Here’s a horror story for frequent travelers, especially when you’ve got expensive stuff checked in.
A Manila-based CEO and her family checked in Jan. 3, 2015, in Rome for a flight onboard a known Middle Eastern airline for Manila. In Abu Dhabi for the connecting flight, however, because of some confusion due to bad weather, a transfer of planes was required, and the lady was unable to claim her bag from the airline.
Airline personnel promptly got the family’s address for forwarding of their luggage to their home in Manila. The lady was given a Property Irregularity Report. The family arrived in Manila Jan. 4, and subsequent checks on the airline website revealed the luggage status as “still tracking.”
On Jan, 7, the businesswoman was surprised to read that the bag had been noted as “delivered,” when nothing had arrived in her home.
She then received notice that the baggage must be claimed at the airport; it would not be delivered, as they had been promised in Abu Dhabi.
She claimed her luggage and went home without checking the bags. She discovered that her Rimowa suitcase had been tampered with, with the zipper destroyed and one clip unlocked. An Hermès hard box nearest the opening also showed signs of having been forcibly pulled toward the opening.
Another new Rimowa suitcase contained a smaller, brand-new Rimowa case that was unlocked, and its expensive contents stolen. The businesswoman had documented evidence of what was missing, as the items had all been listed for a tax rebate, as required of all passengers exiting Europe.
The best part is that the airline responded to an email from the lady’s lawyer only in October 2015, nine months after the incident. The airline’s baggage claims manager in Abu Dhabi responded with an apology, and offered the airline’s maximum settlement amount of $1,600 to be sent via bank transfer.
By January 2016, the lawyers again followed up, as, after providing the airline with all the details, the money had not been received.
It’s July 2017, and there has been no word from the Middle Eastern airline. The lady’s lawyers have all the correspondence on file. Maybe the businesswoman didn’t really need the $1,600—but isn’t the airline completely liable here? What use is “award-winning” service when they allow passengers to be so violated, and take over two years ( and counting) to make things right?