Skip to main content

Southwest Airlines Community

File a complaint

Explorer C

My baggage was severely damaged by SW over the weekend and they are refusing to compensate me. How do I file a complaint? 


Re: File a complaint

Aviator C

@Tstphns81 wrote:

My baggage was severely damaged by SW over the weekend and they are refusing to compensate me. How do I file a complaint? 



Below is Southwest's policy on damage claims:


The general policy is that claims are to be made within 4 hours of arriving at the airport or collecting the bags from baggage claim: 


  • We're sorry about your baggage—we're here to help. Please make a report in person to the Baggage Service Office (located in the baggage claim area or at the ticket counter). If you've already left the airport, please Contact us here or call (888) 202-1024.
  • For domestic itineraries, Customers must notify us of the claim no later than four hours after either: (a) arrival of the flight on which the loss, damage, or delay is alleged to have occurred, or; (b) receipt of the baggage, whichever is applicable.
  • For domestic itineraries, we’re not liable for manufacturer defects or for minor damage resulting from normal wear and tear, such as cuts, scratches, scuffs, stains, dents, punctures, marks, and dirt. We’re also not liable for carryon baggage or any items contained in a bag deemed overstuffed.
  • For international itineraries, the Customer must contact us no later than seven calendar days in the case of damage to baggage and twenty-one calendar days in the case of delay.


If you made your initial claim within the four hour mark and the damage does not fit the "minor damage" category, you may be due compensation. Since this forum is customer-to-customer, I would call the number above with your issue. Even if you don't "qualify", I would still try to write an email or call the number on the damaged luggage. I would provide pictures. They should have record that you attempted to rectify this with the prior CSA's who were not able to offer you compensation.


While cash compensation to pay for replacement luggage could be out of the question at this point, the airline may be able to offer you some other perk in return for your business toward a future flight such as a LUV voucher. 


Email Southwest:

Re: File a complaint

Aviator C

The claim process outlined is the way to go.  Given the four hour window, you may want to go to the CONTACT US section and advise them of what happened.


Personally, I've never had a piece of luggage damaged by Southwest.  However, sometimes people other than Southwest employees will handle baggage and even the airport machinery can damage articles.