Arriving in Pittsburgh last week, I found a corner of my new luggage dented and the plastic support inside broken. As someone who flies often, I have experienced minor damage to my luggage before, but felt this was outside the normal wear and tear of airline travel.
After walking up to the ticketing counter (IA has no baggage office) the agent told me if I wanted to file a claim, I had to leave the luggage at the airport. She told me this was my only chance. Seeing no other option I had to place all my belongings in a clear plastic garbage bag and carry it to the hotel. The first problem is the claim form states that I had the option of simply filling out the paperwork and leaving my bag at any other IA ticket counter within 30 days. Had I known this option was avaliable I would not have left my bag at PIT. The agent also told me the station manager would contact me the next day regarding my claim.
Two days later I got sick of waiting and called the station manager's number.
It was disconnected. I spent an hour with central customer service. They finally admitted they didn't have a valid number and had no way to reach their own office in PIT! The phone agent said someone would contact me regarding the claim. 24 hours later no call, I call 1-800 again and after 30 minutes get connected to the ticket counter in PIT, who tells me they know nothing about my claim or bag. The station manager is out until Sunday.
They do, however agree to send me a temporary piece of luggage to my hotel, so I can avoid returning to the airport with the plastic garbage bag.
I get to PIT early Sunday morning so I can talk to the station manager about this, to be told simply, "we do not cover any damage to luggage." No apollogies for the inconvenience, time wasted and embarassment. By now, I'm steaming.
The damage to my bag was a minor problem, but poor customer service turned this into something much bigger. This was my first travel with IA and will probably be my last. It seems that every person I talked to gave me wrong information, or did not follow through on what they said they would (like return phone calls).
Ultimately, I'm wondering what my options, if any, are. I've accepted my damaged luggage back and returned the loaner bag. I've accepted the fact that my brand new $300 piece of luggage will only survive another few trips before it's completly destroyed.
I would also like to forward my problems to IA, not in the interest of compensation, but to keep this from happening to the next guy. Anyone have an address or contact info?