Help me out with a missing baggage issue

 
Old Jan 13, 09, 3:51 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 47
Help me out with a missing baggage issue

Hi Everyone - hoping you can help me figure out how to proceed with a missing baggage issue.

I was vacationing in Europe over the holidays with my girlfriend. We were due to return home via ZRH-CDG-PHL-CLE on 1/5. However, upon arriving at CDG, we were caught in the bad weather and delayed 1.5 days. We were then routed from CDG-ORD-CLE. The last leg of our trip was on AA. The CDG-ORD leg was on Air France.

Our bags never appeared at customs in ORD, and of course never showed up in CLE. We filed a claim with the AA baggage office in CLE. This was on 1/7.

There has been no sign of our bags yet. Daily calls to AA show that they have no sign of them in their systems. They are "hoping" that they show up once some of the backlog is reduced from CDG (they had weather issues all last week).

I inquired about reimbursement for expenses incurred due to the missing baggage and was told that AA does not reimburse expenses for missing baggage if you've made it to your final destination. This makes no sense to me at all. I am missing 10+ days of clothing, plus activity-specific clothing (hiking, skiing, runnning, etc). Both of which I've had to purchase over the last 1 week + that our bags have been missing.

Any advice you could give in how to keep this moving forward, or contact information for somewhere you could share that would be able to help us work through this would be greatly appreciated.

Customer service via the phone has been less than satisfactory.

Thanks,
K
kls1891 is offline  
Old Jan 13, 09, 4:02 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: 4F
Programs: AA EXP/1.5MM
Posts: 112
As the bags never appeared at customs in ORD, isn't this a question for Air France and not AA?
Homeboy is offline  
Old Jan 13, 09, 4:06 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Programs: AA EXP
Posts: 3,047
Have you contacted your travel insurance provider to register the potential loss and ask them for advice?
Mark_T is offline  
Old Jan 13, 09, 4:08 pm
  #4  
brp
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: SJC
Programs: AA EXP, BA Silver, AS 75K Gold MVP, and some hotel stuff...
Posts: 32,479
Originally Posted by kls1891 View Post

I inquired about reimbursement for expenses incurred due to the missing baggage and was told that AA does not reimburse expenses for missing baggage if you've made it to your final destination. This makes no sense to me at all.
I wonder if they're talking about not providing reimbursement for expenses incurred specifically as a result of not having the bags and contents- having to buy things while on the trip? In this case, it makes sense that they wouldn't reimburse on that basis as you're home now. They should, if/when the bags are considered lost, provide some reimbursement for the contents, as opposed to a reimbursement for expenses incurred.

Of course, as noted, this may be an AF, and not AA, issue.

Cheers.
brp is offline  
Old Jan 13, 09, 4:14 pm
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 47
Originally Posted by Homeboy View Post
As the bags never appeared at customs in ORD, isn't this a question for Air France and not AA?
That's what I would have thought, but according to AF and AA, it is the resposnbility of the final carrier to address baggage issues. Doesn't make sense to me, but that's what we were told. AF has been completely useless, referring me immediately to AA each time. AA has at least given claim numbers, asked us to file forms, etc.

Originally Posted by Mark_T View Post
Have you contacted your travel insurance provider to register the potential loss and ask them for advice?
There was no travel insurance provider.

Originally Posted by brp View Post
I wonder if they're talking about not providing reimbursement for expenses incurred specifically as a result of not having the bags and contents- having to buy things while on the trip? In this case, it makes sense that they wouldn't reimburse on that basis as you're home now. They should, if/when the bags are considered lost, provide some reimbursement for the contents, as opposed to a reimbursement for expenses incurred.
.
Correct, they are talking about not reimbursing for expenses incurred as a result of not having the bags. My point is I had 10+ days of stuff in those bags that I have no had to pay to partially replace as the bags have been missing for over 1 week. I don't have 10+ days of excess clothes, gear, etc at home. I count on the things in those bags.

Anyone have any contact information for AA that they could share?

Thanks,
K
kls1891 is offline  
Old Jan 13, 09, 4:54 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Programs: AA EXP, 1 MM, AC, HH Diamond, Marriott Silver, Hertz 5*
Posts: 4,010
Originally Posted by kls1891 View Post
That's what I would have thought, but according to AF and AA, it is the resposnbility of the final carrier to address baggage issues. Doesn't make sense to me, but that's what we were told. AF has been completely useless, referring me immediately to AA each time. AA has at least given claim numbers, asked us to file forms, etc.
They are correct on the point of the claim being filed with the final carrier, though it doesn't make sense in some cases.

I was once able to get BA to take responsibility for some lost bags even though AA was the final carrier (a similiar situation where it was clear AA was not at fault.) But I believe that's one of those "once at band camp" stories that doesn't happen very often and is definitely not the general rule.

I also dealt with Air France on an issue similar to this, and they were not helpful at all. PM me if you want the fax number for Air France baggage services, they are in Florida.
videomaker is offline  
Old Jan 13, 09, 5:14 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: LAX / SNA
Programs: AA Life PLT 3MM/ NZ Gold
Posts: 156
If you have an AMEX Platinum card they have a lost baggage department that may be of some help. They were able to locate some bags lost for me a few years back. They had a person who spoke french that talked to the AF people and worked a miracle.
bnw2005 is offline  
Old Jan 13, 09, 5:40 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: SAN
Programs: AA EXP/LT Plat (3.1 MM), SPG LT Plat, HH Diamond, and now formerly Avis Chairman's :(
Posts: 1,704
Given the original itinerary (ZRH-CDG-PHL-CLE), AA wouldn't have been involved in this trip purchase at all. I appreciate that there may be general rules that the last carrier deals with the bags, but I think it's absurd that AF (who never even delivered the bag to AA in ORD) is passing the buck on this one. I'd be pretty ticked at them if it were me this happened to.
SAN-man is offline  
Old Jan 13, 09, 10:37 pm
  #9  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Melbourne
Programs: ►QFWP/LTG►VA WP►HyattGlobalist►HiltonGold
Posts: 21,315
It's AA who have the responsibility.

Look at this thread here:
AA's liability is limited to 1000 XDR's (~USD1500)

Last edited by serfty; Jan 13, 09 at 10:47 pm
serfty is offline  
Old Jan 13, 09, 10:53 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: SAN
Programs: AA EXP/LT Plat (3.1 MM), SPG LT Plat, HH Diamond, and now formerly Avis Chairman's :(
Posts: 1,704
Originally Posted by serfty View Post
It's AA who have the responsibility.

Look at this thread here:
AA's liability is limited to 1000 XDR's (~USD1500)
I'm not doubting it, but I didn't see it in that thread. I did catch something in the CAA page linked to in the first post that said something to the effect of airlines generally expect you to pursue with the last carrier, but it's not a requirement.

But that got me thinking. In this case, from AA's perspective, isn't it the passenger who's required to deliver the bags to AA, not AF? AF should have gotten them to ORD, at which point the passenger claims them, clears C & I, and then delivers them to AA for the flight to CLE? This rule just doesn't make any sense at all to me on an international itinerary like this.
SAN-man is offline  
Old Jan 13, 09, 11:11 pm
  #11  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: LAX; AA EXP, MM; HH Gold
Posts: 31,790
Originally Posted by SAN-man View Post
I'm not doubting it, but I didn't see it in that thread. I did catch something in the CAA page linked to in the first post that said something to the effect of airlines generally expect you to pursue with the last carrier, but it's not a requirement.

But that got me thinking. In this case, from AA's perspective, isn't it the passenger who's required to deliver the bags to AA, not AF? AF should have gotten them to ORD, at which point the passenger claims them, clears C & I, and then delivers them to AA for the flight to CLE? This rule just doesn't make any sense at all to me on an international itinerary like this.
IF AF eventually delivered the bag to AA, then AA is logically responsible for the bag.

But if AF threw the bag in a Paris dumpster and never delivered the bag to AA, then it's nonsensical for AA to bear any responsibility (or liability) for the bag. An airline is not responsible for a bag not delivered to it.

I would have filed a lost bag claim in ORD when it didn't arrive with me on the AF flight.
FWAAA is offline  
Old Jan 13, 09, 11:16 pm
  #12  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 11,333
Originally Posted by FWAAA View Post
But if AF threw the bag in a Paris dumpster and never delivered the bag to AA, then it's nonsensical for AA to bear any responsibility (or liability) for the bag. An airline is not responsible for a bag not delivered to it.
Those are the rules--the airline of the last flight onto which the bag was checked (regardless of whether it makes it onto that plane) is the airline responsible for handling baggage claims.
soitgoes is offline  
Old Jan 13, 09, 11:19 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: SAN
Programs: AA EXP/LT Plat (3.1 MM), SPG LT Plat, HH Diamond, and now formerly Avis Chairman's :(
Posts: 1,704
Originally Posted by FWAAA View Post
IF AF eventually delivered the bag to AA, then AA is logically responsible for the bag.

But if AF threw the bag in a Paris dumpster and never delivered the bag to AA, then it's nonsensical for AA to bear any responsibility (or liability) for the bag. An airline is not responsible for a bag not delivered to it.

I would have filed a lost bag claim in ORD when it didn't arrive with me on the AF flight.
Completely agree (especially on filing a claim w/ AF in ORD).

I guess what's stumping me is whether or not AF actually can deliver the bag to AA for transit to CLE, or even to the customer's house. The bag still needs to clear customs. If all had gone smoothly, who would the OP have given the bag to once they claimed it in ORD and cleared customs? AF or AA? Based on my hazy memory of ORD, I was thinking AA, but that could be way off.

Seems very different than going the other direction, for example AA CLE-ORD to AF ORD-CDG. In that case, AA gives the bag directly to AF, and the customer never sees it in ORD.

In either case, a total headache for the OP. I'd lean harder on AF though, since it never even got to the US when s/he did.
SAN-man is offline  
Old Jan 13, 09, 11:23 pm
  #14  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 11,333
Delayed bags clear customs without the passenger all the time.
I can say from experience that AF baggage services is a mess.

AF's policy on reimbursement for expenses is really unclear--every rep gave me a different story the last time my bag was delayed (varying amounts, etc.). I did end up getting reimbursed for everything I submitted (ca. $180 for 3 day delay).
soitgoes is offline  
Old Jan 13, 09, 11:29 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Programs: AA EXP, 1 MM, AC, HH Diamond, Marriott Silver, Hertz 5*
Posts: 4,010
Originally Posted by soitgoes View Post
Those are the rules--the airline of the last flight onto which the bag was checked (regardless of whether it makes it onto that plane) is the airline responsible for handling baggage claims.
Correct answer--whether we think it makes sense or not.
videomaker is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread