Mishandled baggage

While airline systems have come a long way in recent years, occasionally checked baggage is delayed, damaged or misplaced.

Below you'll find our recommendations for a speedy resolution.

If your checked baggage didn't arrive

We're very sorry for the inconvenience. Please be reassured that nearly all mishandled bags are returned to their owners quickly. You can expect daily contact from us until we solve the problem.

To speed up luggage return, here's what you can do:

  • Check the status of your baggage 24/7 with our online baggage tracing service. Please note you will need your airline file reference number provided to you, when you reported your bag missing on arrival
  • For international flights, which may include connecting domestic flights, email or phone the relevant baggage services office with your file reference and name within 21 days of your arrival
  • For domestic flights, email the relevant baggage services office with your file reference and name within 30 days of your arrival
  • Keep the mishandled baggage report you will receive from the baggage services office
  • Please keep receipts for emergency or replacement items
  • Also keep the relevant airline ticket, baggage receipts and excess baggage coupons

We will contact you as soon as your baggage is located and, subject to customs and quarantine regulations, deliver it to the address specified.

You may also elect to receive daily updates via SMS and/or email. Please ensure baggage services staff are updated with your correct contact details including a valid mobile phone and/or email address. If your contact and/or delivery details have changed, please advise the relevant baggage services office or online baggage tracing service.

Help we can offer while you're waiting for your bags

If your baggage isn't returned to you within 24 hours and you are away from your home town, you may be entitled to emergency expenses.  For details, contact the relevant baggage services office or online baggage tracing service. If you have travel insurance, check your policy benefits.

What happens after five days

If your bag has not been found after five days, please complete the claim form provided to you on arrival. Alternatively you can download the claim form and email it to your nearest Air New Zealand baggage services office. If your baggage is not located within 21 days, we will process the claim while continuing to search.

You should also contact your travel insurer. Air New Zealand's liability for lost baggage is limited by international conventions and the Carriage of Goods Act. Read our conditions of carriage.

Applying for compensation if your bag is damaged

Please report the damage to your nearest baggage services office by email within seven days. We will assess your claim and either provide a replacement bag of the same value (less depreciation) or process your claim according to the applicable liability limitations. Read our conditions of carriage.

Time Limits for reporting/claiming on delayed loss or damaged checked baggage

You must report delayed or damaged checked baggage in writing within the time limits below. 

Domestic (no international connections)

  • 30 days in the case of damage to, loss or destruction of part only of an item of checked baggage
  • 21 days since the case of loss of the whole item from the date of arrival


  • In the case of damage to your baggage, as soon as you discover the damage after you have received the baggage, and at the latest within 7 days
  • In the case of delay, within 21 days from when the baggage has been made available to you

Read our conditions of carriage.

Lost property

Sometimes passengers leave personal property behind on the aircraft, airline lounge or airport.

Here are our recommendations for a speedy resolution.

If you leave something on the plane or in the airline lounge

If you left an item in one of our lounges or on board our aircraft, complete our online lost property report.   

We'll make every effort to find your property. If required, a letter can be provided to support an insurance claim. Found items are held for one month. You'll need to confirm ownership and provide photo ID when you collect a lost item.

Once we've found your item, we will be in contact with instructions on how you can retrieve it.  

If you leave something at the airport

If you left an item at a gate or check-in or somewhere else in at the airport, please contact the relevant airport company.