Saturday, July 12, 2008

Claims

Some of you may remember that on my trip to Los Angeles a few months ago my luggage went missing (you may not know that on my return flight the stuff I'd had to buy in the US also went missing for a couple of days due to the Heathrow Terminal 5 debacle.) My luggage (from the outbound flight) was never recovered, so on returning I made a claim on my travel insurance for the cost of everything I'd lost. I received this payment a couple of weeks ago, which was nice as I've had to buy quite a few new clothes to replace everything I lost. However, there was still the cost of things I had to buy while I was out in the US to keep me clothed, and not to pungent, through the two weeks I was there, and I want this reimbursed. To this end I've written a strong, but not impolite letter to British Airways (who I flew with) asking them to cover these costs (which is their policy) and giving them a couple of tips on how to deal with lost luggage in the future. I've only waited this long to do it, because they wanted my insurers claim reference number which I only just got given. In the letter I have suggested that when someones luggage goes missing they contact all the airports that that luggage has been through on it's journey in case it is stuck at one. Apparently this isn't what is currently done, because I was informed that the only airport that knew my luggage was missing was Los Angeles, and neither Glasgow or Heathrow airports, through which I'd travelled, had any idea to look for it. I was also told, by the BA lost luggage phone operatives, that they couldn't phone any of the airports as they didn't have the phone numbers. I think it's a bit strange for an airline to not supply their people who deal with lost luggage phone numbers that might allow them to find out where it is. They did, however, say that they could Telex the airports - now I'm not sure what century BA are living in, but Telex doesn't seem the best option to me. The other thing I discovered, which I've informed BA about, was that my lost luggage wasn't considered urgent priority until 10 days after it went missing, and only then because I asked them to try a bit harder to find it - what, in reality, making it urgent priority meant I don't know, but I don't imagine it was anything more than something to placate me. However, I'd have liked to think that they considered it urgent right from day one. At the time when I talked to any of the BA customer relations people on the phone I was always polite, as I really don't like shouting at people down the phone, especially when I don't think it'll do any good, but I'm hoping my letter (which I'm sending both by email and regular post) will have the desired effect i.e. get me some compensation money.

[Update - I got a very prompt reply from BA basically saying that they were very sorry for losing my luggage twice, but they wouldn't be giving me any compensation seeing as I'd already made an insurance claim. Oh, and they did hope I would still continue to fly with them. Now I'm not too concerned about getting money out of them as I have received my insurance payout, but I would like some form of compensation other than a letter of apology, because as it is they have got away scot free from the whole affair. It's only the insurance company that have had to pay anything. Needless to say I'll be writing back to them to extract something.]