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How to deal with United on lost luggage

How to deal with United on lost luggage

Old Mar 14, 22, 5:37 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Mar 2022
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Unhappy How to deal with United on lost luggage

I have flown business class on Emirates, Singapore, JAL, Lufthansa, and several others - I DO know better than to fly Coach on United but somehow thought Business Class would be a better experience... My bad...

I recently went on a long awaited ski trip to France. It was via BUSINESS CLASS on UNITED as we had miles and so my wife used miles and I paid.

They lost my luggage....and more...

At SFO the check in clerk was clueless and rude, did not even know how to put on the baggage tags. When I mentioned she needed to wrap the tag around a handle and adhere it to itself vs just sticking it on the bag with adhesive, she yelled at me saying "I know how to do it!". She then dragged the bag off to the side. The subsequent bags were done correctly and put on the conveyor. Needless to say my main bag with all my clothing, and most equipment never made it. While originally the flight was to be SFO to Munich and then Lufthansa to Geneva, United added a stop in Chicago.

On arrival in Geneva I put in a lost baggage claim. After 10 days of calling at least twice a day I was still unable to get information. I was staying in a really nice ski area which had few amenities and catered to the very wealthy; a pair of pants was literally 940 Euros. I would take a bus to a neighboring town to get a days worth of clothing, hoping the bag would soon arrive.

On our return to SFO United lost the rest of our luggage. When I went to put in a claim for that they did a search and found the original luggage, which had never left SFO and after a week was sent to some location down South where unclaimed baggage goes.

After a few days all our luggage was returned to us. However, the first lost bag was badly damaged AND items missing (weird: a razor, swiss army knife, an old Rick Steve's guidebook, etc).

Here is the "best" part: United says Lufthansa was the last carrier so it is their fault. But the bag never reached Lufthansa. Lufthansa says they will pay me 50 cents on the dollar. I am about to set a small claims court date but wonder if there is a better way of doing this.

I have even written to the CEO but I have yet to get ANY contact from United.

What should I do? I am out over 2k not including all the time and aggravation...
chipchuck is offline  
Old Mar 16, 22, 7:19 pm
  #2  
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I hope you reported the SFO check in agent. That person apparently deliberately put your first bag in a place where she knew it would not make the flight. She might have prevented it from being forwarded to you in Europe.

OTOH, I would not have left the area without seeing the bag put on the belt with checked luggage and I would have insisted on speaking with a supervisor or manager. Can we assume that the rogue agent was a UA employee?

It's pretty standard (according to airline agreements and regulations, including the rules for interlining bags) that the airline who transports you to your final destination deals with lost/delayed bag claims since otherwise you might arrive in an airport with no bag and no presence by the airline that presumably "lost" the bag.
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Old Mar 17, 22, 9:50 am
  #3  
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Sadly, after her dithering around (it took over 45 minutes for her to check us in) we were too rushed to note her name; a younger Chinese-American woman. We did get the supervisor but he only helped her do the checkin vs handling the luggage. And, of course, it was very early, we were uncaffeinated, and we did not anticipate such a royal screw up. We have considered that this was malice vs incompetence - but try not to go there...

All this was documented to United's "support" people - they are all Indian call center outsourced people with no stake or ability to really do anything.

I am still wondering how best to handle this NOW. Anyone else have ideas?
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