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Airlines' Legal Obligation To Pay For Lost Luggage

By Amy E. Feldman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Getting on an airplane this holiday season? What does the airline have to pay you by law if they lose your bags?

World Wrestling Champion Dolph Ziggler was none too happy when his airline lost his bag - with his official WWE Heavyweight Championship belt in it. (Didn't you kind of think wrestlers wear those belts everywhere? I guess it would set off the metal detector.)

So what is an airline's legal responsibility if they lose your luggage? More than they will tell you.

If your bag doesn't arrive, fill out a lost luggage form before you leave the airport. Once the airline declares your bag irretrievably lost, you'll have to make an itemized list of what was in your suitcase and the law says airlines could have to pay up to $3300 on domestic flights. But, they are allowed to limit that if they've told you in advance.

And, they will only pay for the actual value of your old items, not your cost to replace them new (Yeah. As if you can buy a WWE replica championship belt anyway. Oh yeah. In every toy store).

And then there are the things they won't pay for - loss of antiques, computers, jewelry, and money among them.

You want to tell the world wrestling champion that he's not getting his belt back? Yeah, me neither.

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