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During my flight from JFK to Europe with Turkish Airlines via Istanbul 32 days ago my baggage went lost and no information about its location was available.

I have also completed and sent all the required documents and filled the lost items list about 3 weeks ago.

Since then I have been in contact with the airline all the time with email or their local office in my current city.

I know that Montreal Convention applies here and according to this a baggage is considered lost after 21 days.

This was their last response yesterday.

Firstly, we would like to apologize to you for the irregularity you have suffered. We would like to inform you that the research about your lost baggage is being carefully carried out, and that the required information will be provided to you, regarding the matter, by our research department as soon as possible.

  • Is this what they are supposed to say one month after the baggage is lost?
  • Is there anything I can do? What do you recommend?
  • When do the airlines normally reimburse for a lost baggage?
  • What was your final destination and was it on a single ticket? – user141 Oct 23 '14 at 10:03
  • I wanted to suggest the EU passengers rights: europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/travel/passenger-rights/air/… But that only applies on flight to and from the EU – user141 Oct 23 '14 at 10:10
  • Firstly I would like to know if their behavior is normal. – Enve Oct 23 '14 at 10:12
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    @andra EU passenger rights are mostly about delays, cancellations and damaged luggage (i.e. everything that's not covered by preexisting treaties). Rules about lost luggage are much older (Montreal convention as mentioned by the OP and before that the Warsaw convention). I can't comment on Turkish Airlines specifically or the steps to take from now on but I have had success claiming compensation from other airlines so I don't think it's “normal” for them to stall forever. It does take some time, however (can't recall exactly how long unfortunately). – Relaxed Oct 23 '14 at 10:51
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    Try hitting their social media sites. Don't start out over-the-top angry, but maybe post that you've had luggage lost for X weeks and have yet to receive any useful information. Maybe post on facebook the canned email you've been receiving. – CGCampbell Oct 23 '14 at 18:26
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According to their site:

Lost Baggage

Passengers whose baggage is missing at reclaim must, on the same day and before leaving the arrival hall, have a Property Irregularity Report (PIR) prepared by applying to Station Lost and Found Offices with their

Travel ticket,
Baggage tag,
Identity document (identity card, passport).

The Property Irregularity Report is filed on the WorldTracer system which begins searching for the lost baggage. When found the baggage is delivered to the passenger without delay, free of charge. For the first five days the Station Lost & Found Offices are responsible for searching for the lost baggage. For baggage not found within five days the

PIR,
Baggage tag,
Travel ticket,
Identity document and
Request form,

are obtained and sent to the Baggage Services Management. In the event that detailed investigations carried out by this department are not successful, the lost baggage file will be evaluated for compensation.

According to your data, I assume you did the PIR and one week later you did the Baggage Identification Form and sent to BSM (otherwise you should). State that according to the EU LAWS (since the baggage was lost in transit to EU and should have arrived there; EU LAW applies if you are departing from any airport situated in the EU, or arriving in the EU with an EU carrier or one from Iceland, Norway or Switzerland.) the standard terms are:

Checked-in luggage

If your registered luggage is lost, damaged or delayed, you may be entitled to compensation from the airline, up to about €1,220 Exception - if damage is caused by an inherent defect in the baggage itself.

Hand baggage (including personal items)

The carrier is liable if it was responsible for the damage. Make sure to file your claim within 7 days of receiving your luggage (or 21 days if your luggage was delayed). If you wish to pursue other legal action, you must do so within 2 years of the date your luggage arrives. If you are travelling with expensive items, you might be able - for a fee - to obtain a compensation limit higher than €1,223 by making a special advance declaration to the airline - at the latest when you check in. Though the best thing is really to take out private travel insurance. There is no standard form for the special declaration. It is up to the airlines to choose the type of form they provide.

There is no specified date where one baggage is termed lost. However, I would suggest you submit an air passenger rights EU complaint form to your airline - and make sure you keep a copy for yourself. If this still doesn't work, or you aren't satisfied with the reply, you can complain to the national enforcement body in the EU country where the incident took place. Or, if the incident happened at an airport of departure outside the EU but involved an EU airline, you can send a complaint to the relevant national enforcement body in the EU country you were travelling to. If you want to make pressure, next time you reply to them state you want to be refunded due to the time taken and that you will file a EUCF or higher and place the EU authorities on copy.

Alban

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