How to Sue Emirates for Lost Baggage

It can be incredibly frustrating when you're traveling for work or vacation, and you make it to your destination – but your luggage doesn’t. It’s estimated that about two bags will be lost for every 1,000 passengers.

Although those numbers don’t seem exceptionally high, there’s a realistic chance that you’ll be the victim of lost luggage at some point in the future. In this article, we’ll cover all of your options if you’re flying with Emirates and your luggage is lost. We’ll also answer the following question: how to sue Emirates for lost baggage?

What to do If Emirates Loses Your Luggage?

You can sue Emirates for lost baggage, but legal action is usually the last resort in a lost luggage case, which we’ll cover in more detail in a bit.

The first step to take if your luggage has been lost or misplaced by Emirates is to contact the lost property office that’s located at the airport where your flight landed, according to Emirates’ website. File a missing baggage report immediately.

Since you likely paid a separate fee to have your luggage checked, consider asking Emirates for a refund while filling out the missing luggage paperwork. This may be the best opportunity since the airline may be sympathetic to you for losing your luggage.

Make a detailed list that includes every item in your luggage and how much each cost. You’ll have a solid estimate of how much the airline should reimburse you if the luggage is never found.

How Much Will I Be Reimbursed for Lost Luggage?

Although filing a lawsuit against Emirates is possible, you may not need to. There are strict domestic and international regulations for how airlines are required to handle lost baggage claims.

Each airline, including Emirates, has different policies regarding when luggage is considered lost; usually, it's between 5 and 14 days. If the time frame seems excessively long, the airline could be subject to enforcement by the U.S. Department of Transportation for domestic flights. If you're on an international flight, the Montreal Convention treaty kicks in. The Montreal Convention also has strict rules regarding how airlines handle damaged, lost, or delayed baggage claims.

Airlines, including Emirates, are required to compensate passengers for lost luggage. According to DOT regulations, the maximum liability amount is $3,800 for domestic flights, although airlines are allowed, but not required, to pay more.

The maximum baggage liability for international flights covered by the Montreal Convention is about $1,780. Again, the airlines can pay more but are not required to.

Suppose an airline loses an assistive device such as a wheelchair, hearing aid, or portable oxygen concentrator. In that case, it's liable to pay for the item's original purchase price, up to $20,000.

How to File a Formal Complaint with Emirates?

There are a few different types of complaints you can file against Emirates if you feel that they have acted unprofessionally or unethically. Here are your options:

  • Contact Customer Support - Emirates makes its customer support easy to reach. You can call them at 1 (800) 777-3999, file a complaint on their support website, or file a lost and/or damaged baggage form directly with them for assistance.
  • File a Complaint with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) - you can leave a formal complaint with Emirate on their BBB website. Some businesses pay to accredit themselves with this organization and have dedicated support staff to resolve complaints lodged here.
  • File a Complaint with the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) - This online government form makes filing a complaint easy. They will forward your complaint to the company and require them to answer both your complaint and the DOT. They also provide an outline of what to expect in this process.

Can I Sue an Airline for Lost Luggage?

But what if the items in your luggage are worth more than those maximum liability amounts? According to the DOT, you can sue an airline in a small claims court or regular court in any jurisdiction with an office or operates flights. The amount awarded in small claims court is usually capped off at $10,000, depending on the state.

If Emirates loses baggage with valuable jewelry or other items worth more than $10,000, consider speaking to a lawyer. They can advise you on your best course of action. You can use an online filing service to save you time and make the process easier.

At Dispute, the small claims filing process is made easy and affordable through our app. Let the app manage all of the paperwork, court dates, and filing. All you have to do is check your user dashboard for updates on your case. Our tools make it easy to manage the details for any state and county. All you need to do is put together evidence and show up for your day in court.