Page feedback

Please select an answer for the feedback question.

Did you find the information you were looking for on this page?

characters left

lost-and-damaged-baggage

Page feedback

Thank you

We appreciate you taking the time to help us.

Other airlines

Click an airline logo to find out about their services.

  • American Airlines logo.
  • Finnair logo.
  • Iberia logo.
  • Japan Airlines logo.
  • US Airways logo.

Lost and damaged baggage

A suitcase on a baggage belt.

Every day we take great pride in carrying thousands of bags safely and speedily to their final destination where the vast majority arrive on time and in tip-top condition. We aim for perfection, but when something goes wrong we’ll pull out all the stops to resolve the situation as quickly and painlessly as possible.

Read on for help with:

  • finding delayed and lost checked baggage
  • claiming for lost baggage, damaged baggage and damaged and missing contents

For help retrieving hand baggage and property left on board our aircraft, please read our lost property FAQ.

Finding delayed and lost baggage

The sooner you report a problem to us the quicker we can resolve it. That’s why if your bags haven’t arrived on time it’s really important that you tell us about it while you’re still at the airport.

  • If you reported your bags missing at the airport you do not need to take any further action. We are working hard to reunite you with your bags and will be in touch when we find them.
  • If you left the airport without reporting the problem you’ll need to call us.

When you report a problem we’ll give you a baggage file reference number which is a series of five letters and five numbers such as JFKBA12345 (this is different to the baggage receipt you were given when checking your bags in).

As soon as we find your bag we will return it to you for free to any address you choose. (This service is not available in some countries due to local government restrictions but we will advise you if this applies.) Most bags are reunited with their owners within 72 hours.

Call us to report a problem (only if you don’t already have a baggage file reference number)

Check the status of your bag and update your details (requires baggage file reference number)

Call us for any other reason

Claiming for lost baggage, damaged baggage and damaged and missing contents

Before making a claim, please ensure you have told us about your damage or loss and have a reference number (e.g. the baggage file reference number from a delayed bag report):

If you haven’t already done so, report your problem now

If you believe you have lost contents or had contents damaged during a US baggage inspection you can claim compensation directly from the US Transport Security Administration (TSA):

TSA claim form

A personal travel insurance policy will likely provide a greater level of cover than we can offer. We therefore recommend that you contact your insurer before making a claim directly with us. We will provide you with a written report, on request, to send to your insurer as proof of loss, damage or delay to your baggage, in support of your claim.

If you do not have travel insurance that covers you for any relevant loss, you may claim from us for the following reasons within the set deadlines:

If you need to purchase essential items because your baggage is delayed for an extended period of time, please do so, remembering to keep all your receipts, and then submit them to us in the 'On Arrival' section on our baggage compensation claim form. We will reimburse you as quickly as possible.

Why and when you can claim
Reason for claim Deadline for claim
Baggage reported as missing for more than three days 21 days from the date of the flight
Expenses incurred because of a delay to a bag 21 days from the date of the flight
Damage to a bag 7 days from the date of the flight
Missing or damaged baggage contents 7 days from the date of the flight

Start a claim for baggage compensation

Call us to check the status of an existing claim

Call us for any other reason

Insurance and baggage liability limitations

Whilst we will make every attempt to ensure your baggage is handled with care, you should know that British Airways’ liability for loss, delay or damage to baggage is limited unless a higher value is declared in advance and additional charges paid.

The extent of airline liability is not based on the weight of the bag nor its value. British Airways does not accept liability for fragile, valuable, perishable articles or baggage which is packed in damaged or unsuitable containers.

Under the Conditions of Carriage we accept no liability for the loss of jewellery, other valuables and money contained in checked baggage. You are advised to keep valuables, important documents and money either on your person or in your hand baggage.

We strongly recommend that you obtain adequate travel insurance cover prior to your journey. Use the following links for further information:

Notice of liability limitations

Conditions of carriage