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August 23, 2014


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David B

Check also the credit card with which the tickets were purchased, it may have an insurance benefit for such circumstances.


Good luck. Warsaw Convention (modified by Montreal Convention) limits airlines responsibility.

You should never take anything valuable through JFK, it's notorious for valuables going missing from baggage handled at that airport.


Well, there is a big difference between lost and stolen. Their liability may be limited in the event that they negligently lose your luggage, but to maintain custody of it while items disappear from it indicates actual theft rather than negligence, which would void any agreement limiting their liability.

I'm not an expert on the law, but the above seems to be common sense.


I had a packgae containg a Kindle, from beginning to end in the hands of USPS, but package "returned to sender" EMPTY! Dollars to doughnuts it wasn't "lost". In fact, my case workers left a voice mail message where she and a co-worker discussed ANOTHER missing package, which she concluded was "probably stoled (sic)" [I couldn't pick up, sp there the recording sits.

Andy McGill

American Express

When pay for your ticket with your American Express card you are covered for loss or damage to your checked-in or carry-on baggage up to $500 per trip. American Express will also provide some coverage if your bags are delayed where you can receive up to $500 coverage for all immediate daily reasonable and necessary emergency purchases, made within four days, such as for clothing and sundry items when your baggage on your outbound trip is delayed by six or more hours (not when you get home). This is included on virtually all American Express cards.


If you have a Visa Signature card, Visa offers its “Lost Luggage Locator Service” that can help you navigate the claim procedures or shipment of replacement items lost on your airline. There is also a baggage delay reimbursement coverage for up to $100 per day, with a maximum of up to $300, when your bags are delayed more than 18 hours.

When you buy your ticket with Visa Signature, you are also eligible to receive reimbursement for your luggage the difference between the value of the amount claimed (by you) and the airlines reimbursement to you, up to $3,000 per trip, provided the luggage was lost due to theft or misdirection by the carrier.

Jim G

American's condition of carriage limit their liability to $3400, with a whole laundry list of disclaimers likely to include anything worth more than a Happy Meal. Read 'em and weep here:

Another factor here would be who handled the baggage, which may not have been American depending on the routing.


It is pretty straightforward - they are a Bailee and the US long ago denounced (legal term) the Warsaw Convention limits. Rates of theft from bags seem to have gone up and it has been suggested that it is TSA that is a big factor - they pay badly but they baggage x-rays make it easier to identify which bags have valuable items in them. TSA also has TSA keys, but even then I had the Locks replaced on my Rimowa document case and the morons still crowbarred it open (despite the symbol designed to tell even an illiterate it is a TSA lock).

Generally it is not worth spending a lot of time arguing with the airlines over reimbursement - if it is under your local small claims amount, typically $€£5,000 it takes less effort and emotional wear and tear to give them one warning, then pull up a claim form and file it.

Jubal Harshaw

who in their right mind puts valuables into luggage anymore? if you hand your suitcase over to homeland security and an airline, by definition there is nothing inside of any value, nothing that you care about.

Paul A'Barge

If it's valuable and you can't carry it on, do *NOT* put it in your luggage.

Overnight it with Fedex or UPS.

That is all.


If I have to travel somewhere in the US and need to bring more than I carry on, I do one of two things for valuables
1) Ship, with insurance and signature required via UPS or FedEx to the hotel or wherever I am going. I call ahead with the tracking number so they know to accept the package and to ensure they know I am tracking the package and chain of custody (without spelling it out being rude)
2) If I am not going to someplace like Baltimore, Chicago, NYC or DC, I grab my wheeled Barska gun case. I put in my smallest, cheapest pistol and an empty magazine, no ammunition or cleaning supplies. Then I fill the rest of the case with the valuables. The firearm and everything in the case is checked under my supervision in a separate room. Then MY 2 padlocks, not the TSA approved (any airline employee can open the bag) locks, go on the case and the keys go with me. It means getting to the airport earlier to deal with that process, but the airlines, airports, and the govt takes the theft of guns much more seriously than the theft of ipads, jewels etc.

Andrew Koenig

FWIW, my homeowner's insurance does not cover me *AT ALL* for lost luggage, even though they do cover in general for theft. The relevant weasel words are that they cover items that disappear from a known location in circumstances that make it likely that they have been stolen, but do not cover "mysterious disappearance" or loss of an item that has been entrusted to another's care.


If you MUST travel with valuable in your checked luggage, here is an interesting piece of advice:

Travel with a firearm in your checked baggage.

Check out this video for some fascinating information.

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