European Consumer Centre

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Delayed luggage? ECC advise on your rights

(Prague, 3 July 2024) Václav Havel Airport Prague is currently experiencing difficulties in the baggage area and is communicating with the public and trying to solve the problems in every possible way. If a passenger’s baggage is delayed, the passenger is entitled to reimbursement of the incurred actual costs up to approx. CZK 35,000 for the purchase of items needed for the purpose of their journey. However, the European Consumer Centre Czech Republic warns that airlines will not as a rule reimburse excessive purchases.

“If the luggage arrives at the passenger’s address after a few hours, there is usually no problem. If it is a longer period of time, then people usually need to buy things necessary to meet basic human needs and also to fulfil the objectives of their travel. On summer holidays, these are typically swimwear, sandals, toiletries, spare clothes,” says Ondřej Tichota, Director of the European Consumer Centre Czechia, which helps consumers resolve cross-border disputes against carriers from other EU countries, Norway, Iceland and the UK.

When a passenger finds that they have not collected their baggage from the arrivals hall, the first step is to fill in a form called a PIR Report at the baggage claim desk at the airport and have it validated, and then send it to the airline operating the flight once the baggage has been delivered. VH Airport Prague has stated that they also offer the possibility to report such an incident not via the PIR Report but also via a QR code, certainly because of the possible overcrowding at the counter.

“Passengers can claim reimbursement of the actual costs necessarily incurred from the airline operating the flight, and not from the airport or the so-called handling company that handles the luggage. It is necessary to apply to the airline in writing and with the PIR Report attached, without undue delay after the luggage has been delivered,” Ondřej Tichota points out.

The Montreal Convention sets the rules for compensation in the event of delay, loss or damage to luggage, which sets the maximum aggregate amount of compensation at ca CZK 35,000. Therefore, if people fly for a trip with a special programme for which they have equipment in significantly delayed luggage, and which they therefore have to get somehow, then they can claim reimbursement for the purchase or rental of such equipment for a necessary period of time. The necessity of such cargo will then be assessed as fulfilling the purpose of the trip.

For more information on passenger rights, see also ECC Czechia operates by the Czech Trade Inspection Authority. The activities of the network of 29 European Consumer Centres (ECC-Net) has been funded by the European Commission and the participating countries for 19 years . More practical information for consumers is available at