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My case is stuck in India instead of Italy - still shown as missing on WorldTracer!

My case is stuck in India instead of Italy - still shown as missing on WorldTracer!

Old Feb 16, 21, 3:57 am
  #1  
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Unhappy My case is stuck in India instead of Italy - still shown as missing on WorldTracer!

On Saturday I flew to Milan Linate from London Heathrow. Another passenger foolishly sook my suitcase from the carousel and did not realise their mistake until they made it all the way to India! BA informed me of this on Sunday. It is now Tuesday and despite chasing BA, I have not been able to get any updates on the situation. What concerns me is that BA's lost baggage tracer, and the WorldTracing app both show my case as being missing (TRACING CONTINUIES, PLEASE CHECK BACK LATER). This makes me worried that my case may not even be with the airport in India.

Considering that I am now stuck in 14 days of quarantine in Italy with none of my clothes and possessions, this is an incredibly distressing situation for me. Does anyone have any similar experience with being reunited with lost baggage and how the status is being reported on BA and WorldTracer? Any advice would be greatly appreciated, I'm freaking out because I don't know what to do!
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Old Feb 16, 21, 4:13 am
  #2  
 
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Hi there allgood94 unfortunately I don't think I have good news.

Worldtracer will be updated once the bag has been expedited back to Heathrow (or its final destination, I doubt they've got a direct flight to Milan from India these days). The fact that Worldtracer hasn't changed yet means that the airport team over in India (or wherever) hasn't seen it yet or hasn't had the time to "re-flight" the bag yet. When that happens, BA's systems send out a message to SITA World Tracer. This sort of stuff can take a while, I'm afraid, and also be aware that many BA flights are either cancelled or turned into freighters which means that either people aren't working at the airport ('cos there's no flight to dispatch) or there's no uplift of passengers (and possibly bags). And, cherry on top, India is bad in terms of lost baggage just because of local bureaucracy.

If Milan is not your "home" location then you do have a case for buying items of clothing/personal care (e.g. shampoo, shaving cream) and claim it back to BA. The values are explained in the text of the Montreal convention and they float about a little bit. Top tip: do mention the Montreal convention when you claim. Mind you, from memory it doesn't cover electronics (I think).

All I can say is... patience. Nobody likes losing a bag and in my days of flying standby I've arrived without my bag (or even better, my bag left without me!) and it's really a toss-up: sometimes it arrives promptly, sometimes it doesn't. Your case is particularly unlucky: first for how it happened, where the bag has gone and the current situation. I hope you had no valuable in there.
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Old Feb 16, 21, 5:13 am
  #3  
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Thanks a lot for the speedy reply! Unfortunately I think you have reaffirmed my concerns about the situation I am on a business trip and will be in Milan for at least 6 weeks, and knowing that I would be quarantining for 2 weeks, I didn't pack lightly on this occasion. There are a lot of valuables in my case, many of which I planned on using during my 2 weeks of isolation. So whilst a lot of the items are replaceable, the impact it will have on my quarantine period is incredibly frustrating and upsetting - and is not something I will be compensated for in any way. The real kick in the teeth is that I saw their case left on the carousel after everyone else had gone and it CLEARLY was not the same as mine. Their case was smaller, completely different brand, a lot lighter than mine (mine was overweight as highlighted by the bright orange label attached to the handle) and had a smooth finish where as mine was textured. I am shocked that someone has made such a careless, incompetent mistake.

This leads me onto a couple of other questions......

1. As the WorldTracer status is currently at Missing, I assume my case is technically lost at this point in time as far as BA are concerned. If (god forbid), this is still the case after 21 days, will my case be defined as 'lost', meaning I would be entitled to compensation?

2. When my case is located and officially placed into the system in India, will it only be possible for this to be returned to me via BA flights? E.g. they would not be able to use another airline to fly the case to Milan or Heathrow? Like you have said, I expect the likelihood and frequency of BA flights operating between India and Milan are not very good with the current pandemic situation.

Thanks so much for the explanation/advice - it's really difficult to get any comprehensive explanations from the airports on how this process works!
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Old Feb 16, 21, 5:18 am
  #4  
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I agree that you are in a tricky situation. It is not BA's fault that someone else took your luggage so there is no recourse to them, only the hope that they would send it on once they found it. This part is a little unclear to me; if the passenger who took your suitcase only realised their mistake in India, did they inform BA and take the case there? If so, surely BA has it. They can put it on a flight to Milan either direct or via LHR, just make sure your info is correct in World Tracer. After 21 days you are entitled to a maximum payout of about $1,200. In the meantime, see if you can get BA to pay for incidentals or contact your travel insurance. Good luck!
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Old Feb 16, 21, 5:34 am
  #5  
 
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Originally Posted by allgood94 View Post
Thanks a lot for the speedy reply! Unfortunately I think you have reaffirmed my concerns about the situation I am on a business trip and will be in Milan for at least 6 weeks, and knowing that I would be quarantining for 2 weeks, I didn't pack lightly on this occasion. There are a lot of valuables in my case, many of which I planned on using during my 2 weeks of isolation. So whilst a lot of the items are replaceable, the impact it will have on my quarantine period is incredibly frustrating and upsetting - and is not something I will be compensated for in any way. The real kick in the teeth is that I saw their case left on the carousel after everyone else had gone and it CLEARLY was not the same as mine. Their case was smaller, completely different brand, a lot lighter than mine (mine was overweight as highlighted by the bright orange label attached to the handle) and had a smooth finish where as mine was textured. I am shocked that someone has made such a careless, incompetent mistake.
Working in an airport environment turned me into a misanthrope. I think there's a large % of travellers who enter the airport, put their brains into their luggage and send it off on its merry way. You definitely had a lot of bad luck.

This leads me onto a couple of other questions......

Originally Posted by allgood94 View Post
1. As the WorldTracer status is currently at Missing, I assume my case is technically lost at this point in time as far as BA are concerned. If (god forbid), this is still the case after 21 days, will my case be defined as 'lost', meaning I would be entitled to compensation?
WorldTracer is saying this because it doesn't know any better. As I said, the bag might've been returned already to the airline but hasn't been "reflighted" yet. As for compensation, I think comp for bags that are utterly, and completely, lost is done by weight and the values aren't massive. I'd rather buy what you need and claim that back later.

Originally Posted by allgood94 View Post
2. When my case is located and officially placed into the system in India, will it only be possible for this to be returned to me via BA flights? E.g. they would not be able to use another airline to fly the case to Milan or Heathrow? Like you have said, I expect the likelihood and frequency of BA flights operating between India and Milan are not very good with the current pandemic situation.

Thanks so much for the explanation/advice - it's really difficult to get any comprehensive explanations from the airports on how this process works!
Absolutely. Bags are reflighted on all sorts of airlines: BA would normally prefer oneworld carriers but that's not the norm. They also don't need to follow the same route: for instance a bag flying MAD-LHR-ORD can fly MAD-ORD direct. Automated systems are quite good at finding the best routes, however skilled operators are quite aware of which airlines are better than others at reflighting bags, but baggage as a whole is the unseen, half-forgotten poor brother in the airline operations world.
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Old Feb 16, 21, 5:45 am
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Originally Posted by allgood94 View Post
Thanks a lot for the speedy reply! Unfortunately I think you have reaffirmed my concerns about the situation I am on a business trip and will be in Milan for at least 6 weeks, and knowing that I would be quarantining for 2 weeks, I didn't pack lightly on this occasion. There are a lot of valuables in my case, many of which I planned on using during my 2 weeks of isolation. So whilst a lot of the items are replaceable, the impact it will have on my quarantine period is incredibly frustrating and upsetting - and is not something I will be compensated for in any way. The real kick in the teeth is that I saw their case left on the carousel after everyone else had gone and it CLEARLY was not the same as mine. Their case was smaller, completely different brand, a lot lighter than mine (mine was overweight as highlighted by the bright orange label attached to the handle) and had a smooth finish where as mine was textured. I am shocked that someone has made such a careless, incompetent mistake.

This leads me onto a couple of other questions......

1. As the WorldTracer status is currently at Missing, I assume my case is technically lost at this point in time as far as BA are concerned. If (god forbid), this is still the case after 21 days, will my case be defined as 'lost', meaning I would be entitled to compensation?

2. When my case is located and officially placed into the system in India, will it only be possible for this to be returned to me via BA flights? E.g. they would not be able to use another airline to fly the case to Milan or Heathrow? Like you have said, I expect the likelihood and frequency of BA flights operating between India and Milan are not very good with the current pandemic situation.

Thanks so much for the explanation/advice - it's really difficult to get any comprehensive explanations from the airports on how this process works!
I never pack valuables in a suitcase I am of the mantra what if it’s never seen again.

You wouldn’t get compensation you would usually be reimbursed for your loses in line with the Montreal convention.

Finally would BA even be liable for that if they delivered the luggage as tagged and someone else took it?
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Old Feb 16, 21, 5:48 am
  #7  
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Originally Posted by KeaneJohn View Post
Finally would BA even be liable for that if they delivered the luggage as tagged and someone else took it?
Good point. I suspect not.
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Old Feb 16, 21, 5:51 am
  #8  
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I do sympathise with BA a bit since they weren't responsible for this blunder and to give them credit, they have been quite attentive and helpful since this happened (and very patient and understanding with my frequent phone calls to them!). LondonElite, you have raised a very good question which I hadn't been sure of until now - I am not entirely clear whether the case was currently in the possession of BA or the passenger who took it still.

I just called them to get clarity on this and they have confirmed that the passenger has not yet returned the case to the airline - and considering the vast size of the country, along with what I assume may be a relatively poor public transport infrastructure, the airport may not be particularly accessible for the passenger who took my case. This adds even further frustration as the situation is entirely out of both mine and BA's hands as it stands. At this stage, there really is nothing I can do aside from being patient.

13901, thanks for the info again. I can only hope that it won't be long until the case finds it's way back to the airport (or even better - onto the system if it's already there), and then it won't be much longer until the case is reflighted to Milan. I will feel much more comfortable once I know if is back in the airlines hands.

Thanks for the help everyone, I'll share an update if anything progresses
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Old Feb 16, 21, 6:22 am
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Originally Posted by LondonElite View Post
Good point. I suspect not.
From memory, BA pays for that... I think it was counted in the same bracket as pilferage although I might be remembering wrongly. Mind you, it's extremely rare.

Originally Posted by allgood94 View Post
I do sympathise with BA a bit since they weren't responsible for this blunder and to give them credit, they have been quite attentive and helpful since this happened (and very patient and understanding with my frequent phone calls to them!). LondonElite, you have raised a very good question which I hadn't been sure of until now - I am not entirely clear whether the case was currently in the possession of BA or the passenger who took it still.

I just called them to get clarity on this and they have confirmed that the passenger has not yet returned the case to the airline - and considering the vast size of the country, along with what I assume may be a relatively poor public transport infrastructure, the airport may not be particularly accessible for the passenger who took my case. This adds even further frustration as the situation is entirely out of both mine and BA's hands as it stands. At this stage, there really is nothing I can do aside from being patient.

13901, thanks for the info again. I can only hope that it won't be long until the case finds it's way back to the airport (or even better - onto the system if it's already there), and then it won't be much longer until the case is reflighted to Milan. I will feel much more comfortable once I know if is back in the airlines hands.

Thanks for the help everyone, I'll share an update if anything progresses
Maybe it's only me, but if I had somebody else's bag I wouldn't wait for days before returning to the airport. Sure, there are exceptions and, as you said, this passenger might've gone to remotest Ladakh but... it's bad form (and bad Karma if you believe in such things). Good luck allgood94!
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Old Feb 16, 21, 6:41 am
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presuming it was a mistake and the passenger who took the wrong case, they should realize they did not have their own--so presumably would chase BA to get their correct bag delivered to them, at which point they would send the wrong case back with the courier.

of course there are many presumptions in this scenario but what a frustrating predicament! on one hand you cant go anywhere which lessens wardrobe stress, but still, i feel for you!
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Old Feb 16, 21, 7:22 am
  #11  
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This is one where it may be more effective to make a claim to one's travel insurance for the theft rather than delayed or lost luggage. Because that is what happened. If the bag has not been returned by the thief to BA, the thief may well simply have tossed it rather than be bothered or concerned about having to deal with the authorities. They may also be somewhere inconvenient to the airport and not in direct contact with BA.

Indeed WorldTracer will not be updated until the thief returns the bag to BA and, at that point, it is easy enough for BA to find a routing from wherever in India back to you in Milan. That may be circuitous and on other carriers, but this part is fairly routine.

BA may well disclaim any responsibility here as it apparently did deliver the bag as agreed. At a minimum, be prepared for a fight and bear in mind that this is about reimbursement, not compensation.

For the benefit of others, on those occasions when the generous cabin allowances are insufficient, I would be certain to pack valuables and items which are hard to replace or have sentimental value, in the cabin bags and then pack the replaceable items in the checked bag. From isolation replacement may be difficult, but hopefully there is someone or some service which can produce the necessities.
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Old Feb 16, 21, 9:26 am
  #12  
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Originally Posted by allgood94 View Post
The real kick in the teeth is that I saw their case left on the carousel after everyone else had gone and it CLEARLY was not the same as mine. Their case was smaller, completely different brand, a lot lighter than mine (mine was overweight as highlighted by the bright orange label attached to the handle) and had a smooth finish where as mine was textured. I am shocked that someone has made such a careless, incompetent mistake.
I am constantly amazed at the number of people who seem to have no idea what their luggage looks like. People standing at the baggage belt picking up every second bag, then putting them back. Only to later pick up their bag that looked completely different to the ones they were inspecting (assuming it was their bag they walked away with!).

Sadly, if you do get your bag back, I suspect you will have completed your quarantine. The original tag will have been removed when the passenger checked in for their onward flight. So you will be relying on people joining the dots. At least the number of lost bags should be fairly low right now. But equally there will be fewer people to process them. Good luck! Hopefully nothing of too much sentimental or real value in there!
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Old Feb 16, 21, 9:31 am
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Originally Posted by gms View Post
I am constantly amazed at the number of people who seem to have no idea what their luggage looks like. People standing at the baggage belt picking up every second bag, then putting them back. Only to later pick up their bag that looked completely different to the ones they were inspecting (assuming it was their bag they walked away with!)!
What? You mean that you don't have a black suitcase with a red ribbon tied to it?
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Old Feb 16, 21, 10:22 am
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It's sometimes hard to identify it when it's the one case that's been going around about 10 times and has been haphazardly taped up together having looked like it's been under a JCB.... You think oh god, no, it couldn't be. *Checks tag* - Yep it's mine...

That's happened to me before. I thought the bag was awfully humorous going around the first few times...
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Old Feb 16, 21, 11:27 am
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Well I've just had a phone call from BA in the UK - this is the first time I have managed to speak with them directly about this. Up until now all communications about this have been with the Italian Baggage Contact Centre for BA. It seems they were calling me in response to a message I managed to post directly on the WorldTracer app last night. He was unable to see any of the previous conversations I have had with anyone from BA up until this point and said that the system he had visibility of didn't have any updates for several days. This means that he couldn't even see any notes on the system to say that a passenger in India had taken the case by mistake. I know that the notes are definitely on a BA system somewhere since staff I've spoken to over the last few days have been able to see them, but presumably this must be disjointed from the system that this UK staff member had access to.

When I told him that there was a case left over in Milan from the passenger who I suspect took my case he had some good news. Their case is still in Milan which at least means that it has not been returned to them already. He could also see the passengers name and their email address and has tried emailing them. He said it is possible that the passenger still has my case and doesn't know what to do with it in regards to returning it. I am hopeful that there is incentive for the passenger to return my case knowing that they will be able to get theirs back in return. There is also now a flag on the system which would prevent the customer from receiving their bag without exchanging mine in return.

What I hope hasn't happened is the customer lives far away from the airport and decides that having looked at the contents of my luggage, it is not worth returning my case considering the value of what is inside - versus the effort of arranging for the case to be returned to the airport, and the value of the contents in their own case. There are a couple of expensive bottles of aftershave, half of a Nintendo switch (useless without the other half), an Amazon Kindle and an Amazon Firestick. There is also an electric razor and electric toothbrush - which were both expensive. As many people have mentioned on this thread - I've learned a important lesson about storing expensive/valuable items in checked luggage.........

Still I'm hopeful that since they got in touch with the airline in the first place to advise them of the mix-up, there is still a reasonable chance I'll get it back. Feels like a step in the right direction as other efforts to get the case until now seem have been in vain - felt like all the update requests staff have been requesting from India were seemingly disappearing into a black hole. Fingers crossed!
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