Urgent question: Luggage lost - what expenses will be reimbursed

 
Old Sep 23, 06, 11:29 am
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Exclamation Urgent question: Luggage lost - what expenses will be reimbursed

My wife was caught in the Chicago weather mess yesterday. Hours sitting in SFO, Milwaukee, ORD and finally Toronto.

However her baggage is lost.

Of course all her cosmetics, changes of clothing, cell phone charger, and other" get started on a contract job this morning items" are gone.

Having gotten into her apartment at 5:00 a.m., she is sleeping. Baggage refuses to speak to me about anything since she is the passenger.

What is she allowed to buy and be compensated for?

Any help is appreciated.
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Old Sep 23, 06, 11:57 am
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Recently had a similar situation, and, barring third party baggage insurance, they'll hold firm to a 24 hour period to locate the bags before authorizing compensation for necessary items - but no need to ID yourself on calling, just dial the baggage number and have the claim ID ready - and if you don't like what you hear, call again.
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Old Sep 23, 06, 12:09 pm
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Originally Posted by tdo-ca
Recently had a similar situation, and, barring third party baggage insurance, they'll hold firm to a 24 hour period to locate the bags before authorizing compensation for necessary items - but no need to ID yourself on calling, just dial the baggage number and have the claim ID ready - and if you don't like what you hear, call again.
Thank you for that.

Interesting that no one is available on the weekend to answer such things by phone except baggage - a department not known for their customer service skill. Apparently neither the Plat desk nor AAdvantage customer service has a written policy available.

Customer relations department of this international 24/7 company keeps bankers' hours and will not be in until Monday morning.

Interesting this 24 hour period. My wife was suppose to arrive in Toronto in mid-afternoon, got there at 2:30 a.m. When does the clock start ticking?
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Old Sep 23, 06, 12:50 pm
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Originally Posted by Teacher49
Thank you for that.

Interesting that no one is available on the weekend to answer such things by phone except baggage - a department not known for their customer service skill. Apparently neither the Plat desk nor AAdvantage customer service has a written policy available.

Customer relations department of this international 24/7 company keeps bankers' hours and will not be in until Monday morning.

Interesting this 24 hour period. My wife was suppose to arrive in Toronto in mid-afternoon, got there at 2:30 a.m. When does the clock start ticking?
I believe from the moment of arrival at baggage claim, which is when the bags are "lost" - mine, in one instance, were delivered 25 hours late, but were "found" before 24 hours, and we went over a day without...your wife might want to go to a dept store or Sephora-like place and ask for free cosmetic/makeup/beauty samples to tide over for the day as things sort out
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Old Sep 23, 06, 12:54 pm
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Aa's written policy is that all reimbursed purchases must be authorized in advance. While they have made exceptions in the past, and might in your case, it would seem prudent to get authorization in advance. Then you will know what they will reimburse and what they won't.
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Old Sep 23, 06, 1:00 pm
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Originally Posted by gemac
Aa's written policy is that all reimbursed purchases must be authorized in advance. While they have made exceptions in the past, and might in your case, it would seem prudent to get authorization in advance. Then you will know what they will reimburse and what they won't.
Very interesting. Where, oh where, can one find this written policy?


PLAT and Aadvantage customer service say that none exist that they know of. A search on aa.com reveals nothing about this issue.

Gosh, I guess it has never happened before ...
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Old Sep 23, 06, 1:04 pm
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Originally Posted by Teacher49
Very interesting. Where, oh where, can one find this written policy?


PLAT and Aadvantage customer service say that none exist that they know of.
AA.com here.

Under "Baggage Customer Service Contacts" it says: "Consequential expenses authorized in advance of purchase by an American Airlines/American Eagle representative can be reimbursed with dated, itemized, original receipts within 45 days at any of our airport or city ticket office locations."

In addition, they should have provide your wife with a pamphlet when she made her claim, that would have a lot of written policies in it.
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Old Sep 23, 06, 1:17 pm
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Thanks. Vague as to what is considered "Consequential expenses" innit?
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Old Sep 23, 06, 1:26 pm
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Originally Posted by Teacher49
Thanks. Vague as to what is considered "Consequential expenses" innit?
Yes, it is, but I imagine they will get more specific when you seek the authorization. It seems like you could call baggage services now, and ask them when you could get authorization for reimbursement. As posted earlier by another member, I would expect that to be 24 hours after the claim was made. Then, at that time, you should be able to ask for and (I hope) get an authorization, which would let you know in advance how much you could spend, and maybe on what. Seems like a lot better procedure than just going out to replace stuff, and arguing with AA afterwards about reimbursement.

Of course, all the above is tempered by the fact that anyone who can walk and chew gum at the same time may have figured out a way to avoid working on the weekend.

Good luck. Hope everything works out well.
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Old Sep 23, 06, 1:35 pm
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Originally Posted by Teacher49
V

PLAT and Aadvantage customer service say that none exist that they know of.

Well, it isn't their area of expertise. You wouldn't ask baggage service about AAdvantage awards to Europe, would you?
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Old Sep 23, 06, 1:56 pm
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Originally Posted by spacewrangler
Well, it isn't their area of expertise. You wouldn't ask baggage service about AAdvantage awards to Europe, would you?
I have no idea why the PLAT desk should not be expected to have access to basic customer service info.

Ticket and GA handle vouchers for hotel and food, for example, beyond merely ticketing.

When I asked for customer service, I expected to get the services of what AA evidently calls "customer relations," not someone whose job it is to handle award travel only.

Your comment merely legitimizes the lack of forethought - or in these circumstances much though at all - in serving customers.

It is hardly the expertise of baggage to provide customer service regarding what are allowable expenses, IMO. Their job, is seems to me, should be limited to baggage handling since you ask.
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Old Sep 23, 06, 2:28 pm
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these days

when we have to check our make up and other supplies, it can get very expensive to lose a bag. AA will not do anything prior to the 24 hour mark, especially having the excuse of weather.

At baggage claim, which is where you stand on line to make your claim, they have nothing to offer by way of emergency supplies, not even a plastic bag!

Most bags are found; so the idea of getting free samples of make up (if possible) is a good one.

On my most recent lost bag (contents eventually found and delivered to me in a trash bag), I got a whopping $19 for lost items and nothing for the delay.

Good luck!

Last edited by oldpenny16; Sep 23, 06 at 7:51 pm
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Old Sep 23, 06, 2:49 pm
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Originally Posted by oldpenny16
when we have to check our make up and other supplies, it can get very expensive to lose a bag. AA will not do anything prior to the 24 hour mark, especially having the excuse of weather.

At baggage claim, which is where you stand on line to make your claim, they have nothing to offer by way of emergency supplies, not even a plastic bag!

Most bags are found; so the idea of getting free samples of make up (if possible) is a good one.

On my most recent lost bag (contents eventually found and delevered to me in a trash bag), I got a whopping $19 for lost items and nothing for the delay.

Good luck!

I agree with what you say and thank you for the perspective.

However that idea that weather causes lost bags doesn't hold water ( or thunder and lightning either) for me.

Yes, weather causes unavoidable delays about which the airline can do absolutely nothing, but the handling of baggage and re-bookings is still under the control of the airline.

In a center like Chicago where such weather is not rare, for AA not to have emergency back-up capability would be like a northern American city not to maintain a fleet of snow plows and crews that can be called in to run them.

Though it is OT, passengers at ORD were told en mass last night that if they wanted re-booking, they had better get their cell phones out and take care of it themselves. Shameful.
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Old Sep 23, 06, 2:57 pm
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Originally Posted by Teacher49
Though it is OT, passengers at ORD were told en mass last night that if they wanted re-booking, they had better get their cell phones out and take care of it themselves. Shameful.
I think that the general concensus on this board is that they were just giving you good advice. We would all know to do that. Would you rather be 110th in line for rebooking, or call in where you can be re-booked in minutes? Remembering that you would be competing for scarce space with the 109 people in front of you in that line, and those in other lines scattered around the airport.
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Old Sep 23, 06, 3:07 pm
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Originally Posted by gemac
I think that the general concensus on this board is that they were just giving you good advice. We would all know to do that. Would you rather be 110th in line for rebooking, or call in where you can be re-booked in minutes? Remembering that you would be competing for scarce space with the 109 people in front of you in that line, and those in other lines scattered around the airport.

I agree that it was good advice in the circumstances. Fortunately, my wife was in position to take the advice and was able to handle her own re-booking by phone. Still, she was in line for over an hour waiting for her boarding pass after over 9 hours sitting on unmoving planes in SFO and Milwaukee.

Not everyone could re-book by phone, I assume, or there would not be lines of 100 plus people waiting for service to do that part of it. After all, there were many hours between clear indication of what was shaping up in the morning and late evening time during which AA was still understaffed at the airport.

My point is that AA should be expected to provide for such a common contingency better than it does at present.
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