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AirLink employee stole from our bagsAirLink admitted culpability but won't reimburse

AirLink employee stole from our bagsAirLink admitted culpability but won't reimburse

Old May 30, 19, 1:42 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: May 2019
Posts: 2
Exclamation AirLink employee stole from our bagsAirLink admitted culpability but won't reimburse

Can anyone help us with this problem? We have tried for over 5 months to work with AirLink to no avail. How can an airline knowingly allow an employee to steal from additional passengers during the same week other thefts were reported? then ignore the victims' requests for help for several months and only reply when the victims send another series of emails? then acknowledge wrongdoing by their employee, recognize the carry on bags were checked on the tarmac under duress and without the ability to take items out before they were stowed under the plane, and then refuse help the victims? Here are the details:
My son and his partner took Airlink flight SA8123 from Windhoek to Cape Town on the 5th of January 2019. An Airlink employee committed premeditated theft, stealing $1,500 worth of camera equipment and a cell phone from their carry on luggage. My son and his partner have been in frequent communication with Airlink asking for reimbursement but to no avail. Here is a summary:
  • On the Cape Town to Windhoek flight, they were able to bring their carry on luggage into the cabin with no issue.
  • As they were on the tarmac, about to climb the stairs for the Windhoek to Cape Town flight, an Airlink employee forced them to check their carry on bags or not board the flight
  • As seasoned travelers, they asked to be allowed to take items out of their carry on bags before having them checked but the Airlink employee told them "there is no need....everything will be fine." They were forced to climb the stairs or miss the flight.
  • They deplaned only to discover a camera with two lenses was taken from one of the forced-to-check carry on bags.
  • They asked for an Airlink representative and reported the crime. During this meeting, they learned there was already an investigation underway as other passengers that same week had been victims of the same crime.
  • They reported the crime to the local police as well.
  • Only after filing both reports did my son realize his Google Pixel 2 phone was also stolen out of his bag.
  • After 3 months with no reply to their last email, they wrote Airlink again at the end of April. Airlink apologized and admitted culpability - "Please be advised that the matter was investigated and the necessary action was taken against the culprits and are no longer responsible for the duties provided in the operation."
  • Because this 3 month delayed reply did not address the issue of reimbursement, my son called and spoke to the Airlink employee directly. During that conversation, the employee repeatedly stated that the airline is not responsible for valuables if they are in checked luggage and refused to understand that this luggage should never have been checked in the first place.
  • The victims then wrote an email to the previous employee's supervisor. The response: Airlink refuses to reimburse them for the loss - "I regret to advise that the Airline is not liable for valuable items in sky-checked baggage. Although I understand that you were requested to hand your hand baggage in to be sky-checked upon arrival at the aircraft, the Airline’s policy is clear on valuable items in checked luggage. Irrespective whether this luggage had to be checked by request of the Airline or the passenger."
fly.good is offline  
Old May 31, 19, 3:22 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: CPT,AMS
Posts: 3,508
Claim from your travel insurance?
While it's a very bad experience, sadly it's not that uncommon in (South) Africa
nancypants likes this.
Ditto is offline  
Old May 31, 19, 11:26 am
  #3  
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Join Date: May 2019
Posts: 2
thank you for that idea...i don't believe they purchased travel insurance (lesson learned)...sad but helpful to know this is common.
fly.good is offline  
Old May 31, 19, 4:08 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: N/A
Programs: UA 1K, BA Gold, LH/SN/LX Senator
Posts: 426
Originally Posted by fly.good View Post
thank you for that idea...i don't believe they purchased travel insurance (lesson learned)...sad but helpful to know this is common.
If they booked the ticket with a credit card they likely are covered by some (limited) travel insurance.
evanb is offline  

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