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Forgot to claim for damaged baggage 30 months ago

Forgot to claim for damaged baggage 30 months ago

Old Dec 11, 15, 4:45 pm
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Forgot to claim for damaged baggage 30 months ago

I have a team who do baggage services (ie, lost and found) at a small international airport.

Before I joined the company, a former employee filled in a DPR (Damaged Property Report) for a pax for a damaged bag. The pax in question claimed a mobile telephone and several bottles of aftershave had fallen out of the damaged suitcase during transit.

My former employee failed to sign the DPR when completing the report and nothing was heard of from the pax since. Until the other day! The pax has returned 30 months later wanting to know how her claim is progressing. All I have is a DPR copy from pax (I can find no other documentary evidence) with the pax's signature and no signature from the airline or my (former) staff.

I can guess from handwriting who the former staff was and I am fairly certain he was poached by the airline who damaged the bag! But the airline, in question, denies responsibility and says as handlers, we must sort problem out.

As savvy FFs, would you have much sympathy with a pax that filed a DPR and only followed up 30 months later? How would you deal with it from a fair perspective?

Should the pax be compensated for a few bottles of aftershave, a now derelict and outdated phone and a damaged bag?
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Old Dec 11, 15, 4:56 pm
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First, I think you've come to the right place but be prepared for your head to spin based on the number of answers you may receive.

If the pax had not filed a claim at all, I would say that the statute of limitations had passed. However, I think that, since a claim was filed and there presumably was an obligation on your organization's part to follow up (the poached employee notwithstanding), a settlement of some kind is in order as there was carefully supervised benign neglect on both sides.
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Old Dec 11, 15, 5:12 pm
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Originally Posted by jspira View Post
be prepared for your head to spin
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Old Dec 11, 15, 5:15 pm
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Originally Posted by jspira View Post
If the pax had not filed a claim at all, I would say that the statute of limitations had passed.
I agree.

Under laws of the country in question though, the airline should retain a copy of the DPR till now (as should we)!
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Old Dec 11, 15, 5:20 pm
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Some sort of settlement is due. Sounds like the former employee dropped the ball, intentionally or unintentionally, since his handwriting is on the claim form.
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Old Dec 11, 15, 5:27 pm
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Sounds as though it's your problem to sort as it was your employee who screwed this up. The customer filed the claim, your company accepted it and failed to process it. How you evaluate the claim and what it's worth is another story. Whether you can pursue the carrier or the former employee is another story as well.

But, the passenger? He did his part. It is your own company which failed miserably. I would cheerfully overpay if only to have him spread the good word that you took care of him.
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Old Dec 11, 15, 5:32 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
Sounds as though it's your problem to sort as it was your employee who screwed this up. The customer filed the claim, your company accepted it and failed to process it. How you evaluate the claim and what it's worth is another story. Whether you can pursue the carrier or the former employee is another story as well.

But, the passenger? He did his part. It is your own company which failed miserably. I would cheerfully overpay if only to have him spread the good word that you took care of him.
The pax did fail to leave contact details.

She had no email address, postal address was not filled in properly... she just left a mobile number. It does not work now... maybe it did 30 months ago!?
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Old Dec 11, 15, 5:39 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
I would cheerfully overpay if only to have him spread the good word that you took care of him.
I kind of agree but in baggage services you can't be too generous otherwise you never make a dime!

Wonder what finance department will make of this!
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Old Dec 11, 15, 8:04 pm
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Originally Posted by groundops View Post
Should the pax be compensated for a few bottles of aftershave, a now derelict and outdated phone and a damaged bag?
Does the company not have a policy on how to handle mishandled claims, how long a claim is active, etc? "Ask some anonymous folks on the internet" seems to be an odd way to conduct business.
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Old Dec 11, 15, 9:17 pm
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Originally Posted by CPRich View Post
Does the company not have a policy on how to handle mishandled claims, how long a claim is active, etc? "Ask some anonymous folks on the internet" seems to be an odd way to conduct business.
NO!

Most small companies don't have thorough corporate policies in place for all eventualities when they start out.

Many large corporates would fail in this case too...

This was an early business contract done for peanuts to get the company started chalked up on a cigarette packet...

And a 30 month late DPR claim is not normal in most people's books - and the liability concerns were certainly not my top priority when analysing current insurances when I joined.

We are, after all, only talking about a 2010 phone and some cheap aftershave!

Just wanted some feedback.

I was considering a miserly payment to pax. FT has persuaded me to argue for a slighty less miserly payment on their behalf!

Your sense of service recovery expectations, given your demanding views on corporate policies covering A-Z, almost makes me want to tell the pax to just shut up and go away though, I must say...
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Old Dec 12, 15, 7:47 am
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Originally Posted by groundops View Post
NO!

Most small companies don't have thorough corporate policies in place for all eventualities when they start out.

Many large corporates would fail in this case too...

This was an early business contract done for peanuts to get the company started chalked up on a cigarette packet...

And a 30 month late DPR claim is not normal in most people's books - and the liability concerns were certainly not my top priority when analysing current insurances when I joined.

We are, after all, only talking about a 2010 phone and some cheap aftershave!

Just wanted some feedback.

I was considering a miserly payment to pax. FT has persuaded me to argue for a slighty less miserly payment on their behalf!

Your sense of service recovery expectations, given your demanding views on corporate policies covering A-Z, almost makes me want to tell the pax to just shut up and go away though, I must say...
If you accept the form as it is as being valid (thus ignoring the missing company signature), you can't at the same time say that the claim is late.

On the other hand, if you reject the form (which might be hard having stated publicly that you can guess which former employee completed the form), then I'd say 30 months is out of date.

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Old Dec 12, 15, 8:43 am
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Forgot to claim for damaged baggage 30 months ago

In the court of common sense shouldn't it be the claimants responsibility to follow up before 2.5 years elapse?

If it was me, I would have followed up the next month not years later but maybe I'm ocd
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Old Dec 12, 15, 9:03 am
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Originally Posted by groundops View Post
But the airline, in question, denies responsibility and says as handlers, we must sort problem out.
Having run both airlines and handling agents, this is incorrect. The handling agent only handles the baggage on behalf of the airline, so any damage claim is taken as the agent for the airline. Why is the handler getting involved with any follow up? The role of the handler under the SGHA is simply to generate any PIR and forward to the airline to handle and the airline specifically indemnifies the handler against any further claims (unless due to negligence). Refer SGHA 2013 Article 8.1 (c) for further information on this.
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Old Dec 12, 15, 11:03 am
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Originally Posted by Mauibaby2008 View Post
In the court of common sense shouldn't it be the claimants responsibility to follow up before 2.5 years elapse?
It would seem to be common sense that a company would have a defined timeline. Without one - they lost the bag, they're responsible, I would think. What counter argument do they have?
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Old Dec 12, 15, 11:10 am
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Originally Posted by B747-437B View Post
Having run both airlines and handling agents, this is incorrect. The handling agent only handles the baggage on behalf of the airline, so any damage claim is taken as the agent for the airline. Why is the handler getting involved with any follow up? The role of the handler under the SGHA is simply to generate any PIR and forward to the airline to handle and the airline specifically indemnifies the handler against any further claims (unless due to negligence). Refer SGHA 2013 Article 8.1 (c) for further information on this.
However, the passenger correctly did file the claim, but the handler's (former) employee never bothered to sign the form and forward the completed claim to the airline. It's the handler's mistake.
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