Air Travel Consumer Take back your control of your luggage

Posted on April 7, 2008. Filed under: Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

As reported by the New York Times last November 2007 which stated that 5 million travelers last year would have stood at an empty baggage carousel scratching their heads at the end of your travel. How many of you felt this gut wrenching experience and what did it cost you in lost time, vacation time, business time, money, or?

As an author on this topic, an expert and veteran of the airline industry, I am trying to turn the tide of this rapidly growing problem and I would like to hear from you and how my expertise with the luggage process can help you and those you know.  

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One Response to “Air Travel Consumer Take back your control of your luggage”

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I am currently sitting waiting to hear about my lost luggage from United Airlines! Little did I realize on Friday morning in LA that when I handed my luggage over that there was an entire company behind United Airlines that do not care about their customers’? First, my flight was delayed, then after boarding half the plane they took the passengers off because the aircraft was unsafe to fly. After spending 1.5 hours in line at customer service I was rerouted back on the new plane through Denver arriving in to Toronto at midnight. I was supposed to be home at 8:29 pm. upon arrival in Toronto I tried to verify that my luggage was on the connecting flight but was informed that they had no information. So after perusing bags for 1 hour at the carousel proved that my bag did not make it, I then had to file a missing baggage report and head into customs with more paperwork. Saturday morning I began calling the airline only to find that the customer service people were in India and the staff had one standard reply: “I’m sorry Mame”. They would not even remotely admit to being at fault. On my 3rd call of the day I was informed that the bag had arrived on an Air Canada flight that had arrive at 4:20 pm but United had not picked it up. I was assured that the guy in India would insure that my bag was retrieved and I would get a call back soon. The saddest part was that I kept telling them that my blackberry charger was in the bag and that that meant that I would be housebound unless they offered to pay for a new charger – which they wouldn’t.
At 10:00 pm I called back, having not heard from them. Of course by the time I got through to a live person, again in India, he was unable to reach the airport as it was closed. I was promised that I would hear from them this morning (Sunday) with news as to when my bag would be delivered.
Once again they did not follow up so when I called I was not surprised to hear a new story – my bag has not been found and may still be in Denver. This time I spoke to someone in the Philippines. This call lasted over 2 hours and made me late for an appointment. I called back this afternoon and have been told that I will receive a call back from India within the hour. The countdown is on with 4 minutes to go.
Why has United Airlines made me feel like I am in a hostage situation? Why do they take no responsibility? How can a company operate in such a manor? In any other business this lack of service would put the company out of business.
Perhaps this is a contributing fact to the poor performance of the airline industry. I do know that I will NEVER fly United again. I will make sure that my company never books flights through United. I will also make sure that everyone I know hears about how United does not have a customer service department because although I have spoken with at least 11 staff members they are not serving their customers. Who knows, I may never check a bag again.


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