HELP! need advice...lost luggage nightmare!!

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by nakram2008, Jan 16, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. nakram2008

    nakram2008 New Member

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    I have an abolsute nightmare horror story and am in desperate need of some advice and help as to what i can do....
    basically - we are a family of 4 - myself, my husband, my 4 year old and my 15month old baby. we travelled to peru over Christmas - from johannesburg to sao paolo (transit) and then to lima. On our return leg however we encountered a nightmare - we left lima and flew (LAN airlines) to Sao Paolo where we were in transit for an hour to catch our flight back to Johannesburg (South African Air). However, upon arrival in Sao Paolo, South African Airways told us that we could not fly to Johannesburg as we did not have the yellow fever certificates (we were not told that we needed them for Peru, as Lima is not a yellow fever area but apparently becuase we were in transit in Brazil we needed them - according to SAA - btw we are newbies in South Africa..just recently moved over here from UK).
    As a result, a TAM representative in Sao Paolo airport re-routed our tickets via London...so we had to fly TAM airlines to London Heathrow and then catch next flight from London to Johannesburg (British Airways). The TAM representative that was looking after us assured us that our luggage would be removed off of the SA flight and he re-ticketed the bags to London and that we would have to re-check our bags in London for the flight to Johannesburg. He took the original baggage receipts and re-issued us new baggage receipts for our 5 items of luggage (4 suitcases and 1 baby car seat).
    When we arrived in London Heathrow we could not find our baggage. We spoke to a TAM representative and he looked into the bagagge numbers and he confirmed that those items of luggage were not on the flight with us - in fact he said that those numbers on our baggae tickets didnt correspond to anything. We opened up a report with him and he assured us they would locate the bags and fly them to JHB. Upon our arrival in Johannesburg, we immediately went to the baggage desk and again our luggage was not there. It has now been over 10 days and we are desperately trying to chase TAM on the case - we have tried calling their baggage office tel number EVERY DAY, left voice messages, sent emails - everything and yet no one has bothered contacting me to give me an update. I went back to johannesburg airport and begged the BA and SAA desk to look into this matter for me - of course they do not want to take any responsibility over it. They looked into the case reference on their system and they told me that TAM has done nothing to locate the bags - no messages have been sent to other airports or airlines asking them to look for the bags. and they cant update the file as only TAM can update. i have completed the report online and put in my luggage description and yet even that hasnt updated - it still shows as 5 black suitcases as missing which is incorrect. i finally got through to someone in their london office yesterday and there i was begging for some information and he hung up on me!!!! i am beyond furious. we have 5 items missing - all baby clothes, baby medicines, our car seat - everything for our kids.....and here i am in Johannesburg - calling the UK office every day and doing everything i can. TAM is treating my family so badly. its disgusting. 5 items of luggage dont just disappear. and the worst is its becoming more and more apparent that the new baggage tickets that TAM issued dont correspond to anything and that our bags are somewhere with the old tags on them (from the LAN flight from Lima to Sao Paolo). How can i get the old baggage ticket nos? Who can i contact in LAN that can help me find those ticket numbers to see if the bags left Lima? Who can i contact in South African Airways in Sao Paolo to verify were our bags removed off the flight?
    Please please please can someone help or give me some advise as to what i can do. This is so unacceptable.
     
  2. daninstl

    daninstl Gold Member

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    Can't offer much advise but if you booked the flights or paid for baggage with a credit card you might contact the credit card company and see if they will help or accept a claim for lost / stolen goods. Sorry I don't have much more advice. I would keep after the airlines though. You most likely will never see those bags again at this point but you might get some compensation if you keep after them and try to involve the credit card companies. The only other routes would be your government agencies or any travel insurance policy you might have.
     
    thesterlingtraveler likes this.
  3. thesterlingtraveler

    thesterlingtraveler Gold Member

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  4. HaveMilesWillTravel
    Original Member

    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    LAN has contact information on their website: http://www.lan.com/en_us/sitio_personas/contact/customer-service/

    Not sure that anyone here can tell you who exactly to contact at LAN or SAA -- names/numbers of individuals aren't generally known/published, and the traveling public is left to call the general customer service/baggage numbers published by the airlines, which generally results in a bad experience.

    Sorry -- I know this isn't likely very helpful. Good luck!
     
    thesterlingtraveler likes this.
  5. WilliamQ

    WilliamQ Gold Member

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    This really sucks and I can only imagine the frustration you are having now.
    I have lost my share or items, some my fault, others beyond my control and no matter how it happened, it is never an experience you would wish upon anyone.
    Nothing else I can do or say though but I wish you all the best.
     
  6. estnet
    Original Member

    estnet Gold Member

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    Wish I could offer more than condolences. Usually when I read nightmare in a title I cringe inside, but your story certainly qualifies for legitimate use of the word
    So difficult traveling with children and then to have their stuff go missing........
     

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