My family flew from Mumbai to Houston with Emirates. When they arrived in Houston, 2 bags missed 2 wheels out of 4, and I was not able to pull them and had to lift and put them in my car trunk. I called baggage claim and they asked to reply them with proof.

I got this reply by email:

Thank you for your claim on Sep 28, 2017, in connection with the above checked baggage claim. I am concerned to learn from you that, upon your arrival at Houston airport, you discovered that your bag was damaged, and sincerely regret any inconvenience you were put through.

I wish to advise that your claim in respect of damaged baggage is governed by an International Treaty known as the Montreal Convention 1999, which has been ratified by the countries where you began and ended your journey. The Montreal Convention is exclusive which means that it provides the only remedy available in these circumstances.

In accordance with Article 19 of the Montreal Convention, the carrier is not liable for damage caused by damage to baggage if it proves that it and its servants and agents took all measures that could reasonably be required to avoid the damage or that it was impossible for it or them to take such measures.

Your claim may be covered by your travel insurance policy. May I suggest that you also contact your Insurers who may be able to assist you further with your claim.

Although we have not lived up to your expectations on this occasion, I do hope your recent experience has not marred your impression of the service offered by Emirates and that we will be given another opportunity of serving you in the future.

Thank you for allowing me to explain our position.

Yours sincerely,

If the Montreal Convention 1999 was there from 1999, why does their website have a damaged bags link?

Is there any way to get rebate for that damage?

  • Sorry, its my bad, only 1 wheel was missing and was not able to pull.
    – Lafda
    Commented Oct 5, 2017 at 3:00
  • 3
    Did you file the damage claim at the airport or wait until after you got to your hotel/home? If the later, it then becomes hard to prove that you didn't break the wheel off loading it into your trunk. One should always file damage claims at the airport.
    – user13044
    Commented Oct 5, 2017 at 4:52
  • 2
    Did you ask damages directly on airport? What were the situation of baggage at the beginning of travel? (solid and intact, or old baggage?) Note: On some baggage it is frequent to break wheels (by defective design) so newer and better baggage doesn't have anymore fully external wheels, but they are partly protected by the case. Unfortunately not all new baggage have such wheels, but I consider this a defect of baggage, not of transporting company. Commented Oct 5, 2017 at 7:55
  • For what it's worth, replacement wheels aren't usually (with reputable luggage brands) that hard to come by: either you can contact the manufacturer and ask if they'll send you out the parts or take it to a luggage repair shop. You can continue to fight it out with the airline, but at some point your time probably better spent just getting it fixed. Commented Oct 5, 2017 at 8:16
  • 1
    Yes, I tried to report at airport. At IAH, Terminal E is for international arrival, when I found that, bag was damaged, I asked information desk, they inform to talk to Emirates office in Terminal D, I drove to terminal D, where they inform me to go back to terminal E and someone will come to information desk. When I went back to terminal E, noone came. I asked to information desk, he inform me that, I cant go back to baggage belt area, beucause its not public area :(. I called Emirates and they filed the claim online.
    – Lafda
    Commented Oct 5, 2017 at 13:26

2 Answers 2


The Montreal convention (Article 18) states the following about damaged bags:

  1. The carrier is liable for damage sustained in the event of the destruction or loss of, or damage to, cargo upon condition only that the event which caused the damage so sustained took place during the carriage by air.

  2. However, the carrier is not liable if and to the extent it proves that the destruction, or loss of, or damage to, the cargo resulted from one or more of the following:

    • inherent defect, quality or vice of that cargo;
    • defective packing of that cargo performed by a person other than the carrier or its servants or agents;
    • [...]

I would suggest you to reply to the airline, that you would like to see proof of one of the above options.

I don't really get, what they want to say about Article 19 because it applies to delay.

This is the Montreal Convention from IATA

  • Agreed, the airline is strictly liable under the Convention. But they never admit this. OP needs to think about bringing a claim at the local small claims court.
    – Calchas
    Commented Oct 6, 2017 at 8:19
  • I would suggest to not directly go to small claims court. Most of the time, you can just talk to them and get the same result. Commented Oct 6, 2017 at 8:32
  • Thanks, I reply to them, but dont think they will reply now. The problem is, they gave me file number for damage claim, that was also not valid, when I called to customer care, they inform, that number is not accessible
    – Lafda
    Commented Oct 6, 2017 at 15:45
  • I read article 19 from iata.org/policy/consumer-pax-rights/Documents/…, but that is for delay, I was claiming for damage, and they are showing me the wrong article.
    – Lafda
    Commented Oct 10, 2017 at 14:11

I would have a look at Article 17(2) of the Montreal Convention, which deals with damage to baggage specifically. It basically says the airline is liable unless it can say that the baggage itself was faulty.

  • 1
    Thanks Fred, I talked with them and when I gave them detail, they agree to replace my bags with new one.
    – Lafda
    Commented May 14, 2018 at 15:21

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