers are reimbursed or reunited with their belongings they need to be aware of the right action to take, and take it as quickly as possible.”


Allianz Global Assistance UK Tips for Travellers

  • Make sure luggage is labelled on the inside in case tags are lost. This should include your name and contact number.
  • If your luggage is unexpectedly put into the hold ensure you remove any valuable items beforehand.
  • If your luggage is lost, delayed or damaged you must report this as soon as possible at the airport. Most airlines have a dedicated baggage desk within the baggage claims area. Staff will complete a Property Irregularity Report which you must keep safe.
  • All claims to the airline must be made in writing. Claims for lost, stolen or damaged items should usually be made within 7 days, and claims for delayed luggage within 21 days.
  • Check the Foreign and Commonwealth Office travel advice and information pages for your destination before you travel. This may have an impact on the type of items you can have in your luggage.


Top