Dear Dr Mcbeth
Thank you for your email, from which I am sorry to learn that your helmet was damaged.
We take our baggage handling seriously and do everything we can to make sure your belongings arrive on time and in the same condition as you gave them to us. The occasional accident does happen, although I’m glad to say it’s very rare. I’m sorry that you encountered problems this time around.
As part of our claims procedure, we do expect any damage to luggage to be reported at the arriving airport where a ‘damage report’ is generated. I’m afraid as you didn’t notify our airport staff at the time, and haven’t completed a damage report, we’re unable to accept this particular claim.
I’d like to clarify that if passengers take delivery of their bags and leave the airport without reporting mishandling, it is deemed that the bag and contents were in good condition at that time. This is detailed in article 16.1 our Conditions of Carriage (which are available on our website), and is supported by the Montreal Convention (1999). Our Conditions of Carriage state:
16.1 Notice of claims
Acceptance of baggage by the bearer of the baggage check without complaint and without completion of a property irregularity report at the time of delivery, is prima facie evidence that the baggage has been delivered in good condition and in accordance with our contract of carriage.
Our online claims form is for those passengers who have completed the Damage Report at the airport or who, in the case of lost luggage, are pursuing a claim for this.
If you took out private travel insurance, I would recommend that your claim be referred to your insurers for their consideration as their liability may extend further than that of the airline.
I do hope that despite this issue, you are having a wonderful time in Chicago Mr Mcbeth, and that your return flight is more enjoyable. I’m confident that future flights with Virgin Atlantic will be relaxing and trouble free in every respect.
Baggage Services Advisor
Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd
PO Box 747