Customer Care Lacking in Lost Luggage Incident

February 2, 2016

in Luggage Stories

Turkish Airlines best European airline 5 years in a row? Maybe so, but given my experience with them on long haul flights, it is hard to believe that they merit this award. I am interested in other people’s experience to know whether I have just experienced an unfortunate incident, or whether their service is not all that they claim.

My baggage got lost in transit from Istanbul to Malaysia. OK it happens. You report it, fill in the forms, etc. In my case I was only entering Malaysia to embark on a journey around Asia, not stopping anywhere very long, for a period of 3 weeks.

I needed to know what I would be entitled to in compensation if my baggage did not arrive before I set off on my travels. Well the emergency kit containing 1 pair of socks, white t-shirt, toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, and shampoo (no knickers) would hardly suffice for a woman visiting religious sites across Asia. Could I get anybody from Turkish Airlines to advise me… no, not a hope. I even visited their office in Kuala Lumpur to seek assistance, sadly to no avail. Bottom line was you just need to make a claim and we will assess it. Is that customer service? Is that “we care?”

Sadly, I knew I was on my own; they didn’t care about the situation they had left me to deal with. Fortunately, I am a mature woman and my credit card works just fine. So as one does, I took a positive attitude and went shopping in KL to buy a new case, clothes, etc., to let me holiday for 3 weeks as I was on a flight out of KL the next day.

In the meantime, as I was in transit holidaying across Asia, I gave them my sister’s contact number in KL to deliver my baggage if it did reappear. It did 8 days later, soaking wet and without a padlock. On being advised of this by my sister, not Turkish Airlines, I sent them an email acknowledging receipt of my case, but advising that I could not tell them what damage/loss might have happened until I returned to KL 2 weeks later. As I expected, the reply was the standard email about needing to make a claim, itemizing, all the 100 and 1 “proof” things they needed. Customer care at its best?

On my return to KL I examined the baggage; the case was damaged, the padlock was missing, but fortunately all my personal items were intact. And as my sister had taken all the wet clothes out of the case, they were not damaged.

So, I sent an email confirming receipt of my baggage and my claim for items I needed to buy for my 3 week holiday, and toddled off to the airport to return to Europe with my now 2 suitcases (luggage for holiday unused and newly bought luggage) thinking there is an end to this. I need to learn to stop being so positive.

As far as Turkish Airlines was concerned, I still had to meet the “boss,” their representative at KL. My 2 bags came to 33 kg… I was told I had to pay for 13 kg, etc. I explained about the lost baggage. No compassion; you pay and make a claim. I asked to speak with someone more senior… nobody was available. Again cornered; if I did not pay they will not issue a boarding pass. Heck what do I do? I asked what the hand luggage allowance was; I only had a rucksack and a handbag. Grudgingly, he made me weigh the rucksack and said OK, 7 kg excess. I paid… I just wanted my boarding pass.

It cost me £108 to get my lost luggage back to Europe!! Was that even the end? Sadly no, the customer service desk finally acknowledged my claim, but asked me to confirm whether I had received my lost luggage?

So, this is why I am writing this tonight. To share my unbelievable experience with Turkish Airlines that market themselves as a caring airline.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

prp February 3, 2016 at 11:37 am

Welcome to the world of airport hell…………..


patsytp February 7, 2016 at 8:33 pm

I get that you bought new things…. but if you were effectively "backpacking" for three weeks, why would you have possibly 20kg+ to begin with? It can't have been 'presents' in your case as you would have offloaded those onto your (very) forgiving sister,- so what on earth were you carrying? PS- what do you say to a Turk that talks too much? "Shushhh Kebab"! (a turk relative told me that 🙂 )


Iloveflying February 14, 2016 at 1:32 am

Where did they say they were backpacking?


Traveler1 February 9, 2016 at 7:43 am

Turkish Airlines, good plane TERRIBLE uncaring useless staff and service, a warning to anyone


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