Baggage Bungle

November 16, 2007

in Luggage Stories

When my wife and I flew to Italy, the first two legs were on American Airlines. The first flight was supposed to be a non-stop from San Francisco to JFK. It circled Ohio for a while and then had to land at Newark to refuel for the 15 minute flight to JFK. We were told it was “weather.” We arrive two hours late and would have missed our connecting flight to Brussels except it was the same aircraft that we flew on to JFK. However, our baggage was removed from the plane and left in New York. We missed our connection to Milan but the American Airlines person at the gate gave us a slip of paper and said to take it to an Alitalia gate.

I asked about our baggage and was told that it would be “intercepted and placed on the Alitalia flight.” That piece of paper got us on the plane. Of course, when we got to Milan, no baggage. It took three days for my bag to be delivered and my wife got her bag on the seventh day. The only reason my wife got her bag after seven days is that I paid a taxi driver 30 Euros to go to the next town and pick it up at the home of the delivery truck driver who refused to deliver it to where we were staying because it was not on his route that day.

I made a claim for compensation to American Airlines. Their response was that they were sorry but that I had to make the claim with Alitalia since it was the last airline we flew. I have submitted two claims to Alitalia via fax and have received no acknowledgment that they even have the claim. I tried their telephone number in New York but it is always busy. I got through once and was told that everyone was busy handling other calls. I hung up after 20 minutes.

It has now been over a month since I returned and nothing positive has happened.

Signed, Rodney Sweet

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

rsabelli June 24, 2010 at 4:59 pm

Yes, it happened to me also.

My luggage was lost by Alitalia in Dec and they still owe me $1465.00.

After landing in Milan in December 2009, after waiting hours for luggage that never arrived, after I realized that my luggage was lost, after waiting hours at the lost luggage desk, I was told to repurchase everything I would need for my week long vacation because Alitalia informed me that they could not get my luggage to me until one week later (the day before I was departing to return home.)

I was very accommodating but they refused to have my luggage delivered to any of the cities that we were going to be in during the week (multitude of excuses: holidays, wouldn’t pay for courier, etc…) and so we had to return to the first city at the end of our trip to retrieve it.

Because we were changing cities everyday on this “vacation,”and the luggage they lost was my ONLY piece of luggage, I not only had to buy all of my clothing, shoes, boots (it was snowing), makeup, toiletries, but I also had to buy luggage!

Alitalia assured me that I would be reimbursed as long as I kept all of my (itemized) receipts and submitted a claim when I returned to the states. (Which, of course, I did.) But after almost 4 months I didn’t hear from them, and when I followed up, they lied and told me that my luggage was returned to me the following day, and then they denied my claim. Naturally, I had proof that they were lying, (I received my luggage one week later, not one day later], and so then they made up a nonexistent reimbursement policy, (there is no such policy, I have all the paperwork from Italy, and there is no such policy on their website), and so then they offered me $225*, instead of the $1465* they owe me. (However, I have not received a penny).

*Just purchasing toothpaste, a toothbrush, comb, hand cream, makeup, deodorant, sneakers and a tote bag, which I bought and used as LUGGAGE because it was cheaper, cost me $270.00! They offered me $225 as a “settlement” (which I never received), but WHAT ABOUT THE COST OF MY CLOTHES, BOOTS, UNDERWEAR?? WHAT ABOUT THE COST OF MY CABS, BUSES (to find these stores), AND PHONE CALLS (to track down my lost luggage)??

Should I be expected to pay for replacing my clothes—I packed them—they lost them.

They broke their contract:
see page 2 of THEIR document:

“…..provide the passenger with the agreed carriage according to the defined itinerary and

schedule, carrying the passenger and his/her baggage from the place of departure to the

place of destination…”

A simple search online will show you that Alitalia does not ever pay for lost luggage.

I have written to, emailed and called Alitalia 23 times. I have contacted Eyewitness News/7 On Your Side, The New York State Consumer Board, The Better Business Bureau, and Andrew Cuomo, Attorney General…..and various travel troubleshooters online……..I am still waiting for my check for $1465.00.

The other very frightening thing is that their prices are very CHEAP, and so students planning to study abroad find this very appealing….

If this gets posted, and any students who are thinking of studying abroad are reading this………DO YOUR AIRLINE RESEARCH FIRST…..BEFORE YOU BUY THOSE TICKETS….


Leave a Comment
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Previous post:

Next post: