Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Luggage delay scenario -- advice appreciated

Luggage delay scenario -- advice appreciated

Jun 18th, 2006, 10:28 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,587
Luggage delay scenario -- advice appreciated

Perhaps you had a similar experience. Need objective advice on how to handle this.
Scenario: Flew from Funchal, Madeira to Rome Fiumicino on 5/22. Checked in bag containing all my clothes did not show up. Notified airline while at the airport. The next day I called and did not get a satisfactory anwer so since I was sightseeing nearby I stopped by TAP Air Portugal office. Was told luggage arrived that morning (allegedly was held up in Lisbon) and that it will be delivered to my hotel that evening. I asked the employee if he could guarantee my luggage will arrive that night and he said no. I asked for compensation to buy some necessities since we were flying back home on the 25th of May and I was given 80 euros cash.
Bag never showed up in Rome; we flew home to San Diego. I e-mailed the airline, I faxed the airline, I called the airline. I was told baggage had been found but no one knew where it was or when it would be delivered. I sent them a certified return receipt letter requesting to be contacted as to when to expect my luggage or proper compensation. We left town again on June 13 and that day my luggage was delivered to my house by FedEx and left at my doorstep. We arrived home from our trip last night and there's my luggage... It's not damaged, nothing is missing but it arrived 22 days after it disappeared and I believe after 21 days the airline is responsible for reimbursement. Do you think it's unethical of me to pursue this or should I go ahead and try to get compensation even though my bag is here and everything is in order?

Has anyone had a similar experience and if so how did you handle it?
Treesa is offline  
Jun 18th, 2006, 11:04 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 8,201
You're home from the trip, your luggage is there with contents intact, you got 80 Euro to buy three days worth of necessities. Compensation for what?

You've put enough energy into this--now let it go.
abram is offline  
Jun 18th, 2006, 11:49 AM
  #3  
rex
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 13,194
<< Compensation for what? >>

19 additional days traveling without any of her personal belongings.

Chances she'll actually get compensated? not good. Receipts of replacement items you purchased might help.

Best wishes,

Rex

rex is offline  
Jun 18th, 2006, 11:59 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 609
That's why I buy travel insurance. Among other things I would be reimbursed $250 for delayed luggage.

I'm sorry for your inconvenience, Treesa, but your luggage is back home with nothing missing. I tend to agree with abram
Judi is offline  
Jun 18th, 2006, 12:29 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 91,105
Maybe you don't want to relive the experience, but I'd be curious to hear about how you made it thru a vacation with no suitcase, no clothes, etc. and only 80 euro allotment to replace things.
suze is offline  
Jun 18th, 2006, 12:54 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,205
From "the cup is half full department," look at it this way: It's probably the only trip to Europe you'll ever make without having to haul luggage around.
Betsy is offline  
Jun 18th, 2006, 12:56 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 1,755
I think she was without her bag for less than 3 days (thank goodness the end of the trip!). If that is correct, I think compensation was fine. However, I would right a letter and address it to a senior VP level just to outline the issue re communications.
travelbunny is offline  
Jun 18th, 2006, 12:57 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 1,755
..whoops write!
travelbunny is offline  
Jun 18th, 2006, 01:39 PM
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,587
Thanks everyone for your input. Suze, this was at the end of 6 week European trip. We originally were on a transatlantic cruise so we went to the Post Office in Taormina and shipped most of our clothes home. We spent three nights and two days in Rome at the end and I made do with one pair of black jeans, one top and a jacket. I bought some underwear, three tops and a pair of shoes. Betsy, you're right, I did not have to drag my luggage all across Termini to the Da Vinci Express, etc. But, on the other hand, I was without my luggage for 22 days. If I'm late paying my bill I get penalized. If I'm late in sending my check to DMV, I'm penalized. I can't say, oh, after all you got paid even though it was late. I think airlines are too lackadaisical in handling people's luggage. Perhaps if consumers pursue the rules of the Montreal Convention, the airlines will become more responsible.

Travelbunny, I'll definitely write a letter.
Treesa is offline  
Jun 18th, 2006, 01:39 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 1,190
Treesa,
I had a recent experience with delayed baggage. Without asking the contracted baggage handling service, I purchased "necessities" (2 changes of clothes, personal hygiene items) for myself and my husband. I saved receipts and all paperwork. I followed the instructions on www.aa.com regarding "compensation reimbursement"; however, I was supposed to have proof of "prior authorization" from the airline before making purchases. My husband tried to deal with the issue at the airport (per the websites instructions) with the very large package of paperwork I had prepared. The website said I had 45 days to file. At the airport, contrary to the website instructions, they put him on the phone with a customer service rep who told him that, according to the contract between airlines, we needed to be asking British Airways for reimbursement as that was the airline that AA had changed us to when our connection on AA was missed. It didn't dawn on me to ask BA for reimbursement since they weren't the arline we booked/ticketed with...I went to the BA website to seek out their policy and, alas, their policy is to file within 7 days...so, we missed the deadline. I now have a very well documented packet of receipts, tickets, and well-worded letter that's gathering dust on the corner of my husband's desk. My point...based on my experience, I'd be impressed if you had any luck receiving satisfaction. I've decided to let it go (well, almost - it still stings!) and I can only offer empathy over your ordeal. What is the airline's policy with which you flew?
dorkforcemom is offline  
Jun 18th, 2006, 01:50 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 894
Dorkforcemom...after listening to your tale of woe I had decided to pack a carry on suitecase with a few changes of clothes for each of us and we would check one suitcase. I kept having visions of the big panties. I have never had my luggage lost before.

The one checked bag was delayed on the way over. We were given the choice of waiting 3 hours for it to arrive on the next flight or having it sent to us at our destination. Since we were going to be moving around, I feared we would not see it again until the end of the trip so we waited.

Guess what?...they lost one of my two bags on the way home. I got it two days later but I think I must have somehow brought this on myself...it was like the vulcan mind melt where the negative vibes had some kind of play in it.

Next time it will be all carry on for me.
CRAZY4TRAVEL is offline  
Jun 18th, 2006, 01:56 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,098
Two years ago, BA from Manchester to Berlin. I arrived. DH arrived. No luggage. We were spending only 4 days in Berlin and then moving on by car and train to several cities ending eventually in Rome. It was winter time and it was cold. The only clothing we had were the clothes on our backs (work clothes as we went to the airport from work)...and that clothing wasn't that warm - because we're from the Caribbean! Three days of calling (stalking!) the airline finally got us info that the bags had arrived and they would send them to the hotel.
We asked them to keep the bags and told them we'd come to the airport and collect them. We immediately went to the airport, collected the bags and went on our journey.
We had to purchase clothing to wear for the three days w/o our luggage and it was really a tense time not knowing whether the luggage would ghet there in time...
We didn't pursue getting compensation (E80) because enough time and energy had been spent in getting those bags back! I wasn't about to waste any more time on it!

Lesson learned :Always try fitting everything you need into your carry on and try to avoid checking luggage. If that's not possible (you know...if you simply MUST have those 14 belts and 12 sandals!,then always take some changes of clothes in your carry on.

Similar thing happened to me on a trip to Canada...four weeks later luggage arrived...back home...in Jamaica! To this day no one can tell me where my luggage went!
JAGIRL is offline  
Jun 18th, 2006, 02:04 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 45,322
What I wish is that luggage that travels all over the world without us would a least be given FF miles that we could have posted to our FF Accounts, lol.
LoveItaly is offline  
Jun 18th, 2006, 02:06 PM
  #14  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,587
JAGIRL: I always travel light with a carryon. But we were gone for six weeks, I have three granddaughters and they had such cute things in Italy I could not resist.

Actually in the future I'll plan to ship my clothes. We shipped about 20 lbs of clothing and it cost around 42 euros including the box. Our stuff arrived in 4 weeks. The Post Office lady was most accommodating.
Treesa is offline  
Jun 18th, 2006, 02:50 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 1,190
Crazy4travel - what a hoot! what are the odds! It does make you wonder about the power of positive thinking. I'm impressed that some of these people were able to buy clothes for 80 euros...the two of us spent $600 and didn't get a change of pants or shoes. (I guess it was the outrageous price I paid for the BIG PANTIES!)
dorkforcemom is offline  
Jun 18th, 2006, 05:47 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
Just one suggestion - this is why I always travel with a full change of clothes in my carry-on - including several panties and somthing to sleep in.
nytraveler is offline  
Jun 18th, 2006, 06:18 PM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,806
You right is limited by the t/c of TAP. I have twice luggages arriving late by few days. I do not count on my luggages to arrive with me. I always have a complete change of clothes on my carryon. I also swap sets of clothes with travelling companions in checked luggages. If one bag is lost, all lose a fraction of clothes, but no one loses all.
greg is offline  
Jun 18th, 2006, 07:51 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,898
Tressa-

I, too, had this happen, only it was on the beginning of a MED cruise.

We ended up getting hubs an entire wardrobe in Lisbon..

BA was the initial flight and when we put in a claim -with receipts for all the clothes we had to buy- and sent it to the head of BA, we DID get a check back for approx $250 USD - we spent well over that, but considering that they paid the $250, it was more than we expected....

So I say go for it..it can never hurt to write the letter...
andy is offline  
Jun 18th, 2006, 08:13 PM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 91,105
Thanks for filling in the interesting details. I'm not sure, in your shoes (so to speak) if I would bother pursuing the issue. There's likely fine print on your plane tickets that outline what the airline is or isn't responsible for? I'd be surprised to hear of further compensation.
suze is offline  
Jun 19th, 2006, 11:12 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,418
I don't think you are owed anything because it happened upon your arrival, not departure. You would be entitled to more, probably, at the beginning of a trip. Since you are home, there aren't any economic damages. YOu just want to penalize them for being late, but I don't think the law recognizes that, it's mainly based on real economic damages.

I don't think it's unethical for you to pursue it in any way, it's just a legal matter, so if you want to do that, go ahead. I think it's a waste of time, and am not even sure what your justification would be for saying you wanted compensation. Just because you were worried that time? Okay, maybe mental pain and suffering, I can buy that. If you think an airline is responsible for compensating you after 21 days, even though records show they didn't lose anything at 22 days, go ahead. You might do better at pursuing frequent flier miles or something as a customer service gesture than trying to get any cash out of them, if that's what you are thinking.
Christina is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 06:11 AM.