Flight 1549 survivors receive $5K checks for lost baggage

Like all viewers, I was awed and gladdened by the sight of passengers safely fleeing the watery landing site of U.S. Airways flight 1549 last week. Now I have another reason to rejoice. The airline has sent $5,000 checks to each passenger to compensate them for lost luggage and possessions. So how much money do you suppose I'm going to demand for my next lost bag?

According to The Travel Insider, current Dept. of Transportation regulations cap the airline's obligation for a lost luggage incident at $3,300 per person for domestic flights. However, few passengers will receive even this much, since the amount of compensation will usually depend on the value of the itemized list of contents that they will be required to supply. The truthful list; after all, the bag might show up again some day.

Once your plane has been turned into a raft however, the airline is apparently happy to toss regulations out the window in hopes of convincing you that a lawsuit would be a harsh way to treat your old buddy, U.S. Airways.