Q My luggage was delayed for the first half of a one-week holiday. It contained clothing, toiletries and medication. A relaxing all-inclusive holiday turned into a frantic expedition. I spent those three and a half days shopping for clothes and finding a hospital to issue my medication. The travel company has offered £100 as maximum compensation. I find the amount insulting. What do you think?
A What a frustrating experience, and sadly one which will be repeated many times this summer. First, the compensation. There is no stipulated amount for the expenses involved after luggage is delayed, but the general rule is that claims should be reasonable. For replacement clothes and toiletries, a figure of about £200 may be appropriate – but the airline may argue that you will be able to use the items again and therefore a partial refund is appropriate.
You can pursue the airline for provable losses through Money Claim Online, but you would need to calculate whether the potential gains make it worthwhile. There is, unfortunately, no provision for the stress and disappointment at wasting valuable holiday time.
Medication is a separate issue. If you were advised to place the essential items in your suitcase by the airline or anyone working on its behalf, eg ground staff at the airport, then you can add the cost of the replacement to your claim. But if you decided to do so yourself, then I fear all I can suggest is that you learn from this most unfortunate event. My basic rule for baggage checked in for any flight is: assume that you will never see the case or anything in it again. Pack accordingly, with essentials in your cabin baggage.
Every day our travel correspondent Simon Calder tackles a reader’s question. Just email yours to email@example.com or tweet @simoncalder