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Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by uggboy, Apr 29, 2014.
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Clueless Airline Provides A Customer Service Lesson In Rainy Seattle
Should have just stopped at.... this story is lacking..
Couldn't find any new or even vaguely useful information here and the nonsense about the airline crew not having wet bags would have applied to this psuedo-consultant
if he hadn't checked bags also.
BTW Chicago and New York get more annual rainfall than Seattle.
Seems to me the author of the article just needed to 'rant'.
Frankly, I have never considered the thought (until now) that my checked-in luggage might be delivered to me wet as there are usually gifts inside when I return from international trips. I had always assumed (wrongly) that the airline would take "care" of my luggage except for the tossing. This article has certainly enlightened me that I should consider "waterproofing" some of my luggage contents if not the entire interior.
A couple of years ago, while connecting at EWR for our CO flight to FLL, we boarded the B737 as heavy rain poured down at the airport. When seated I glanced out as the luggage was being loaded from the bag train into the holds below, and noticed a large pile of suitcases lying in the puddles beside the aircraft before being loaded. Eventually all were put on the plane and away we went. When we arrived and after a short wait to get our suitcase, I quickly checked if it felt wet on the outside, but since it was perfectly dry we picked up our rental car and made our way to the hotel.
However, on opening the case, almost everything was drenched inside. Called CO, and because I didn't check for dampness inside at the airport I was told to file a claim on their website (and I wasn't about to drive back to the airport that day) and they might refund the laundry charges. Since we had functions to attend the next day, we had to take most of what was packed to a laundry nearby for one day cleaning, and were able to use the hotel's washing machines for our underwear.
As soon as we got home I emailed CO with their claim form and photocopies of the laundry receipts and charges for cleaning all our clothes from the suitcase. After several back and forths, including my further calling them when the charges were denied twice as we didn't show the wetness at the airport originally, they finally came through with a full payment for the charges and some miles for both my and my wife's CO FF accounts for our aggravation.
Our case was an almost new softsider with a tight zipper closer and good lining inside, but as I pointed out to CO to finally get payment, the puddles at EWR may have contained oils, Jet-A, grease, or some other contaminent besides the rain water, and we couldn't and wouldn't wear the clothes without them being cleaned well first.
So be sure to check your luggage BEFORE leaving the airport if it's been raining either when they were loaded on the plane, or as is usual at FLL, heavy rains when the luggage is unloaded.
This is a good case study and thanks for sharing your experience.
The problem could probably be more complicated when you have transfers which is a given on international itineraries
Still not as bad if all the segments are on a same airline but think how difficult this could quickly become if the flight is a DIY involving different airlines (budget especially) or even same PNR but across alliances metal.
Do you claim against the 1st, mid or final destination..?
There are more occasions than I care to count where I reach home and not open all suitcases before a day or two passes if that suitcase did not contain clothing headed for laundry or important work stuff.
Great story. It's nice to see you kept your cool, followed a lucid path and were compensated. I know weather is weather, but I also feel the bag handlers, in keeping with the ideal of work values, should do what they can to keep our things dry. Even, and especially in rain prone areas. I know my bay may get wet; it's unavoidable, but I do also expect my bag won't knowingly sit in 2"of H2O. Then, as you said, there's a lot more 'nasty' on whatever's inside.
Well IMHO I think you are overthinking this. I live in Tampa and the great majority of my connections are at MIA .. now we all know that it rains ( pretty heavily) in Florida during the months of June-Mid Oct just about every afternoon and many mornings.
Never once in 35+ years have I ever had wet luggage and I check luggage on about 50% of my flights.
Only God's children!
Actually getting back to the article. The author does not mention if the airline contracts out the baggage handling at SEA. There are a couple of airlines at SEA that have been known to do this. That makes the Airline less responsible.
The author of the article also mentions cold air conditioning at restaurants. Anyone who has operated a restaurant knows that you make money on the "turns" of a table. One easy way to do that is to adjust the temperature slightly (cooler or hotter) as the restaurant customers feel the environment is not to their liking, they will finish quickly and leave. If the temperature is comfortable, they may stick around for conversation and coffee, delaying the 'Turn". That is also why you will find bars have more comfortable chairs and stools than the food part. If you are at a bar, you will stay longer, drink more, and spend more, than if you are just eating dinner with one drink.
For a customer service expert, he is not very well versed in retail sales and the reasons for interruptions in service. They can be caused by unconcerned management as in the case of ramp workers, or can be more often caused by DYKWIA.
Not water damage, but in answer to your question as to who you claim with on different airline's flights if luggage is damaged:
Many years ago my wife and I were returning from LAS on a FF reward trip. We got the AC nonstop down but couldn't book the redeye nonstop back, so we chose LAS-SFO (UA)-YYZ (AC). Flights and connections were fine, but when we landed in Toronto our suitcase hadn't made the flight. Made a visit to the baggage office at YYZ to fill out a claim form before leaving for home. Three days later the bag was couriered to us and when we saw it the only way I could describe it was, picture the suitcase standing up as usual, and an elephant stepping onto it from the top, crushing it into a U shape almost all the way to the bottom. Only clothing in it, so no damage to the items inside but the case was a writeoff. We felt that the delay and damage was caused at SFO, so we started calling UA, who was the originating airline, but they said it was always the final airline that handled the suitcase that had responsibility for handling the claim, in this case AC.
Called AC (strange that they hadn't seen the badly damaged case on arrival !!!) and they sent me to their luggage repair shop in Toronto with the comment that if they couldn't repair the case, we'd get a new one. Obviously this one was beyond repair and the shop gave us a new, slightly larger case immediately and billed AC for it.
We were so sure it was UA that damaged and delayed the bag at SFO that I swore never to fly UA after that, and we hadn't, instead choosing AC, CO, or AA, but now with the merger of CO and UA it looks like for some of our flights there may be no choice but to choose UA once again based on destination, connections, or price.
And this is correct. It is an agreement that all airlines which interline luggage have come to. It makes things much easier overall on the airlines and passengers to have a consistent policy and this is the one they chose. Also more likely that the final delivering carrier has operations where you arrive versus the originating carrier. That makes a huge difference.