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Does airport security pay if they damage your bag?

Posted by Jack on December 23, 2022
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    Have you ever been to an airport and found that your luggage had been damaged in some way? A few months ago, I flew from London Heathrow to New York JFK and back. On my return flight, I noticed that the handle of my suitcase was broken beyond repair. I contacted British Airways about the damage (they were the ones who handled my bag) and they agreed to pay for it as long as I filled out a form. So here are some tips for getting your compensation if your bag is damaged by airport staff:

    How long has the damage been there?

    If you think the damage has been there for a while, it's likely that it's not the airport's fault. If you're not sure how long the damage has been there, take photos of your bag before and after leaving an airport. If they look different in those photos (or if they look similar), then it's probably not their responsibility.

    If your bag has new scratches on it after going through security, then this will be easier to prove as their fault.

    What kind of damage was done?

    If the damage is visible, and it's clear that it was caused by airport security, then you may have a case. If you can show that the bag was damaged in their care, then they are responsible for fixing it and compensating you for any monetary loss.

    If the damage is hidden--for example if there's a hole in your bag but no one can see it unless they open up all of your stuff--then there's no way for them to know that something happened during their inspection process. They won't be able to compensate you for any monetary losses related to this issue either!

    If you don't want to file a claim, you can always take it up with them.

    If you don't want to file a claim, you can always take it up with them. But be aware that they may not be willing to do anything about your damaged luggage.

    • Make sure they can't see you taking a photo. You want evidence of the damage so that if they deny responsibility and don't offer compensation, then at least you have something on record showing how bad things were.
    • If the airline won't replace your bag or reimburse its value in full, ask for some sort of compensation for the inconvenience (e.g., frequent flyer miles).
    • Write down all relevant information: date/time; location where it happened; names/badges of security personnel involved in screening/handling baggage; details about what exactly happened during screening process (if any).

    Airports may have a different policy from airlines.

    Airports may have a different policy from airlines, but it's still important to ask about damage before you check your bag. Many airports don't have any kind of compensation policy, so if they damage your bag, they likely won't pay for it. However, some airports do have policies in place to compensate travelers whose luggage is damaged during security screenings--this can be helpful if you're traveling through an airport that doesn't offer reimbursement.

    You should contact the TSA directly with any questions about their policies or whether or not you'll receive compensation for damaged items at the airport (or on their website).

    Airlines might not offer compensation if they think you caused the damage yourself.

    If you're not confident that the airline will offer compensation if they think you caused the damage yourself, there are two ways to go about it. The first is to file a claim anyway and see how it goes--if the airline denies your claim, then at least you tried and can move on with your life knowing that at least someone heard your side of things.

    The second option is simply taking up the issue directly with them (again, assuming that this isn't something like an act of God). Airlines want everyone who flies with them to be happy; if they realize their mistake early enough in the process, they may be more willing than they'd otherwise be able to make things right by offering some kind of compensation or refunding part or all of what was paid for travel arrangements in question

    You should always file a claim so that the airport doesn't get away with causing damage without paying for it.

    If you believe that your bag was damaged by airport security, it's a good idea to file a claim with them. Likewise, if you believe that your bag was damaged on the airplane or by an airline employee, then also file a claim with them as well.

    The TSA does not maintain its own claims department; therefore you must go through either the airline or travel insurance provider for compensation for damaged items during travel.


    Airport security can be a little rough on your bags. They might cause damage that they won't pay for or even admit to doing, but if you file a claim with the airline and airport, they will have to pay up at some point. You should always file a claim so that these organizations don't get away with causing damage without paying for it!


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