I Survived the Christchurch Earthquake and My Airline does not Give a Damn

Posted on March 2, 2011. Filed under: Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The letter pasted below was sent to me from a Delta Airline Customer who literally survived the Christchurch earthquake in New Zealand and was lucky enough to get out of the crumbled place she was staying only to fly Delta on a portion of her trip back to Atlanta from Los Angeles and Delta lost her luggage! Read her story below and share it with your friends, family and business associates.   Folks it is time to stand up and demand to be treated with respect and excellent customer service. The airlines since charging you to check your luggage have created a new multi billion dollar revenue generator at the further expense of their customers. The airlines charge you for your luggage then lose it, damage it or? and they don’t even refund the money you paid because the airlines recently stated they do not promise to deliver your luggage on time or even with you! Read on,  get outraged and take a stand!

 

DELTA COMPLAINT FILED 02/28/11 on their form …

I was on Delta flight on February 26, 2011 from LAX to ATL. My luggage is missing (and last night someone else’s bag was brought to give me … but “not mine” so I told the courier to take it back to Delta.  Today I check and see that the online baggage site still shows Delta as having found my luggage and being in process of getting it to me (which was the wrong bag last night).  Please update this on the site!

My flight originated in Christchurch where I had survived the earthquake … but the house where I was didn’t make it so I had to stay with someone I didn’t know until the airport opened and I was able to get out.  We had no water, sewer (but glad I didn’t go to the shelter where they were making tourists leave on Air Force flights to Wellington and Auckland).

So now despite surviving  all of that, a simple thing such as finding my luggage seems insignificant.  That’s not why I’m writing.  I just want to let you know that a little customer service (meaning the person you talk to demonstrates an attitude of interest … not blank/disinterested and that YOU are the one that needs to figure out what to do).  And I’m trying.

I have called twice to let them know I still need to be listed on the online page … as missing my piece of luggage.  The individuals I’ve spoken with say there’s nothing they can do (but both times they offered – and did – leave messages for the Atlanta baggage claim office to call me).  The first Delta person I talked to said the people there said they were busy but would call me in about an hour or so. When over five hours went by .. and no called still … I called my SkyMiles customer service and she also gave the Atlanta baggage claims office a call … but no one answered.  She said she left them again a message for them to call me.

It’s now been over 24 hours … and still no one has called me!

Please see baggage claim ATLDL#####.

Had Atlanta baggage folk simply checked the barcode on the bag they shipped me (or taken the time to notice the name tag wasn’t my name … and maybe that would have gotten them to check barcode) then THAT customers would by now have their bag.

What happens to my claim … that I can’t get anyone to change … as certainly the site now continues to list my bag as located .. and in process of being delivered.  IT IS NOT!

With the attitude demonstrated by the Atlanta Baggage Claim personnel … it will be no surprise they find it easier to just send bags to the unclaimed pile … without making the little bit of extra effort that sometimes is required to take GOOD care of Delta’s customers.

I love it that you end by asking (below) do you want a reply?  How about someone seeing how well (or how poorly) your baggage claims works for me?  It would tell you a lot of issues that might provide benefit from some attention by Corporate staff.  I don’t know what the problem is … but there is a lack of interest in the customer service attitudes demonstrated by baggage claim personnel in Atlanta during my last two experiences (earlier one was during the ice storm).

Could I suggest you send someone in to have a first hand experience … as this is Delta’s problem to figure out.  I’m just going to sit back now and see if you ever produce my lost luggage.

 

If your not outraged at reading this letter then I can’t help you. Lets put Delta and all the airlines in the spot light until they treat us and our luggage the way we deserve to be treated!

 

Scott T. Mueller

Author The Empty Carousel a Consumer’s Guide to Checked and Carry-on Luggage

http://www.TheEmptyCarousel.com

 

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Directly From Me to You, Get Your Popcorn and Soda And Your Spare Underware:American Airlines Baggage Mess – iReport.com

Posted on July 31, 2008. Filed under: Travel, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Howdy air traveler another day in the life of your travel these days. Below is what I left as a comment on the USA Today article on this problem. Enjoy! (This awesome video is at the bottom of this page and the guy did a great job narrating for you.)

(A short disclaimer on this video: Although American Airlines is the airline in the spotlight for this major problem, I want to let you know as I have written this in my book as well that it is quite common for the “Airport Authority” to own the baggage moving equipment and not the airline. In many airports the airlines lease this from the airport in their monthly fees. I am not sure if this is the case with AA at JFK or not. The airlines like their customers end up paying the price for something that is out of their control.)

My friend sent me a video of this luggage mess last night that a passenger took at JFK. She knew I would be interested since I am the author of The Empty Carousel a Consumer’s Guide to Checked and Carry-on Luggage and a former system manager for baggage services and veteran with the airlines for almost 20 years.
See folks you do not need weather or even natural disasters to cause this kind of chaos for the air traveler and your luggage. It’s what the airlines are not telling their customers who have faith that if they leave and go ahead to their destination without their luggage, chances are exceptionally high that the customer will not see their luggage on the next flight or even the next day!! This happened not so long ago in Orlando and many thousands of bags did not travel with their customers either, I was there and saw the mess that outdated baggage equipment can cause and does cause every day around the country.

What you have now is a logistical nightmare when there are this many bags that have to be processed by airline workers at one time. Once you identify a bag and its destination or “When” you have to get it on the correct flight and the agents on the other end at your destination have to then process the bag, set up delivery with usually a private company which operates on their own schedule and availability for delivery of bags.

Now lets say the customer is traveling with an old name tag on their luggage (believe me this happens all the time) Now the airline is trying to process a bag for a person that may not exist with old contact information. What about the bags that are tagged with the wrong bag tag and goes to another destination than the owner of the bag.

Airlines have limited staff to handle this mess. I have seen this kind of mess happen from one snow storm and it usually takes a week to process all the bags for all the customers and still you end up with bags that you cannot find owners to.

This is just a small sample of what can and will go wrong for many of these travelers who leave without their luggage. I am also pretty sure the airline is not telling their customer what they are entitled to when luggage goes missing. A false promise of a bag arriving on the next flight or the next day during this kind of mess is not a good thing and I would hope the customers are being told EVERYTHING they need to know by the airline but then I am an optimist and I know how things usually end up for the unsuspecting traveler.

What the airlines should do that charge fees for checked luggage is simple. By refunding the new fee for every bag mishandled that was charged a fee would take HUGE chunks of potential profits out of the airline’s revenue and would force airline executives to place increased emphasis on improving their luggage handling performance. But the airlines have made the bold comment that even if they mishandle your luggage, they will NOT refund the new checked baggage fee!

To me that is an unbelievable statement to make when luggage handling has been on the decline for many years in a row and as Congress said in 2006 when they addressed the increasing problems of mishandled luggage with the ATA (Air Transportation Association) Congress concluded “we are sympathetic to the problem but it is clear that there is no help on the way.”

And that folks is why I wrote my book for you the air travelers. I would love travelers who are directly impacted by this to contact me through my website so I can hear their story and possibly add it to my website so others can hear their experience. I will not stop working until you the traveler leave and arrive with your luggage in hand, intact, with all the contents you packed! Safe travels to you always.

Scott T. Mueller
Author The Empty Carousel a Consumer’s Guide to Checked and Carry-on Luggage

 

www.TheEmptyCarousel.com

Scott@TheEmptyCarousel.com

 

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Luggage “Cops” Will Be Watching You!

Posted on June 17, 2008. Filed under: Travel, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Breaking news air travelers!! Just announced today that American and United Airlines will now be paying their own employees to stand at the entrance to security check points to “Strictly Enforce” Carry-on Luggage. (Remember as I have stated before, when the big carriers do this, the other carriers tend to follow suit.)

With the new checked baggage fees imposed, the airlines are going to make sure they collect every fee they can for your bags that you have to check. So what does this mean to you?

If you are one of the travelers in their sights at security check point and they pull you out of line, you will have to return to their ticket counter to check and pay for the additional bags in question. Talk about increased frustrations on your part having to go through the chaos twice and then get back into the security line only to snear at the face of the person who just cost you another $25 bucks and then having them smile and tell you to have a pleasant flight :^(

Remember if this happens to you, make sure you remove any valuables that are not covered under the airlines “Contract of Carriage” a list which is already in my bookThe Empty Carousel a Consumer’s Guide to Checked and Carry-on Luggage written specifically to help you.

The security check point is not the place to become unruly either nor is there ever a place for that behavior in the airport so prepare yourself mentally and plan accordingly. You might get away with an extra tote as a carry-on bag on one leg of your travel but then only to have another agent at another airport force you to pay the money to check it!

When things like this come into play such as the new checked baggage fee, you WILL find inconsistency from one location to the next so prepare for that as well.

Prepare for a very new experience to only add to your already frustrating experience with traveling by air these days. The stage is set and I can see the storm of your frustrations building off in the distance and if we were talking weather, I would run for the basement………….

Oh, one last thing as a reminder, the airlines are charging you and keeping the fee for your checked luggage even if your luggage is delayed, lost, damaged, or pilfered.  “Now have a nice flight and remember we value you as our customer………………………” I am not buying it are you?

Best Travels to you and yours always,

Scott T. Mueller

Author: The Empty Carousel

www.TheEmptyCarousel.com

Scott@TheEmptyCarousel.com

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When you pack your luggage, do you know what your doing? This elderly woman did not have a clue she packed her husband and his dog…. « Airtravelluggageconsultant Weblog

Posted on April 11, 2008. Filed under: Travel, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

When you pack your luggage, do you know what your doing? This elderly woman did not have a clue she packed her husband and his dog…. « Airtravelluggageconsultant Weblog

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When you pack your luggage, do you know what your doing? This elderly woman did not have a clue she packed her husband and his dog….

Posted on April 10, 2008. Filed under: Travel, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Information for today\'s air travel consumerWhile working as an airline baggage service manager, I received a call one day from a woman who said her bag was lost, that is not uncommon these days as many of you know.  She was frantic, so I did what I did best, used empathy (sincerely) and listened to what her itinerary was etc. From Maine on airline “A” then connecting to another airline “B” of which the two are not associated you see.  But carrier “B” being the final carrier accepts responsibility even though when the dust settled, airline “A” created all the problems to begin with.

So I listened to this nice elderly lady and then told her that everything would be ok and if the bag was not found in 30 days from the date of loss, I would buy her a new bag and replace the contents that would be covered by my airline’s “Contract of Carriage” (Do you know what this is?) And of course, items that are not covered certainly would pertain to what she had packed in her luggage in this case……………. Yes, you already have the clue from the tag line.

Unknowingly, she had packed her husbands remains and that of his favorite dog to take to their vacation home and sprinkle his and doggies remains together per his dying wish and a good wish.

She thought anything would be safe in her checked luggage, even her beloved husband and doggies ashes.  So I offered her my home phone number to call me when ever she needed to while I did my best to locate the checked bag that mysteriously disappeared.  She continued calling and crying and of course her distraught sons one who is a reporter and the other an attorney were preparing to put my company out of business.

I did all I could to find her beloved loved ones but to no avail.  Finally 30 days later, airline “A” called my customer at home and told her “Are you missing a bag” Oh my!! yes with tears streaming down her eyes so plans were made to express mail her loved ones to her where she lived.

That was the happy part of this story, although tragedy was avoided, elderly customer called me to chew me a new back side and told me I did nothing to find her bag and loved ones because airline “A” had the bag for 30 days.  Here in lies the problem, since it came to be that airline “A” never entered her bag into the world wide lost luggage computer system that most airlines use, nor did they use the ID tag she had on the bag with her name, address, and phone number until 30 days later!  You may also be asking why the lost luggage store in Alabama stocks its shelves with 7000 of your lost luggage items every day for resale.

You see, when bags are delayed, lost, damaged, or pilfered, it does help to understand the process and your rights, what a Contract of Carriage is and what it covers.  Allow me to help you with my new book on this topic specifically written to turn the tide of this growing problem. Go on and check it out plus I will offer you free consulting through my website or here. Safe travels to you always.

Scott T. Mueller

Author The Empty Carousel a Consumer’s Guide to Checked and Carry-on Luggage

www.TheEmptyCarousel.com

 

 

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