File TSA claim for lost item

Q&A

March 25, 2007|By Mercury News

On a recent flight, a new digital camera was stolen from its box in my checked baggage ... with the box resealed and tucked in another suitcase. The airline claims it's not responsible. What recourse do I have?

Although each airline limits its responsibility in its "contract of carriage" -- essentially the contract it makes with everyone who buys a ticket -- you can still try to recover the value of your camera.

Checked bags are handled by airline baggage personnel and Transportation Security Administration screeners.

Your first step should be to file a claim with the TSA: Call 866-289-9673 or e-mail TSA-contactcenter@dhs.gov. That agency receives about 25,000 claims per year regarding lost or stolen items and reports that it has settled about 47 percent for an average of $150.

You're not likely to find resolution from your airline. Generally, their policy is to not assume liability for the loss or theft of high-value or fragile items such as photo equipment, computers, jewelry and antiques. Those items should always be placed in your carry-on bags.

We're visiting eastern Europe. What's the cheapest way to get from Dubrovnik, Croatia, to Vienna, Austria, for our flight home?

It's not exactly cheap, but your best option for getting to Vienna is flying. Train travel from Dubrovnik would require a 4 1/2 -hour bus ride to Split before connecting to two trains to Vienna.

However, Croatia Airlines has several flights, including one nonstop, to Vienna. The lowest fare we found is 1,608 Croatian kuna, or about $292 for the one-way trip. Go to www.croatiaair lines.com.

San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News

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