US Airways Complaint - Luggage Torn In Transit
Submitted to US Airways on March 28, 2008:
Dear US Airways Customer Service,
I am writing to you regarding ripped luggage on my return trip from Fort Lauderdale to San Francisco on Wednesday, March 26, 2008.
I checked two bags prior to my flight from Fort Lauderdale to San Francisco via Charlotte in very good condition at check-in. When I picked up both bags at the SFO carousel, my small duffel bag was fine, but the larger 28" Ricardo two-compartment bag was badly ripped at the seams of the top of the hanging compartment. My jacket was even falling out of the large whole. I immediately took my luggage to the US Airways service center adjacent to the carousel. After a short wait, the main female worker told me that obviously my bag got stuck on something in transit, and the tear was the airline's fault.
She said that she could give me a replacement piece of luggage, which I said would be fine. She replied that it would not be the same make or color, but close. Again, I said this would be fine. She then looked at the bag and said that it's possible that I could just take the bag to a cobbler to get it repaired. She and I looked closely at the bag and I pointed out that the fabric had been ripped totally from the seams and had started to fray. It's very possible it couldn't be repaired, and as
I live in a city without a car, getting a cab to take it to a repair person in itself would be costly on my part. She then said she'd just give me an aircheck. I said I didn't want an aircheck; I wanted the replacement or the fee covered if it could be guaranteed repairable. She refused and said she'd give me a coupon good for $100 for my next US
Airways flight (voucher validation number [withheld], cpn [withheld]; baggage number US076654, flights 1434/1455, ticket number [withheld]). I didn't feel this was right, and I said so. Instead, she said that she couldn't do anything else.
As I had just spent almost 12 hours until this point), I didn't look at the aircheck too carefully. When I got in my shuttle to go home, I noticed that the $100 was only good if I booked a flight worth more than $500. More likely I'd save $25 on a trip if I take one in the next year.
I feel like I got bait-and-switch treatment several times over the course of 15 minutes, and to make matters worse, I wheeled my luggage 15 blocks to the nearest cobbler and back, who laughed when I asked about repairing my luggage. He said it's beyond hope. Now I have a worthless aircheck and no decent-sized luggage!
What should I do? I'd be happy to send you pictures.
I received the standard, "Thanks for your email" message back, with a promise to attend to my email in 5-7 days. 10 days went by without a peep, so I wrote to them again:
I am following up to my inquiry regarding my damaged bag following a trip on March 26, 2008. I have yet to receive a response from my March 28th message (10 days ago). The representative at the airport was not helpful, and now I do not have a regular-sized usable piece of luggage for travel. Please locate and address my issue as soon as possible. I hope to hear from you soon.
Today I received this response:
On Tue, Apr 8, 2008 at 1:14 PM, Baggage Resolution wrote:
Dear Ms. H.:
Thank you for contacting the Central Baggage Resolution Office at US Airways. I apologize for this unfortunate incident and for the length of time it has taken us to address your email.
A seam split or zipper damage would normally be considered a manufacturer's defect or the result of over packing and not a result of negligence or mishandling on the part of US Airways. Therefore, I regret we are unable to offer any type of monetary compensation for this incident.
If you have not already done so, you may wish to contact your personal property or travel insurer to see if you have coverage for an incident such as this.
I appreciate this opportunity to explain our position and sincerely hope we can restore your confidence in our service.
Central Baggage Resolution Office
Now, it's great I got a response, but this wasn't normal wear and tear or a manufacturing issue. There's a massive hole and strings. Nothing was wrong with the bag when I handed it to them that morning. Even worse, the service person in SFO admitted that they caused the hole!
So I wrote back:
Hello Ms. Rooney,
As I said originally, "After a short wait, the main female worker told me that obviously my bag gotstuck on something in transit, and the tear was the airline's fault." She acknowledged that the rip was the airline's fault, and not mine. My bag was not overpacked, and was obviously ripped in transit.
Please address this.
I also sent an additional email containing photos of the non-manufacturer's rip and hole.
This is absolutely ridiculous. The airline caused the massive rip/hole, and I have no good travel bag (and I travel a lot for work). Also, my confidence is obviously not restored, and I'll do everything possible NOT to fly US Airways from now on.
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