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What I Do If My Baggage Was Damaged with American Airlines

This article describes what you should do if you believe that American Airlines damaged your baggage. The airline's damaged baggage policy is described in detail, including a list of items ineligible for refunds. Instructions are provided for requesting a refund from American Airlines, and what to do if it was the TSA that was responsible for the damage.

If your baggage was damaged during a flight on American Airlines, you may be owed compensation. Read on to learn what you should do if you suspect American Airlines damaged your baggage.

American Airlines' Damaged Baggage Policy

The airline does not take responsibility for damage cause by improper packing, or for any of the following items packed in the baggage:

  • Antiques
  • Books
  • Documents
  • China
  • Electronics
  • Jewels
  • Furs
  • Heirlooms
  • Liquids
  • Money
  • Medication
  • Perishable items
  • Precious metals
  • Unique items
  • Fragile items

The airline also does not accept responsibility for damage done during the course of baggage inspections conducted by federal or state agencies.

Liability for damage to baggage is limited to $3,500.

The airline suggests that you should reduce the chances of your baggage getting damaged by not over packing your bags, not checking bags that won't close all the way, not checking carry-on items like laptops, using worn out bags, and not packing restricted items.

What to Do if Your Baggage Is Damaged

  1. Look for a TSA seal on the outside of your bag or a TSA notification on the inside of your bag. These notifications mean that your bag was inspected by the TSA. You must therefore make your claim to them by calling 866-289-9673.
  2. Report the damage to an American Airlines agent before you leave the airport or contact the airline within 24 hours of your arrival for domestic flights or 7 days for international flights. The representative will give you a reference number for your claim.
  3. Go to the page for American Airlines' Passenger Property Questionnaire pdf.
  4. Download the questionnaire.
  5. Fill out the questionnaire, using the reference number you were given.
  6. Scan in the completed form and email it to central.baggage@aa.com.
  7. Alternately, you can mail the form to:

American Airlines, Inc.
Central Baggage
4000 E Sky Harbor Blvd.
Phoenix, AZ 85034

If you have need of assistance you should contact American Airlines' customer service. You can reach them by phone, on Twitter, on Facebook, and through an online help desk.

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