How Much Money Will You Get For Lost Luggage?

Starting February 28, the maximum amount airlines can be required to pay after losing your luggage will be $3,000 — $200 more than the previous limit.

But don’t get your hopes up. The chances of actually getting that much money are slim to none. Namely, because while they’ve set a max payout, the government still allows the airlines to decide how much they’ll give you in return for your missing bag and its contents.

According to travel lawyer Al Anolik, not only is the claims process difficult to navigate, its filled with rules that — not surprisingly — favor the airlines. In addition, many expensive items — like jewelry and electronic goods — aren’t eligible for reimbursement. Subsequently, payouts are a usually a fraction of the government’s limit.

Says Anolik, “They can exclude (from payment) everything but dirty underwear. It’s hard to get to $3,000 from dirty underwear.”

Have you ever tried to get reimbursed for lost luggage? Was it really that bad?