For €2.50 per flight, passengers can benefit from “Delayed Baggage Protection”, which allows them to track their delayed checked-in luggage in real time.
The service includes guaranteed compensation of €300 if luggage is still missing 96 hours – four days – after landing, which rises to €600 if two or more bags go missing. Even if the bag turns up at a later date, customers won’t need to return the compensation.
The fee is fixed no matter what was inside the bags, with Wizz Air letting passengers know they “won’t have to worry about digging up receipts or itemising [their] belongings to get paid”.
The Hungary-based airline has partnered with “lost baggage concierge” Blue Ribbon Bags for this new initiative, which it said “tracks and expedites the return of all mishandled baggage”.
Regardless of this service, those travelling by air have a legal right to compensation from the airline if checked-in luggage is delayed, lost or damaged. Many travel insurance providers already offer baggage cover under standard policies.
Simon Calder, travel correspondent at The Independent, said: “This looks a classic example of treating the symptoms, not the causes, of lost luggage – and Wizz Air seeking to extract more ‘ancillary revenue’ from passengers.
“The airline is saying: you need to pay us to check in bags, and then pay some more for a degree of protection on that baggage.
“The deal looks pretty dreadful: almost all bags that go astray are returned within 96 hours.
“The email I was sent did not mention the Montreal Convention, which covers lost baggage, and which stipulates much higher limits.
“While airlines including Wizz Air continue to misroute baggage, the best solution for travellers on any carrier is to take only hand luggage if at all possible.”
The Montreal Convention governs international air travel, and in particular compensation payments. It sets specific limits for lost bags. Compensation for luggage loss, damage or delay is capped at £1,377. If luggage is delayed and passengers have had to purchase necessities, they have the right to be reimbursed under this treaty.
And after a piece of checked luggage has…