Sunday, February 23, 2014

Delta Airlines: Lost Baggage Returned Five Weeks Later -- Minus Valuable Jewelry

"Anonymous" posted a comment with a link to a complaint posted to Yelp.com. His/her link didn't display his/her complaint/review first, so here it is reposted here:

Beware of the outrageous and extremely bizarre things that could happen if you fly Delta!

I hope this story moves at least as far around the world as my bag did before it was returned--about *five weeks* late and after my valuables were removed from it. The sequence of facts is outrageous, as described in great detail below...

I flew from LGA to ATL on 1/20 on a flight they re-booked me onto right before it left because of weather and was told by an agent at LGA that I wouldn't be able to take the flight if I didn't check my carry-on bag that had some jewelry pieces from my family worth thousands... My bag did not make it with me to ATL that unfateful evening. I was deeply regretful that I'd bothered to take a Delta flight for only the second time, when I've flown AA at least 700 times and never had a bag lost or stolen (I've also flown on several Chinese airliners around China and never had a bag lost or stolen there)!

When I filed a claim in the baggage office, I was given no more than a number, without having any idea what the content of the claim--or description of my bag--was. I demanded a receipt that included a basic description of my bag, as the DOT guidance states airlines are required to provide when claims are filed onsite at an airport, to which the agent told me she would not provide. She demanded I leave, stating there was nothing else they could do for/give me (including no toiletries, etc.), and when I refused until I was provided with an adequate receipt, she called the cops on me! A cop came and gave me his info. and some written acknowledgement of my missing bag contents! He also told me that Delta Airlines calls the cops 7-9 times a day about passengers upset about their missing bags, far more than other airlines do... This obviously reflects a major problem Delta has with both losing/stealing passenger bags, as well as the manner in which such incidents are responded to!

Three days later, on 1/23 at around 9pm, I received an email stating my bag was at Hartsfield and that I'd receive it by 1/24 no later than 2pm. I arrive home at 5:15 to find no bag was delivered... Exasperated, I called the local baggage office number and was abruptly told no more than *apparently it wasn't your bag* with no apology. For crying out loud, if it wasn't my bag, could you not pick up the phone or computer and call/email me to let me know rather than surprise me like that? Even Amazon.com called me to let me know recently when a package wouldn't be delivered by the guaranteed delivery date, and had been in touch with amazon.com far less than I was with Delta Airlines about my missing bag!!!

Fast forward to 2/22--nearly five weeks later--and I get a call that Delta had my bag at ATL Airport. I go to the airport to pick up my bag and find that not only was all my jewelry taken out of the bag (except for one bracelet that was broken), but that the bag was sent to Lagos, NIGERIA on 1/21--at least 8 hours after the bag had arrived into ATL properly tagged (because of a snowstorm in NYC on 1/21, the last flight arrived from LGA to ATL at around 2pm, and the only flight to Nigeria left at around 10pm that evening).

When I got the bag on 2/22 at Hartsfield, the bag still had the original tag on it with my name and the flight number from LGA to ATL on 1/20... Immediately next to (but not covering) my fully-intact and proper bag tag, with my name and LGA-ATL flight number dated 1/20, was a second tag with another passenger's name for a flight from ATL to LOS.  Delta has been unable to explain 1) how a tag with someone else's name could have been placed immediately next to (but not over) my bag tag that had my name and ATL listed as the final destination by accident (during at least an 8-hr. layover in ATL) as it would have been impossible to place the second tag so precisely next to the first tag without noticing the first tag...   They've also failed to explain why it took *FIVE weeks* to get the pilfered bag back...

I filed a claim weeks ago that has also gone ignored this long... Unfortunately, given that most of the expensive items were stolen and that I've already had to pay to replace the other items that I didn't have for 5 weeks, my original claim remains equally applicable despite getting the pilfered bag returned this late...

Delta, you are worst airline that could possibly exist, having flown dozens of others many hundreds of times without incident... Not only did I lose all this stuff and go through so much distress in the past few weeks after flying you just twice, but just about every person I've communicated with has been downright *nasty*...  Customer service? Sympathy? Apparently that's not part of Delta's business model.

Don't fly Delta--even when their fares are lower--it's just not worth the great risk of harm that could result!

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