Bad news for Spanish airports. Specifically, for the Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport. According to a report by Reclamio, a specialist in the management of air passenger complaints, this airport leads this ranking at the European level, with 26.5% of claims in 2023.

But it doesn’t end there because Second place is occupied by Barcelona El-Prat airport, with 13.2%, and third place goes to Lisbon Humberto Delgado airport, with 5.8%. Paris Orly is in fourth position with 2.7% of complaints, and in fifth place is again a Spanish airport, that of Palma de Mallorcawith 2.4% of lost luggage claims in 2023.

What happens if the suitcase is lost at the airport?

In case of loss, you must file a claim for lost luggage at the airline window before leaving the airport. You must complete a ‘Baggage Irregularity Report’ (PIR) and it is also recommended to file a claim with the airline’s Customer Service department.


A row of suitcases distributed in the facilities of Terminal 4 of the Madrid-Barajas Adolfo Suárez airport


Maximum size and weight of suitcases allowed by each airline to travel by plane

In any case, Reclamio highlights that most lost suitcases return to their owners, with 97% recovered within two days. If it is not recovered, compensation for the affected passenger may exceed 1,500 euros. Despite the inconveniences, the probability of recovering lost luggage is high, providing some comfort to passengers affected by this setback.

Difference between loss, damage or theft of the suitcase

We spoke in that moment of loss or deterioration and not theft. Isn’t it the same for the purposes of claiming? No, and we must take this into account, because while it is the airline’s obligation to respond for the loss and deterioration of luggage, there is no such obligation when our suitcase or any object that was inside it is stolen if it reaches its destination. in perfect state.

These types of situations can only be resolved with our own care and with prevention by hiring travel insurance that includes theft (because not everyone does it, so as we always recommend, you must read the conditions of the contract and if is not well understood, get advice).


Suitcases on an airport conveyor belt


My suitcase has been lost: how to get compensation of up to 1,609 euros from the airline

Whether the luggage has been secured or not, make a declaration of the assets that are included in it. It will help us if the suitcase is lost or something inside is broken, to demonstrate in the event of theft that what we are claiming was really included. If we do not do so, in the event of loss or breakdown we already know that they will give us compensation with a stipulated maximum, and if it is stolen or something of what we were carrying is taken away, the insurance will offer us a symbolic amount within the limits established by the policy, without considering the real value of what was stolen.

Travel insurance

One has to read the policy carefully and get advice if there is something that is not understood. A source of annoyance is the distinction between theft and robbery: although they are commonly used as synonyms, many insurance companies take advantage of the fact that legally they do not mean the same thing to deny coverage if what has happened is that our suitcase was taken “carelessly” claiming that it was stolen. What they cover is theft.

And it is that The word “theft” is reserved for cases in which we do not realize that they are “misleading” our luggage. On the contrary, “theft” necessarily implies some type of force or intimidation (for example, they force us to open the suitcase at knifepoint, or to hand it over. It is also considered theft when the security key or padlock that holds it is manipulated. closes).

Despite these precautions, our suitcase is stolen. What do we do now? Report to the airport police. Not only because the insurance will require a copy of it to open the claim and proceed to study the coverage and offer the corresponding compensation, but also because an investigation will be opened to discover the culprit or culprits.