I returned this year from Jo'burg to LHR on SAA to find my aluminium rifle case pierced, dented and the handle broken off and missing. At the SAA claims desk there were four of us with damaged baggage. I was asked the value of the case and I guessed £250. I bought a replacement, a Pelican 1750, and provided them with a copy of the invoice for £299.86. After protracted emails I received this explanation for why they will not pay for their damaging my property:
The amount of £250.00 was the value given in your file reference LHRSA10195, the value given in your receipt dated 23 March 2016 (£299.86) does not reflect the value of the case that was damaged. We took the amount of £250.00 and we took depreciation at 10% per year (5 years old) , which gave us the total of £147.62 as per the offer we made you
We handle claims in line with the Montreal Convention and as per our conditions of carriage 16.3.12:
16.3.12. In the course of normal handling, your baggage may show evidence of use. We are not liable for conditions that result from normal wear and tear such as minor cuts, scratches, scuffs, dents and soiled baggage. We are not liable for protruding parts such as wheels, feet straps, handles including telescoping / pull handles, hangers, hooks, loose flaps, pockets or other attached items.
It appears they routinely smash up your property then refuse to pay for it ! This was a case containing a rifle and meant to be handled by personal baggage handlers not just chucked on the conveyors and into trolleys. I could have flown Virgin for £50 less. I will be next trip !