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With the year-end holiday period coming up fast, many business travelers will no doubt be making personal trips to see family and friends — and to accommodate winter clothes and presents, you might have to (horrors!) check a bag.
After your bag hits the carousel at your destination, be sure to check it for damage (just like you would check a rental car before driving off in it). If something’s amiss, be sure to file a claim with the airline. The U.S. Transportation Department says that some carriers have been trying to shirk their responsibility for such damage, and it has just put them on notice that it will be watching them.
DOT said recent airport inspections by its Enforcement Division found that “certain airlines routinely exclude liability for damage to specific parts of luggage,” and won’t even accept passenger claim reports. The inspections took place in September at 16 U.S. airports; both domestic and foreign airlines were included.
Related: How to choose the best carry-on bag
The agency said it has put airlines on notice that they must revise their checked baggage policies to make sure they conform to federal regulations. Specifically, DOT said, airlines “are required to compensate passengers for damage to wheels, straps, zippers, handles and other protruding parts of checked baggage beyond normal wear and tear,” and they are required to accept reports of mishandled baggage from passengers even if the airlines believe they are not liable.
DOT said it will begin to take enforcement action starting January 9, 2016 against airlines not in compliance.
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