Loss or damage of baggage at the airport: How to file a complaint with South African Airways?

You are traveling on a South African Airways plane and when picking up your suitcase, you realize that it has been damaged or has not arrived at your destination. What to do in this situation?

In some cases, you may be able to obtain compensation. This process informs you of the conditions for obtaining compensation, the procedures to be followed, as well as possible remedies in the event of refusal of compensation.

Complaint: What to do in the event of an incident with my baggage?

Your South African airline is responsible for any problems with your suitcases. So it is to her that you must look back. The complaint must be sent by registered letter with acknowledgment of receipt to the competent department. You will obtain their contact details by contacting your company. You will need to provide all the evidence supporting the loss or damage to your baggage. You must also send invoices for the purchase of lost goods. You can use this form to send your complaint to the South African carrier.

You can also get more information from the insurance attached to your bank card. This one can possibly compensate you for this kind of inconvenience.

What are the deadlines for submitting a complaint to South African Airways?

It is imperative to respect certain deadlines. Indeed, once the deadlines have passed, the company will not take your complaint into account. Under the Montreal Convention, you have 21 days to file a claim for lost or missing baggage and 7 days for a damaged suitcase.

On the other hand, under the Warsaw Convention, you have 3 days if your baggage is damaged and 14 days if it is lost.

What are the conditions for receiving compensation in the event of problems with my baggage?

When your baggage has been lost or damaged, you can submit a claim with South African Airways. For this, it must have been placed in the hold. In the event of damage or loss of luggage, two agreements exist:

the Montreal Convention applies to all flights operated by European Union companies or to travel between two countries which have ratified it;

The Warsaw Convention applies when the journey is between two states which have not ratified the Montreal Convention or where only one of the two countries has ratified it.

As a reminder, the convention is mentioned on the plane ticket. If it is not indicated, the airline should be contacted.

What are the amounts of compensation that can be obtained?

Airlines only compensate up to a certain ceiling. You can get around € 20 per kilo if your dispute arose while traveling with South African Airways.

What are the possible remedies in the event of a refusal of compensation from the company?

When your airline refuses to compensate you, there are two avenues of action available to you.

– Contact the Tourism and Travel Mediator

Its intervention is free. Its mission is to find an amicable agreement between the two parties. The referral procedure can be carried out online. In addition, you must wait 60 days after filing a complaint with the airline to enter the mediator.

– To court

You have 2 years to take your case to court. The competent court depends on the amount of the dispute. When the dispute does not exceed € 10,000, you must contact the protection litigation judge. Beyond this amount, you must contact the court.

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