I have a Nikkor 24-70mm that was damaged by an airline inspector. When I arrived to my final destination, i opened my pelican case and saw glass in at the lens' foam compartment and i determined to be from the UV filter. There was no physical sign of damage to the body of the lens, and the front element had extremely minimal glass dust scratches on the front glass element. I shot with the lens and it seemed ok. Out of irritation that this happened, I submitted a claim to the airline and after their investigation, the airline determined that they were at fault and paid for the retail value of the lens with no questions asked. $2045 to be exact. Apparently they saw something on their surveillance video that made them make a decision in my favor. This was great news, as it seemed that the lens had mostly survived and I basically got paid for nothing. Not looking for ethics training here.. yes, I was overpaid, but it was their fault for not inquiring further and obviously I wasn't going to argue. While the claim was being investigated, I took the lens into my local Nikon-authorized service center for an inspection to make sure that everything was intact. So this morning I got a call with a repair estimate. It is $550. They say the front element needs to be replaced due to the scratches, the other optics need to be realigned, and something in the autofocus system needs replacing. I was a little shocked at this, since, like I said I had shot with the lens after the incident and things seemed ok. Autofocus worked fine, images were sharp, and the tiny scratches on the front did not seem to be rendering in the images. As far as I know, the place that has my lens is a highly respected service center that has been around since the 40's so I'm not really having a hard time believing them about what needs to be done. I fully realize that a pro lens like this (or any lens really) is a precision piece of equipment and anything that doesn't pass inspection will be deemed to require repair or replacement. I'm just trying to make a business decision and determine if the repairs are worth it, seeing as the lens seems to be mostly in sound working condition. I was planning to use the claim settlement to purchase a PC-E lens for product photography. Any advice here? If you were in my shoes, what would you do?