374.307 Baggage service.§ 374.307 Baggage service.
(a) Checking procedures. (1) Carriers shall issue receipts, which may be in the form of preprinted tickets, for all checked services baggage.
(2)(i) If baggage checking service is not provided at the side of the bus, all baggage checked at a baggage checking counter at least 30 minutes but not more than 1 hour before departure shall be transported on the same schedule as the ticketed passenger.
(ii) If baggage checking service is provided at the side of the bus, passengers checking baggage at the baggage checking counter less than 30 minutes before the scheduled departure shall be notified that their baggage may not travel on the same schedule. Such baggage must then be placed on the next available bus to its destination. All baggage checked at the side of the bus during boarding, or at alternative locations provided for such purpose, shall be transported on the same schedule as the ticketed passenger.
(b) Baggage security. All checked baggage shall be placed in a secure or attended area prohibited to the public. Baggage being readied for loading shall not be left unattended.
(c) Baggage liability. (1) No carrier may totally exempt its liability for articles offered as checked baggage, unless those articles have been exempted by the Secretary. (Other liability is subject to subpart D of this part). A notice listing exempted articles shall be prominently posted at every location where baggage is accepted for checking.
(2) Carriers may refuse to accept as checked baggage and, if unknowingly accepted, may disclaim liability for loss or damage to the following articles:
(i) Articles whose transportation as checked baggage is prohibited by law or regulation;
(ii) Fragile or perishable articles, articles whose dimensions exceed the size limitations in the carrier's tariff, receptacles with articles attached or protruding, guns, and materials that have a disagreeable odor;
(iii) Money; and
(iv) Those other articles that the Secretary exempts upon petition by the carrier.
(3) Carriers need not offer excess value coverage on articles of extraordinary value (including, but not limited to, negotiable instruments, papers, manuscripts, irreplaceable publications, documents, jewelry, and watches).
(d) Express shipments. Passengers and their baggage always take precedence over express shipments.
(e) Baggage at destination. All checked baggage shall be made available to the passenger within a reasonable time, not to exceed 30 minutes, after arrival at the passenger's destination. If not, the carrier shall deliver the baggage to the passenger's local address at the carrier's expense.
(f) Lost or delayed baggage. (1) Checked baggage that cannot be located within 1 hour after the arrival of the bus upon which it was supposed to be transported shall be designated as lost. The carrier shall notify the passenger at that time and furnish him with an appropriate tracing form.
(2) Every carrier shall make available at each ticket window and baggage counter a single form suitable both for tracing and for filing claims for lost or misplaced baggage. The form shall be prepared in duplicate and signed by the passenger and carrier representative. The carrier or its agent shall receive the signed original, with any necessary documentation and additional information, and the claim check, for which a receipt shall be given. The passenger shall retain the duplicate copy.
(3) The carrier shall make immediate and diligent efforts to recover lost baggage.
(4) A passenger may fill out a tracing form for lost unchecked baggage. The carrier shall forward recovered unchecked baggage to the terminal or station nearest the address shown on the tracing form and shall notify the passenger that the baggage will be held on a will-call basis.
(g) Settlement of claims. Notwithstanding 49 CFR 370.9, if lost checked baggage cannot be located within 15 days, the carrier shall immediately process the matter as a claim. The date on which the carrier or its agent received the tracing form shall be considered the first day of a 60-day period in which a claim must be resolved by a firm offer of settlement or by a written explanation of denial of the claim.[55 FR 11199, Mar. 27, 1990. Redesignated at 61 FR 54709, Oct. 21, 1996, as amended at 62 FR 15423, Apr. 1, 1997]