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Old Nov 14, 11, 2:05 pm   #1
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
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Thumbs down AA Elite lost bag experience with Etihad

Be warned this is a long post, not even sure if this belongs here, but posting it as I was traveling as an AA passenger on Etihad airlines. Please feel free to move this to the appropriate forum. Thank you!
Just wanted to tell you all about my recent flight experience with Etihad.
Wanted to try out Etihad and booked on AA.com
AA flight from ORD-CDG, AA Codeshare on Etihad from CDG-AUH, and then Etihad from AUH-HYD
The flight till AUH was excellent. No questions about that.
In AUH as we were boarding the flight, the GA stopped almost all the passengers and said that the Carry on bag could not be taken in as this was a smaller plane (believe this was A320) and our bags were either big or heavy. I challenged them on the heavy part, as my bag was empty with 1 pair of clothes, sport shoes and an SLR camera which is sort of unwieldy to carry it alone. The GA told us that I was behaving irresponsibly and there was nothing to check the weight correctly, and if I continue to act the same way, she would not allow me to board. This was just a valet check in and we will get our bags along with our other luggage in the destination. Well, there was nothing important in these bags and hence I really did not care to create a fuss and went along with it. (BTW, I was like the 10-15th person on the plane. And the plane was not full and a lot of bins were empty when we started to move from the gate.) So, almost everyone basically had to handover atleast 1 of their carryon’s to the GA. Some people removed their valuables and some people didn’t, with me belonging to the later group. When they took our bags they put the checked luggage tags on them and gave us the proof tags (if that is what we call them) (and…in hindsight, this should have been the first red flag)
When we landed, what we found out was, Etihad did not load our carryon’s into the plane as it was over loaded and were told that it would come the next day. Lot of the passengers had problems with that. Some had jewelry, some had important papers they needed to take to their visa appointments the next day.
My grief was that this was my brand new Briggs & Reily 20’ carryon, with a used Nikon DSLR. Still with nothing to do, I just filed my report and went home. Filed for my AMEX baggage delay claim and was sort of glad for the delay to make some needed purchases. That night, I called up their number at 12 midnight and someone in their office told me that our bags were on their way and could be collected by 5 am in the morning. So, next day, at 5 am, I am in the terminal asking for my bags. Now no one lift the phone and they tell us we (there were others in the same boat) have to wait till 9:30 am when someone comes so that they can clear our bags because of customs issues. I was in no hurry, so was willing to wait. Fortunately (for me) or Unfortunately (for others), 2 of the people had Visa appointments at around 9 am and were really desperate to get their visa papers and hence were persistent about getting atleast the papers from the bag. Finally around 7:30 one person from the Etihad team comes out and tells us that there is not much he can do as none of the bags came thru even today, and that even today’s passengers did not get their baggage. Etihad would try to send our bags by Emirates later today. Now as you can imagine everyone there was really furious and started barking at this guy. Finally we forced him to call the duty manager and he says “Etihad cannot guarantee delivery even today, but it will surely come in the next 1-2 days”. Now, I know my DSLR is gone for sure….So, I asked what about the compensation? We were told that there is no compensation for these bags as we received atleast 1 of our checked bags. Those other unfortunate passengers with visa papers, I am really feeling sorry for them they now stand to lose atleast 2-3 weeks as they now have to rebook their appointments, and maybe change their flight plans and so on. So, this is where things stand as of now…
One big truth I Learned from this trip, no use flying any other airline, if you are not an Elite with them. Especially Coach.
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Old Nov 14, 11, 2:33 pm   #2
 
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Originally Posted by FINASTORY View Post
Now, I know my DSLR is gone for sure….So, I asked what about the compensation? We were told that there is no compensation for these bags as we received atleast 1 of our checked bags. Those other unfortunate passengers with visa papers, I am really feeling sorry for them they now stand to lose atleast 2-3 weeks as they now have to rebook their appointments, and maybe change their flight plans and so on. So, this is where things stand as of now…
One big truth I Learned from this trip, no use flying any other airline, if you are not an Elite with them. Especially Coach.
Sucks about the baggage, but wouldn't AmEx cover the loss of your camera, if it is indeed lost? Not sure why you're so confident it's lost, I've had bags delayed 2 or 3 days, especially internationally as there might not be enough room on the next plane, or there's just not enough time to get it transferred and loaded. Elite status doesn't matter too much.

But even though one bag arrived, what if all your toiletries and clothes were in the other? Surely they have to offer some kind of compensation, no? I'd call AA, if you're not getting anywhere with the airline.

For the people who lost their important documents...well, they could've easily taken them out. I always assume my bags will be lost or late. Important things come with me, and a change of clothes. In a small bag that fits under the seat.
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Old Nov 14, 11, 2:39 pm   #3
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by berlinflyer83 View Post
Sucks about the baggage, but wouldn't AmEx cover the loss of your camera, if it is indeed lost? Not sure why you're so confident it's lost, I've had bags delayed 2 or 3 days, especially internationally as there might not be enough room on the next plane, or there's just not enough time to get it transferred and loaded. Elite status doesn't matter too much.
Yes, I believe, Amex will cover the loss for the camera. I hope I don't lose it, as it has been with me since 2004 and I really like it. I just am not sure if I will get it back because, the suitcase is unlocked and stuck in an Asian airport for 2+ days. Not that I think other countries are much better, but still.... there are lots of stories where people miss things with lesser value.
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Old Nov 14, 11, 6:12 pm   #4
 
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As a general rule status does not carry any weight outside the alliance. Of course, that doesn't mean they should lose your bag, and I ceratinly sympathize with all pax who suffered this fate. However, I fail to understand those who did not remove their valuabe possessions and urgently needed documents before checking the bag.
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Old Nov 14, 11, 9:38 pm   #5
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As this is about Etihad, it has been moved into the appropriate Forum. Good luck with your baggage issues. /Moderator
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Old Nov 14, 11, 9:50 pm   #6
 
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Bags get misplaced, and are very rarely lost forever.

As any frequent flyer will tell you, bags do go missing, however most turn up within 72 hours. From your post it appears it has been 24 hours.

I had my checked in luggage go missing by RJ during a 4 hour layover in AMM. As a OW Emerald and flying in Business Class. It arrived at CAI within 48 hours. Baggage issues like this do not discriminate against status or class!

Relax, take a deep breath and your bag will turn up. The best advice is to always call before you head to the airport, check luggage tracer, and if all else fails demand to inspect the lost bags yourself! I located my bag at CAI among the MS bags, even though it was RJ.
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Old Nov 15, 11, 9:13 am   #7
 
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It finally came thru today. Luckily nothing was missing.
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