How To Claim Lost Baggage With American Airlines

How to Claim Lost Baggage With American Airlines: American Airlines Baggage Claim

American Airlines is a leading airline and in partnership with American Eagle, they operate 6700 flights to 350 destinations in 50 countries. In addition to this American Airlines is the founding member of the Oneworld alliance, whose members and member-elects offer nearly 14250 flights to 1000 destinations in 150 countries daily.

Keeping customer experience as the focal point, they offer many facilities for its passengers and in the event of an unfortunate situation that causes delays in baggage or loss of baggage, the airline representatives will put in their best efforts to support. If you are reading this it means you have made your American Airlines flight reservations and have arrived at your destination; however, have run into a sticky situation of losing you baggage and are looking forward for assistance.

American Airlines Lost Baggage 

Losing the baggage or receiving one in a damaged state can be very upsetting and stressful. If you are facing this situation, raise an American Airlines Lost Baggage complaint with their representative at the airport. The step by step process is as follows:

If your baggage is missing, inform the American Airlines agent at the airport right away and get the 13 character file reference number which is required to file the claim.

You could also use the file reference number to check the status of your lost baggage by visiting American Airlines lost baggage tracking website.

In case your baggage is missing for three or more days, you are required to share additional details by filling out the Passenger Property Questionnaire  and uploading it on the American Airlines lost baggage complaint website. 

Note: The same process is applicable for delayed and damaged baggage as well.

Timelines to file an American Airlines Lost Baggage or Damaged Baggage Complaint:

The complaint has to be filed with An American Airlines representative  as soon as you realize that you have lost your baggage or are yet to receive it (delayed). Ensure the complaint is raised within 4 hours of arriving at your final destination if your baggage is delayed. 

If you have opted for the ‘VIP Luggage Delivery’ then raise the complaint within 2 hours of arriving at your destination. 

American airlines damaged baggage complaint has to be raised within 24 hours after receiving your baggage in case it was delayed or within 24 hours if there were no delays that led to filing of a delayed or lost baggage complaint and getting the 13 character file reference number.

In case of damaged baggage, Airlines should be asked to repair or provide compensation within 30 days of filing the initial report. If the resolution provided is not satisfactory, then any legal action required should be taken within 2 years of the incident.

How To Track American Airlines Lost Baggage 

The 13 character File Reference Number which could also be referred to as a American Airlines Lost Baggage number is required to track your lost baggage. 

  1. Access American Airlines Lost Baggage Tracker
  2. Fill the last name field and key in the file reference number in the record locator field 

American Airlines Lost Baggage Claim

You can claim compensation for your lost baggage through the Airlines lost baggage complaint website. Please ensure all the required details are provided while filing for claim.

American Airlines Lost Baggage Reimbursement/Compensation/Refund

If your baggage is lost the actual value of the losses up to $3,500 or up to $5,000 if you declare excess value will be paid. However, money may not compensate for loss of things of sentimental value , therefore it is advised that such things are not carried in the check-in baggage.

American Airlines Damaged Baggage

Complaint has to be raised before leaving the airport as soon as you identify a damage, or within 24 hours if it is a domestic flight and within 7 days for international flights.

Ensure you receive the 13 character file reference number when the complaint is raised as this is required for raising a claim request. The claim filing process is similar to the procedure that is followed for lost baggage claim or delayed baggage claim. 

  1. Fill in all the required details in the Passenger Property Questionnaire.
  2. Acces American Airlines Damaged Baggage
  3. Fill in the required details and attach the required documents

American Airlines Damaged Baggage Claim

You can claim compensation for your damaged baggage through the Airlines lost baggage complaint website.  Select Please ensure all the required details are provided while filing for claim.

NOTE: For damages caused during the TSA inspection, the TSA representatives have to be contacted on 866-289-9673. 

American Airlines Delayed Baggage Compensation/Reimbursement

If your baggage is delayed the actual value of the losses up to $3,500 or up to $5,000 if you declare excess value will be paid. Reimbursement for things which are required immediately will be done immediately.

Submit the online claim form and attach the necessary document


Items that are considered valuable and are not eligible for compensation/reimbursement are as follows:

  1. Valuable – Precious stones and metals, jewelry, Antiques, artwork, business equipment, samples, marketing, securities paper and Money
  2. Fragile – Glassware, Photographic, video or optical equipment, Timepieces, computers, accessories
  3. Perishables – liquid, medication (over the counter) 

The following are also exempted:

  1. Things which you carry on the plane
  2. Damages due to wear and tear like minor scratches, scuffs, stains and dents
  3. Damage caused due to friction caused by two different items in the bag
  4. Things are not packed properly

More details are available in the American Airlines Baggage Claim liability policy

American Airlines Delayed Baggage Delivery/Status

As soon as the report is filed initially, a 13 character File Reference Number is provided. This can be used along with the last name to track the baggage using the American Airlines Delayed Baggage tracking site.

NOTE: Damages, Delays or loss of baggage on international flights are governed by the Warsaw Convention and the Montreal Convention.


American Airlines operates flights to over 1000 destinations through the OneWorld global alliance. They are customer-centric and provide great amenities for its passengers. In case the baggage is lost, delayed or damaged, they can be addressed through the American Airlines agent in the airport and can subsequently be followed up using the online facility and phone facilities they have provided. The liability varies between domestic and international flights and AAdvantage members can also contact customer care using the mobile app.

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