British Airways lost our luggage and is doing nothing for us.

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Aug 12, 2018
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#1
Company you have a question or comment about: British Airways

We are on a honeymoon to the UK for 2 weeks. On August 5, we took a one-hour flight from London Heathrow to Newcastle, England. At Heathrow Terminal 5, we checked in one suitcase with all of our stuff in it, for the two of us, at the British Airways check-in. The bag did not arrive at Newcastle. although we had received an e-mail from British Airways saying it was checked in and on the way to Newcastle. British Airways promised us it would be delivered to us in Newcastle the following morning (August 6th). We have called British Airways every day and even returned to Newcastle airport on August 10th to try to find the luggage ourselves. At every turn, whether on the phone or in person at the airport, we have been given the run around by British Airways. They refuse to take responsibility. My guess is that the luggage is sitting somewhere at Terminal 5, and nobody has bothered to match it up with the detailed description that we provided. When we reported the lost luggage at Newcastle Airport, the British Airways agent told us this happens on every flight.

What's your desired resolution? We would like someone at British Airways to take a look at the unclaimed bags and match ours up with the ones that are there. We had $3,000-plus in clothing and shoes in that luggage. If British Airways lost the bag, they need to compensate us for that. But the clothing we had picked out for our honeymoon is very sentimental to us. The resolution we actually want is to get our luggage back. It could not have vanished into thin air. But British Airways has no record of it, apart from it being checked it in on August 5.

We are willing to travel to Heathrow Airport and check every repository of unclaimed luggage until we find it. Preferably with news cameras? Ha ha. But seriously, our luggage has to be there, right? We'd love to go to Heathrow and pick it up, if we could be allowed to look for it. But we weren't allowed to do any such thing at the Newcastle airport. So I don't know if we will have better luck at Heathrow. Does anyone have advice on how we can get our luggage back?

What's the value of your claim (in US $)? 3000

Date of transaction/travel date: 08/05/2018
 
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Aug 12, 2018
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#3
Thank you! I spent about an hour working on the "lost luggage claim" on the British Airways web site last night. It requires us to provide our bank account number and also asks us to upload the receipts of everything we've purchased. We do have the receipts, but it's not convenient at all for us to upload them, not being at an office with a computer or scanner or etc. Maybe we could take photos and upload? But it's really silly because we're not looking to get reimbursed for the small amount of things we've purchased in the past week. We are looking to either get our luggage back (it has to be there at Heathrow, right?), or as a worst case scenario, be compensated for our loss (the $3000 worth of contents in the suitcase) if British Airways has somehow lost the suitcase.

Thank you for the link to the e-mail addresses of the executives at British Airways. I will e-mail the executives and see if they can do anything for us. All we really need is for someone to go to wherever they have the suitcases that have gotten misplaced somehow, and match one of the suitcases to ours. It has to be there at the airport. I can't think of any other explanation. We are happy to go there ourselves (we just arrived in London today ... we will be here until Saturday, August 18th). But we are concerned that if we go to Heathrow, they will tell us the same thing they told us at Newcastle ... that we can't look at the luggage they have on hand, and that all we can do is call the British Airlines customer service number.

Yes, I hope the executives can help. Thank you!
 
Aug 12, 2018
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#5
Thanks, Neil and Carrie. I emailed the primary person (Caroline Martinoli) this morning at 10:56 A.M. I didn't hear back from her regarding this urgent message, so I forwarded it to the next contact, Ian Blackman. If I don't hear back from Ian by midday tomorrow, I'll go to the next person, Simon Brooks. If I don't hear back by tomorrow evening, it's on to Alex Cruz.

Obviously, if we don't get the luggage with its contents back by the time we depart London on August 18, we will finish filling out the claim form to get the 1000 or so pounds reimbursement from British Airlines. When we get back home, we'll have plenty of time to fill out all the remaining fields for that. But we're hoping to get the suitcase (actually, the contents of the suitcase) back. The suitcase had our favorite clothes that we've collected over the past 25 years. That's what we want back. We can't just go out and buy this stuff ... they don't even make these clothes anymore.

The luggage has got to be there at Heathrow Terminal 5. I don't know what happened, like maybe the luggage tag got separated from our suitcase once it went down the conveyor belt ... but if that happened, there should be some place where British Airways keeps luggage that has been separated from its tag. And there should be someone who goes there and checks and sees that one of those suitcases matches the suitcases that we entrusted to British Airlines on August 5. So far I have received no confirmation that British Airways has done anything to look for the bag. All we know is what is shown on the luggage tracking web site, which is that it has not been scanned since the initial check-in. I did receive an e-mail from British Airways saying that the luggage was on the flight from London Heathrow to Newcastle (the flight we were on), but that was apparently incorrect. That erroneous e-mail is the only communication I have received from British Airways regarding this matter.

So frustrating ... sorry if I am sounding like a broken record here. Any additional ideas / advice?

Thank you!
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
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Dec 27, 2014
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#6
No, do NOT email the next person on the list until you give the first person a week to respond. Please read the information in the Customer Contacts - it takes a time for someone to research your issue - they can't give you a response in 15 minutes.

Do not email anyone else - you need to wait a week and then move up the chain.
 
Aug 12, 2018
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#8
Oh, and I'm sorry ... I had meant to say that I sent the e-mail to the first person at 10:55 A.M., and since she didn't respond during business hours, I sent it to the next person at 6:15 P.M. My thought was that every day is important, so I'm giving each exec a day to respond. But now I realize it's supposed to be one week, so that's fine. I just wanted to be sure you know that I wasn't expecting a response in 15 minutes. It''s just that at my work, if I received an urgent request, it's usually expected that some kind of response be provided within the same day. And in this case, we are in the final countdown to departure on Saturday. As far as we know, not one person at British Airways has done anything to try to locate the suitcase. If there was someone who could communicate with us regarding what they have done to locate it, that would be helpful. But no one has done that. No one from British Airways has contacted us at all.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
#9
Unfortunately, you still have to give them time to respond. What if the person was out on vacation or a sick day? If they have to research, they need a few days to do that. Thats why we tell you to give them a week. If you have to move to the next executive then you can say "I wrote to Joe Schmo on xx/xx and have not received a response".
 
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Aug 12, 2018
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#10
Yes, I understand ... it's not a problem. I hadn't read about the one week thing, so I didn't know. It's actually better for us to just let it go because we'd rather be enjoying our limited time here, before we go back home. I really appreciate the service that you guys are providing. It's amazing how totally unresponsive British Airways has been. Everyone we talked to is just shocked that they could lose our luggage on a 1 hour flight and then do absolutely nothing for us. It's so strange.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#12
This must be a most distressing situation. I don't see that you filled out a lost bag report before you left the Newcastle Airport. If you didn't, that's why there's been no response. There are literally thousands of bags "over there" in the corner, another room, another building. They are all waiting for someone's attention. BA has a system to deal with lost luggage, and they're going to follow the procedures, obviously this is a slow process. Nobody is going to go looking for your bag this instant, and they're not going to let you go look for it either.

You know the bag got into their system at LHR, but it could be anywhere at this point. It could have been loaded on a plane bound for Tenerif, nobody knows. But the radio tag tracking they have today is pretty reliable, so I think your tags are gone. The tags could easily have been ripped off in transit. Did you have identification inside the bag? A copy of your itinerary and contact information? That's the only way I got my bag back in Rome a few years ago; all the outside tags were gone and some kind soul opened my bag and found my itinerary. Our system will work if you follow it carefully. Please check your credit card to see if there are any insurance perks built in and find out what their deadline is to report a lost bag, versus a misplaced one. I'm so sorry this happened to you on your honeymoon.
 
Aug 12, 2018
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#13
Yes, of course, we filled out the missing baggage report when we arrived in Newcastle. That's how we've been tracking it online. And that's when the agent told us they lose bags on every flight, and that's when the agent told us, no problem, the baggage is in Heathrow and would be delivered to us the next day. The missing baggage report that we filled out and which we can view online, has very detailed information about our luggage including the brand, color, size, lock with combination code, and detailed information on the contents such as how many and color and etc of most everything in there. When we were calling every day from August 6 to August 10, the customer call person would look at the very same information we were looking at online and tell us that we have filled everything out, and that the descriptions are quite detailed and good, so all we can do is wait to hear from British Airways.

The form I'm talking about filling out when we get back to the States is the one that we started, but didn't finish, which is the one where we'd get 1000 pounds reimbursement for lost luggage. We didn't finish it because it requires our bank account numbers and etc for reimbursement, and it requires receipts for the items you lost, if available, and receipts for the things we have bought since losing our luggage ... we do have receipts for the more recent stuff, but it will take us a few hours to put all of that together, and we are not willing to use our vacation time for that right now. Especially when we actually DON'T WANT any reimbursement, ideally. What we want is for someone to look at whatever luggage is there (apparently luggage that has been separated from its bag tag) and match it up with the detailed description that we already provided to British Airways. I"m dumbfounded that they haven't responded. Their system shows that the bag has been missing for 9 days now. No one has followed up to see what's going on ... how are we doing after 9 days without our luggage and etc? We told them that we're on our first overseas trip for our honeymoon and have none of our stuff, but the call center people just say, "Oh, give it one more day" sort of things.
 
Aug 12, 2018
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#14
Great idea about posting the itinerary on the bag, though. British Airways told me that they do not ever open the bag, but they do scan it with the machines for seeing what's inside. So for the itinerary, in the future, I could tape it to the outside of the bag, showing flight numbers and dates.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#16
My wife actually bought luggage tags that you can put your itinerary in so they can get to it if the bag gets lost.

https://www.magellans.com/itemdy00....zp9Eq7b2jSSxDspCYD8OzdQtDNF4aqMBoC6M4QAvD_BwE
I've read about these ... I always put my itinerary in the outside top pocket. But maybe new rules do not allow an airline to even open that. When I say itinerary, I mean a list of hotels, their locations and telephone numbers, and the dates that I'll be there. Having little faith in the baggage workers, I want to make it super easy for someone to get my bag to me..
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
13,373
13,044
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#17
I've read about these ... I always put my itinerary in the outside top pocket. But maybe new rules do not allow an airline to even open that. When I say itinerary, I mean a list of hotels, their locations and telephone numbers, and the dates that I'll be there. Having little faith in the baggage workers, I want to make it super easy for someone to get my bag to me..
That’s what you put inside these tags. My wife types the hotels names, phone numbers and dates and folds it and puts it inside the tag.
 
Jul 2, 2018
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#18
As British Airways have to reimburse you for necessary items that you buy for each day that the luggage is delayed (up to a specified limit, not sure how much it is for British Airways) then I would make sure that I buy clothes and personal items each day up to the full value of their limit. If British Airways are not going to answer emails and try to help you in this matter, then I would make sure that they pay for EACH day that the luggage is delayed.

So my advice would be to buy new clothes/personal items each day, and then scan the receipts and send them to British Airways. Make them pay for THEIR mistake.

Jerry
 
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Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
13,373
13,044
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#19
As British Airways have to reimburse you for necessary items that you buy for each day that the luggage is delayed (up to a specified limit, not sure how much it is for British Airways) then I would make sure that I buy clothes and personal items each day up to the full value of their limit. If British Airways are not going to answer emails and try to help you in this matter, then I would make sure that they pay for EACH day that the luggage is delayed.

So my advice would be to buy new clothes/personal items each day, and then scan the receipts and send them to British Airways. Make them pay for THEIR mistake.



Jerry
I wouldn’t recommend trying to rip off the airline. They look at the receipts and if they think you bought unnecessary items, they don’t have to reimburse you for everything.

I hope by escalating to the Executives, butter-bean will get some help. She’s been extremely patient through all of this.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
6,856
6,779
113
San Francisco
#20
I wouldn’t recommend trying to rip off the airline. They look at the receipts and if they think you bought unnecessary items, they don’t have to reimburse you for everything.

I hope by escalating to the Executives, butter-bean will get some help. She’s been extremely patient through all of this.
I don't see any evidence of rip-off in this advice from WorldTraveller. If BA won't cooperate with the lost luggage issue, our OP should definitely purchase items to replace what's lost. Doing so on a daily basis to comply with BA's rules makes sense to me.