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Your credit card, luggage and insurance

To the point What to do when your luggage delivery is delayed. What recourse do you have? What insurance do I need?

We don’t wish it on you but it can happen that your luggage is delayed or worse, lost. It is important to know your rights.

How do I track my luggage?

However, this is happening less and less frequently. Airlines are modernizing their baggage handling systems. For example, Delta uses a system based on RFID chips and allows you to follow the evolution of your luggage in real time on their mobile application. Here is a short video about this new device:


Nevertheless, it may happen that the delivery of your luggage is delayed. What recourse do you have?

Lost luggage: what insurance?

Insurance with the airline

In all cases it is imperative to make a claim with the airline, as we will see later, but credit card insurance often comes second and requires proof of your claim with the airline.

For international travel, which is the source of most baggage problems, your rights are governed by the Montreal Convention signed in 1999. It stipulates for the luggage in its article 22:

In the carriage of baggage, the liability of the carrier in the case of destruction, loss, damage or delay is limited to 1,000 Special Drawing Rights for each passenger unless the passenger has made, at the time when the checked baggage was handed over to the carrier, a special declaration of interest in delivery at destination and has paid a supplementary sum if the case so requires. In that case the carrier will be liable to pay a sum not exceeding the declared sum, unless it proves that the sum is greater than the passenger’s actual interest in delivery at destination.

Special Drawing Rights (SDRs)
is a “currency” made up of a basket of other currencies. This amount of 1,000 SDRs converted to Canadian dollars is approximately $1,800.

It doesn’t matter how long the delay is, as long as your expense is necessary to make up for the missing baggage. Imagine that you checked in a bag containing a laptop computer. You must use it for a business meeting 3 hours after your flight arrival. Your luggage is delivered 8 hours after your arrival. You can buy a laptop and claim it back.

In any case, remember to report the non-delivery of your baggage to the airline before leaving the airport and to have proof of this report.

Insurance with your credit card company

Your credit card may also cover certain risks. As with health insurance, coverage is linked to the amount of the annual fee, the higher the fee the more coverage you will have. As a general rule:

  • You must have charged the entire expense to your credit card. American Express, for example, only covers luggage for which tickets have been paid for with your card and/or Membership Rewards points
  • You, your spouse or partner and your children are covered
  • Some coverages have a common limit with other risks such as flight delay
  • Some coverages are not valid if the flight arrives in your city of residence




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