Losing your luggage after a long flight can be daunting, but taking prompt and proactive steps will help you secure the bag faster. In rare cases, where the content of your luggage is returned damaged, airlines will generally compensate, as per the civil aviation guidelines of the country concerned.
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority allows you to file a complaint to the airlines over a loss of luggage, delayed luggage, pilferage and damaged luggage. You will be required to provide details like your name, contact details, date of incident and other relevant documents.
When it is taking a little longer to locate your luggage after a flight, do not panic. Wait patiently at the baggage claims section until all the bags have been taken off the airplane, then approach the airline customer care.
In the case of a delayed luggage, airlines generally have ways by which they track bags. When an airplane is loaded beyond maximum capacity, it is routine for airlines to offload some luggage to control aircraft weight, and this will mean that certain bags will be transported via later flights. Speaking with the airline and filing a written complaint will help them track your bag better.
Loss of Baggage
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority allows you to file a written claim for a lost baggage after about fifteen to twenty days of it going missing. So if after a flight you have not received your luggage, approach the airline and make your complaint. It’s important that you consult the airline’s website to know its policies on lost luggage prior to this. For refund purposes, many airlines may require receipts to know the individual value of the contents of the luggage. Also know that if your bag goes missing after you have departed the baggage claims area with the luggage, you will not be entitled to a refund.
Once you have received your bag at the baggage claim, it is important to inspect your bag for any damage in other to file for damages. If your bags become damaged after you have left the airport area, it becomes difficult to get a refund. In some cases, your ticket fee also has a travel insurance cover, and most certainly will be used by the airline to cover the cost of the damage.
Report any case of stolen bags quickly to the airline, and file a written report in this regard. Airlines will generally conduct investigations and bear the cost of the missing contents. Never wait too long to file a complaint, as the longer it takes the more stale and cumbersome it becomes.
Taking it up with the Civil Aviation Authority
Sometimes airlines may become sluggish with providing refunds for your damaged or stolen baggage, and this may make it imperative that you take it up with a higher authority. CAAs across the world follow different guidelines for baggage complaints, but this information can be found on the website of the CAA or at service desks provided at strategic positions of the airport.
How to file a complaint with the Nigerian CAA
As per the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority’s website, here are the steps to follow to file a complaint in Nigeria.
- Obtain a Consumer Protection Complaint form from any Consumer Protection cubicle/service desk, complaint/suggestion box, or NCAA offices at the airport.
- Complete the form or write a regular letter of complaint, stating precisely the complaint and the desired redress; or send a mail to [email protected].
- State clearly the complainant’s full name, contact address and telephone numbers.
- Attach copies (never originals) of all relevant documents such as flight tickets, baggage tags, airway bills, depending on what the complaint is all about.
- Be prepared to supply all further information and/or attend meetings that may become necessary in the course of investigation.
- Address the complaint to the Director General of NCAA, attention the Director Consumer Protection.
- Drop the complaint hard copy at any Consumer Protection cubicle, complaint/ suggestion box, NCAA office, or online at [email protected].
- At the various stages, Consumer Protection findings and other information from the service provider are communicated to the complainant.
- In some cases, tripartite meetings comprising the complainant, service provider and NCAA are convened by the department to jointly resolved knotty complaints.
- Irrespective of the findings or involvement of Consumer protection in a complaint, the parties are free to seek further redress by legal or other appropriate means.
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