U.S. airlines warned they may have to pay for damaged luggage

U.S. airlines warned they may have to pay for damaged luggage

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) issued a notice reminding airlines that they are required to compensate passengers for damage to their luggage. The notice specifically mentioned any damage to wheels, straps, zippers, handles, and other protruding parts of checked baggage beyond normal wear and tear.

DOT had conducted inspections in September and found airlines have been ignoring requests from passengers. Currently all airlines must accept all reports of mishandled baggage from passengers even if the airline believes it is not liable.

The Aviation Enforcement Office is investigating a number of carriers based on information obtained during the airport inspections for potential violations. The Aviation Enforcement Office intends to take enforcement action against airlines that are not in compliance by Jan. 9, 2016.

The report was issued as a video was released showing Alaska Airline employees having a throwing contest with a passenger’s bag at San Jose International airport.

“These inspections demonstrate the Department’s commitment to protecting consumers when they travel by air,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.  “While we are proud of the progress we’ve made so far, we will continue to strengthen how we monitor and enforce compliance with air travel consumer protection and civil rights rules.”

For more information, go to transportation.gov/briefing-room/dot-reminds-airlines-passengers-should-be-compensated-most-damage-baggage-wheels#sthash.j5NYNPdX.dpuf