Can I double-dip on a lost baggage claim? Serious question.

Deborah Ibonwa flew an international itinerary on two different airlines. One of the airlines lost her bag, but Ibonwa wants to know if she can seek full compensation for the lost bag from both airlines.

She’s serious.

Ibonwa flew on Royal Air Maroc from Brussels to Portland, Oregon, via Casablanca and New York. Upon arrival at Kennedy Airport in New York, she discovered that her bag was missing and filed a missing luggage report with Royal Air Maroc. The Royal Air Maroc agent gave her a receipt for the missing luggage report.

Ibonwa’s last connection, from Kennedy Airport to Portland, was on JetBlue. The JetBlue gate agent told her that because the receipt attached to her boarding pass indicated that the bag was checked through to Portland, it might be in Portland. The bag wasn’t in Portland, so she filed a missing luggage report and a claim for compensation with JetBlue. JetBlue gave her a receipt for the claim and a copy of the luggage receipt, while retaining the original.

Ibonwa claimed a $1,700 loss with JetBlue, which she settled with JetBlue for $1,500.

But, she still tried to pursue a $1,645 lost bag claim with Royal Air Maroc. She noted that the Royal Air Maroc claim form didn’t ask if she had received compensation from another source, and didn’t say that she was prohibited from making a second claim.

Royal Air Maroc had told Ibonwa that it would continue to search for her bag, and after a month, she could settle her claim. Wanting to obtain a settlement of her lost bag again, Ibonwa submitted the claim form to Royal Air Maroc so she could get “fair compensation from Royal Air Maroc based on the values listed on the claim form.”

Related story:   Why a luggage delay does not entitle you to a ticket refund

In order to proceed, Royal Air Maroc wanted the original luggage receipt that was attached to the back of Ibonwa’s boarding pass: the same luggage receipt that JetBlue had kept when she filed the claim with JetBlue. When Ibonwa couldn’t produce the original luggage receipt that was attached to the back of her boarding pass, Royal Air Maroc wanted a notarized letter from her.

Sensing a potential problem with making two claims for payment for one lost bag, Ibonwa sought help through one of our help forums.

Our help forums are staffed by volunteer travel industry experts and are read by consumers and travel company representatives. Ibonwa wanted to know if there was a law that prohibited her from receiving compensation twice, since she didn’t think JetBlue paid her the full value of her claim. After receiving $1,500 for a lost bag and its contents, that she valued at $1,700, she wanted another $1,645 from Royal Air Maroc.

Unsurprisingly, the forum contributors answered Ibonwa’s question by telling her that pursuing compensation twice for the same lost bag was fraud.

Shortly after being told it was fraud, Ibonwa asked our advocates to delete her post and her account. We don’t delete posts or forum accounts, but we do lock the post and prevent further replies to the original post. So that’s what we did. We don’t know what Ibonwa did, but we hope she followed the advice of our forum contributors.

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Diane Perera

Diane and her family love to travel, and they do so as much as they can. Having experienced the downside of travel, and having learned so much from, led Diane to become an advocate and to help fight the good fight. Read more of Diane's articles here.

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