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Trip Report Vueling EU Luggage Mechanical Issues resulted in Missed Connection on Delta

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After a very long and slightly stressful trip to Europe I ran into some issues regarding my return flight. My Girlfriend and I were taking a Vueling flight from Madrid to Paris which departed 30 minutes late due to a strike in Paris ( I made room for a 3.5 hour layover but this changed it to 3.) We got off the plane and started waiting for our luggage, after 45 minutes without anything showing up, people started to get frustrated. The only indication I could see was the Luggage Carousel saying luggage is arriving.

People started to surround the "Swissport" information booth so I walked over to see what was happening. by this time I had 2.5 hours to connect to our Delta flight From Paris - Atlanta. I seen a man unloading luggage on a push trolley one cart at a time, so I assumed they must have an issue with the people being on strike? maybe they had to unload each piece by hand... not to sure.

I finally made my way through the people and found the Swissport representative who by this time was one of the rudest people i've ever met. He told me it should be about 10 minutes longer, and that there was a mechanical problem with the plane, the doors wouldn't open to the luggage container.

2 hours to departure. no Luggage, I'm getting frustrated as he told me 10 minutes, and still no luggage... I ask the swissport employee to use the phone to call delta, and figure out what I should be doing.. he tells me I cant use the phone and If i want I can exit the area and go to information. I walk over to the exit and the custom guards tell me I have to get my luggage because I wont be able to re enter.

I walk back to Swissport to figure out what I should be doing, but he waves me off as he talks on the phone.

I leave my girlfriend in the luggage area and exit customs so I can talk to information, they call delta who tells me that its 1.25 hours to departure and I will likely be denied boarding. They tell me to go to Swissport and see how this situation can be fixed, then go to delta and get another ticket. They said it should be the responsibility of Vueling to compensate me for this problem but the people they talked to on the phone didn't want to take responsibility saying "It's not their fault the plane doors wont open"

Delta charged me $250USDx2 for the penalty to change my flight to a later departure.
I still made my connections after Atlanta (to Canada) and my girlfriend incurred an additional $150USD charge for her connection to Panama, as well as a 24 hour delay (hotel & meals) .

Given that I allowed more than sufficient time in-between my connections the are the penalty charges the responsibility of Vueling to re-imburse me? They had me fill out a blue paper and took photocopies of my $250x2 receipts but The other expenses didn't happen until Atlanta.

Information & Delta said that it should be paid by Vueling. But Swissport said its not their fault. I'm really stressed because the whole circumstance was chaotic, and Maxed my Credit Cards.


Any insight? advice? legal references? would be much appreciated.

thanks

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