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in TLV- missing luggage/El Al cust service

Old Jan 5, 18, 4:27 pm
  #1  
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in TLV- missing luggage/El Al cust service

Not sure if I am posting in the most appropriate forum but wanted to get some advice. Husband and I flew from IAD to TLV on Jan 2, but only after it was rebooked twice. Original flight path was with IAD --> FRA (United), then FRA --> TLV (Lufthansa). The first leg of our trip was cancelled, and our flights automatically were rebooked, but with two different itineraries as my husband and I had bought our plane tickets separately. I was automatically booked for IAD --> EWR (united) then EWR --> TLV (El Al), while husband was rebooked for IAD --> LHR (United) --> TLV (El Al). Because we wanted to fly together, I got rebooked to take the same flight as my husband (and I think this is where the luggage mishap happened). While we are on the flight from LHR to TLV, the flight attendant informs us during the flight that our luggage is not on the plane, that they are both in London and to report to Lost & Found when we land. We do so, and while I am filling out the PIR form, my husband decides to take a look at the belt, and there is his suitcase!

However, mine hasn't made it. It has been so frustrating to deal with this situation. I have called several times since landing late evening on Jan 3rd. The first update I got was on the morning of Jan 4th (after I called), saying that it was on a flight to TLV with Lufthansa, and to call in the afternoon to confirm it has made it. I call, and the only thing they can tell me is that they do not know- do not know if it ever left, where it is, why it didn't make it, etc. The next day I call, and they do not know, and ask me to call United and Lufthansa. United tells me that they see it was scheduled to be in Frankfurt, but cannot tell me anymore because the flight was with Lufthansa. I call Lufthansa, and all they can tell me is that the bag is being traced.

I am starting to get very frustrated- having to spend my own money for necessities (including a dress for a wedding, and TLV is not cheap!), El Al is telling me that they will only reimburse me $100 after I file a baggage claim. WHAT?!

Would it be ridiculous to actually go to the airport and ask for someone to physically look for my luggage?? After all, they were "positive" that my husband's luggage was stuck in London with mine, whereas it was on the belt- AND is still listed under the bag tracing system. Not sure what else to do. What if my luggage never gets here by the time I fly back home (Jan 10?) Then what happens??

This has never happened to me before (and I am a frequent traveler), so I guess I'm lucky in that sense...but it has made it really hard for me to enjoy Israel when too much of my time is spent having to replace things I need (esp as a first timer to this country), file claims, call El Al's baggage line, etc. To further my anxiety, El Al's website states they need my original boarding pass- after we boarded, we were left with a very small square piece of paper of what was left of our boarding pass and cannot find it to save my life. - El Al rep on the phone stated today I wouldn't need it to file the claim, that "it'll be ok" though I do have everything else (itinerary, PIR, luggage tag, etc). I have a feeling they will not reimburse me for ANYTHING because I don't have it.

Not sure what to do, but am certainly not feeling very confident with all the misinformation they have been giving me.

Last edited by csj50; Jan 5, 18 at 4:31 pm Reason: forgot something
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Old Jan 6, 18, 1:51 am
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Last edited by Innocent Abroad; Jan 6, 18 at 2:10 am
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Old Jan 6, 18, 6:23 am
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I can't speak for LY's lost luggage - never had a bag lost with them before... but I have had at least a dozen bag go walkies with other airlines and can comment re those.

When luggage goes missing on a connection between airlines, information transfer IME has been poor. In one case I was calling three airlines to try and get information.

Although airlines claim that tracking information is updated frequently online and/or that they will update you, IME there is often a lag of 12-24 hours, or even more if information has to pass through airlines not in the same alliance. I often got better information by calling - and trying to find out who else to call (sounds like you already did this). Airlines do not like this, they prefer you not to call them and just wait - there's a fine line between politely insisting on understanding the situation and badgering a hapless agent every hour.

The $100 limit sounds to me like the "expenses" LY will reimburse (for "emergency" items you had to purchase). Most airlines have a preset limit here - although if you can prove you really did have to buy items because of the delay, you do have a case. Getting additional compensation for these items - YMMV with different airlines, from polite correspondence to small claims court. Generally the advice given is "if you need it, buy it, keep receipts and claim the money back - but don't bank on it".

Going back to the airport to "look for it" is not really an option - also bags unclaimed are quickly gathered up and dealt with. Are your details (name, address) easily visible outside the bag, as well as inside ?

As to the lost luggage - your luggage should be sent to wherever you are - i.e. back home if after Jan 10. If worse comes to worse and it is officially "lost" after 21 days, you have the lost luggage compensation to deal with, which is a different matter.

The missing boarding pass might possibly make things more difficult, but I assume it is fairly easy to prove you did fly (do you have the luggage tags ?).

If you google lost luggage claims you'll find some good articles.

And finally, unfortunately LY customer service IME when I used to fly them sporadically - was not stellar - Israelis excel at many things but customer service is not one of them.

Last edited by dand99; Jan 6, 18 at 6:33 am
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Old Jan 7, 18, 10:44 am
  #4  
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OP does the baggage receipt show that your bags were tagged IAD-LHR-TLV or IAD-EWR-TLV or by chance IAD-FRA-TLV ? was your bag ever tagged anything but the receipt in hand

Were they were tagged with the original routing and for whatever reason the old tag wasnt removed, or the new one wasnt put on

i would also see if UA can tell me if they were ever on the IAD-LHR flight, point is to try and find out the last of the bag as it may be tagler it to be claimed in some storage

Last edited by craz; Jan 7, 18 at 10:49 am
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Old Jan 7, 18, 1:36 pm
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Originally Posted by dand99 View Post
I can't speak for LY's lost luggage - never had a bag lost with them before... but I have had at least a dozen bag go walkies with other airlines and can comment re those.

When luggage goes missing on a connection between airlines, information transfer IME has been poor. In one case I was calling three airlines to try and get information.

Although airlines claim that tracking information is updated frequently online and/or that they will update you, IME there is often a lag of 12-24 hours, or even more if information has to pass through airlines not in the same alliance. I often got better information by calling - and trying to find out who else to call (sounds like you already did this). Airlines do not like this, they prefer you not to call them and just wait - there's a fine line between politely insisting on understanding the situation and badgering a hapless agent every hour.

The $100 limit sounds to me like the "expenses" LY will reimburse (for "emergency" items you had to purchase). Most airlines have a preset limit here - although if you can prove you really did have to buy items because of the delay, you do have a case. Getting additional compensation for these items - YMMV with different airlines, from polite correspondence to small claims court. Generally the advice given is "if you need it, buy it, keep receipts and claim the money back - but don't bank on it".

Going back to the airport to "look for it" is not really an option - also bags unclaimed are quickly gathered up and dealt with. Are your details (name, address) easily visible outside the bag, as well as inside ?

As to the lost luggage - your luggage should be sent to wherever you are - i.e. back home if after Jan 10. If worse comes to worse and it is officially "lost" after 21 days, you have the lost luggage compensation to deal with, which is a different matter.

The missing boarding pass might possibly make things more difficult, but I assume it is fairly easy to prove you did fly (do you have the luggage tags ?).

If you google lost luggage claims you'll find some good articles.

And finally, unfortunately LY customer service IME when I used to fly them sporadically - was not stellar - Israelis excel at many things but customer service is not one of them.
-The tracking information has been completely useless and hasn't been updated once- even for my husband's bag, which was found as I posted.
-Calling and speaking with UA has been much more helpful than El Al.
-I do have the original luggage tags. My name and info was labeled outside the luggage, but not inside. Have never ever had an issue with luggage, but now I know.

UPDATE: I called El Al today, told me my luggage left YESTERDAY from IAD to LHR with United, then was supposed to go to LHR to LTN (Luton), and that's all they could tell me. I then called United, which confirmed that the bag was scheduled to go to LTN --> TLV on an El Al flight (which they also gave me specifics, flight # and time of arrival). It is now six hours past the scheduled landing time and having just spoken to El Al, they don't know if it has even left luton, as far as they can see it has not left TLV. Good thing my hopes weren't too high. I am now on hold waiting to speak to United again to see if they can give me further details.

Not sure if I should just tell them to send it back home, as I am leaving in 2.5 days...or if that would confuse things even more.
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Old Jan 7, 18, 1:39 pm
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Originally Posted by craz View Post
OP does the baggage receipt show that your bags were tagged IAD-LHR-TLV or IAD-EWR-TLV or by chance IAD-FRA-TLV ? was your bag ever tagged anything but the receipt in hand

Were they were tagged with the original routing and for whatever reason the old tag wasnt removed, or the new one wasnt put on

i would also see if UA can tell me if they were ever on the IAD-LHR flight, point is to try and find out the last of the bag as it may be tagler it to be claimed in some storage
-Bags were tagged IAD-FRA-TLV, the original booking. The IAD to FRA flight was cancelled after we checked our bags.
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Old Jan 7, 18, 1:47 pm
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Originally Posted by csj50 View Post
-The tracking information has been completely useless and hasn't been updated once- even for my husband's bag, which was found as I posted.
-Calling and speaking with UA has been much more helpful than El Al.
-I do have the original luggage tags. My name and info was labeled outside the luggage, but not inside. Have never ever had an issue with luggage, but now I know.

UPDATE: I called El Al today, told me my luggage left YESTERDAY from IAD to LHR with United, then was supposed to go to LHR to LTN (Luton), and that's all they could tell me. I then called United, which confirmed that the bag was scheduled to go to LTN --> TLV on an El Al flight (which they also gave me specifics, flight # and time of arrival). It is now six hours past the scheduled landing time and having just spoken to El Al, they don't know if it has even left luton, as far as they can see it has not left TLV. Good thing my hopes weren't too high. I am now on hold waiting to speak to United again to see if they can give me further details.

Not sure if I should just tell them to send it back home, as I am leaving in 2.5 days...or if that would confuse things even more.
Well it seems it made it to LHR the only question why didnt it make it to LY @ LHR or did it but for whatever reason it wasnt loaded. If you can be sure it will arrive before you leave that is your best bet to see your bag again. Ive been thru what you have and it will be a total mess if you now asked for it to be sent to your US address or even to be held @ IAD. As a last resort Id do that but only if I was 100% sure I wouldnt get it while still at my destination.

I once had my bags arrive on a BA plane and I was taking that same plane out of TLV, took them a week to get it there, got to TLV real early to make sure Id get my bags and nothing was missing.Had a friend living there go with me so I could give him the stuff that was for him and some others , no sense bringing it back to NY
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