When travelling by plane, especially in Europe, there are a couple of guarantees regarding time of the transport, e.g. EC261 regulating compensation for delays over 2 hours and minimum connecting time of the airports, stating how long should one allocate for a change.

Are there any guarantees (especially in Europe) that, if the plane landed by hour X, I will get my luggage by X+Y? I'd like to buy further train ticket and prefer not to be late, but what to have as little waiting time as possible.

I know that 30 minutes is enough, but I would like to know whether there are any guarantees, such as compensation or other laws.

  • 1
    Related: telegraph.co.uk/travel/news/…
    – mts
    Nov 13, 2016 at 11:58
  • Some airlines pay less than others to the luggage handling companies, if you use a airline that chooses the cheapest gate so you have a mile walk, you can expect them to do the same with your luggage….. Nov 13, 2016 at 17:02
  • "30 minutes is enough" - do you mean the waiting time after reaching the luggage belt, or do you mean the time it takes to get from the plane to the train station? At larger airports, this can be significantly longer - e.g. in Frankfurt, 45 minutes is not unusual even for an intra-Schengen-flight (15 min walking from gate to luggage claim if you're unlucky, 15 min to get from luggage claim to the train station plus the time it takes your luggage to arrive).
    – Sabine
    Nov 13, 2016 at 17:53
  • Yeah, I thought about a smaller airport.
    – sygi
    Nov 13, 2016 at 18:33

2 Answers 2


I wonder, are there any guarantees (especially in Europe) that if the plane landed by hour X, I will get my luggage by X+Y? I'd like to buy further train ticket and prefer not to be late, but have as little waiting time as possible.

There is no guarantee or law that provides the assurance you require. This is one of the reasons why many frequent travellers, myself included, travel light and avoid checked luggage so far as is possible.

If your bag is seriously delayed, i.e., it did not arrive on the same plane as you, the airline is responsible for forwarding it to you at your new location. This generally means more than a few hours delay, and often the bag takes a day or so before it arrives.

I know that 30 minutes is enough, but I ask if there are any guarantees, e.g. in a sense of compensation or other laws.

The only legally enforceable guarantee you have is, on an international ticket, that if the bag is not delivered within 21 days, you are entitled to regard it as lost and sue the airline for the value of the contents, up to 1000 special drawing rights. (Which today is about 1300 USD.)

This follows from two provisions of the Montreal Convention on the Unification of Certain Rules for International Carriage by Air, to which many countries are a party, as well as the European Union.

Chapter III

Article 22.

  1. The carrier is liable for damage sustained in case of destruction or loss of, or of damage to, checked baggage upon condition only that the event which caused the destruction, loss or damage took place on board the aircraft or during any period within which the checked baggage was in the charge of the carrier. However, the carrier is not liable if and to the extent that the damage resulted from the inherent defect, quality or vice of the baggage. In the case of unchecked baggage, including personal items, the carrier is liable if the damage resulted from its fault or that of its servants or agents.

  2. If the carrier admits the loss of the checked baggage, or if the checked baggage has not arrived at the expiration of 21 days after the date on which it ought to have arrived, the passenger is entitled to enforce against the carrier the rights which flow from the contract of carriage.

The Convention only applies to international tickets, that is, where the ticket includes at least one international sector. Some countries (the UK) also apply its rules on domestic-only tickets.

In my experience, no airline will ever admit this until you actually bring proceedings against them, and then they usually offer to settle the day before the case begins. So it is hardly a consumer-friendly remedy.


I ask if there are any guarantees, e.g. in a sense of compensation or other laws.

The Montreal Convention has:

In case of baggage delay, the air carrier is liable for damage unless it took all reasonable measures to avoid the damage or it was impossible to take such measures. The liability for baggage delay is limited to 1000 SDRs (~€1,220).

  • 1
    Good to know, but Montreal Convention doesn't define what amount of time constitutes a delay and I think it regards rather longer (multiple hours) delays.
    – sygi
    Nov 13, 2016 at 12:38
  • I think you will find that delay in this sense is one long enough to require purchase of clothing, toiletries, etc.
    – user13044
    Nov 13, 2016 at 14:54

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