Croatia Airlines: Aftermath of Lost Luggage

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Who to talk to about Croatia Airlines customer service issues and lost luggage?

  • There is no contact for Croatia Airlines, you just need to keep emailing Customer Service.

    Votes: 1 100.0%
  • They do not have insurance for reimbursing customers?

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    1
Oct 9, 2015
2
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I flew from Louisville, KY to Zagreb, Croatia on July 11, 2015 via Croatia Airlines. When I arrived in Zagreb my luggage was not at the baggage claim. I was told to give my address in Zagreb and that my luggage would arrive by the next morning. My luggage never came. During an intense week of prestigious music training in Zagreb, I spent hours calling, waiting, and communicating with locals and customer service representatives at the airlines. This communication was all initiated by me, and the airlines did not follow-up or make an effort to reach out. My luggage arrived in Louisville two weeks after I returned home. Again, I had to reach out to the company to learn where the luggage was and arrange a pick-up: there was no follow-up.

There are two issues that frustrate me about this whole calamity: the first being customer service and the second the hours wasted trying to communicate with a company that has been financially and emotionally draining. Croatia Airlines has written me offering a reimbursement of half of my toiletries. Should this be considered generous? Not only did I spent money to acquire items packed in my initial suitcase (music, outfits, toiletries, shoes, writing materials and more) for this trip, which was lost. Yet, furthermore, when arriving in Croatia I had to replace my lost items by buying a new suitcase, handbag, toiletries, shoes, swimming gear, undergarments and more (which I had no choice but to replace, even though I could not afford them). Not to mention all the copies of music I had to make after borrowing colleague’s music and running all over town to find a print shop (30 minute walk and $50.00 for all the copies). Then, there were the calls back to the company after I arrived home in America which have international rates and have been over $100.00 in international fees. I have worked in customer service and hospitality for over 10 years, and this approach to resolve issues is lacking.

I had planned this trip as an opportunity to learn from some of the best musicians in the world in a part of the world I had not yet been. This trip was a once-in-a lifetime opportunity, and I had been saving money all year. I don’t understand how a company can be oblivious to the impact their service and follow-through has on both the trip and the customer. I have travelled and lived abroad for extended amounts of time, and this has been one of the most infuriating situations I have ever experienced. I was expected to learn and perform that week at a high level, and I did not have the music and personal belongings to make my week a success. This small misplacement of luggage has become a financial burden as well as emotionally draining experience.

Three months have passed and I have still not received reimbursement for my submitted receipts. As mentioned above, I have also paid additional fees to call internationally to talk to the customer service department. I have sent over five emails. I am not sure how to approach this issue. Thank you for taking the time to read this.
 
Jan 3, 2015
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@Courtney Glenny, I'm sorry to have you go through this. Here are a few thoughts:

#1) When communicating to Croatia Airlines, do it all online. If you are calling their customer service, stop. You want to track every piece of communication with them.

#2) When communicating with Croatia Airlines, leave all the emotional stuff out of it. At the end of the day, to the airline, it's irrelevant and just clouds the real issue of them delaying your baggage.

#3) Requesting for reimbursement for your international phone calls is a waste of time. You can ask for it, but it is just going to cloud the request for reimbursement for your delayed baggage. Also, they are not legally required to give you anything for it, and the odds of you getting anything are slim to none.

#4) The real issue is you needed to purchase items to function for your trip due to your delayed luggage. Since this is an international flight, legally, baggage claims are subject to the Montreal Convention. There are certain liability limits and a good article on this can be found at http://theconversation.com/what-to-claim-for-lost-delayed-or-damaged-bags-on-overseas-flights-32111.

#5) When travelling internationally, I know sometimes you need to bring a lot with you, so you can't just have a carry-on. I do recommend for the future though that anything that is vital when you get there that you have it in a carry-on, such as your sheet music.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
11,163
13,516
San Francisco
Oh, Courtney, I am so sorry your wonderful experience was ruined. I hope that in time you will remember only the good parts. Croatia is a magical place.

Matt is right on with his advice, both how to handle this situation and counsel on future flights. I like to summarize: Never pack anything in your big suitcase that you can't live without for a week. And stating only the facts is great advice ... it's difficult for people who experienced shelling in their home town when they were 14 to understand the gravity of your personal belongings going missing.

Go after Croatia Airlines, be succinct, be patient, be persistent. You will prevail.
 
Oct 9, 2015
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Thank you for the response.
1.) They have not taken action to any posts I have placed online. (other than thank you, our customer service team will help you).
2.) I have communicated with the airlines starting on day one with no emotions. A lot of these non-emotional response involved waiting, waiting, and waiting. Did I mention waiting (no emotional response)? Most of my friends have seen me in extreme situations and internationally and can vouch for this.
As an "artist" I was travelling and "performing" in a country with top musicians. I was expected to give 100% in learning environments, such as the one I paid to attend in Croatia, to grow and learn as a musician and artist. When 10+ hours in my first few days are devoted to picking up the pieces of finding music, shopping for clothes and calling customer service this took a toll on my performance ability.
3.) Why is there no response via social media, and yet you suggest not to use international calls?
4.) Thank you for the link on Montreal Convention. Can someone connect me to a representative on Croatia Airlines, or do we just work out our issues with Montreal?
5.) I had a carryon with clothes and needed supplies what I could fit for the trip. Not all that was needed was able to fit in that carryon.
 
Sep 23, 2015
124
161
This is an absolute long shot... But, has anyone her had any success with escalating an inability to make meaningful contact with an airline to the alliance they are a part of (if they are part of an alliance). I am pretty sure Croatian is a member of the Star Alliance. So, maybe writing Star Alliane to say you have had a baggage problem with Croatian and need help finding the right person or office to pursue your claim. I would not go into the details of your claim and just stick with asking them for the contact info.
I have no contact information. But, they do have a contact us page at http://www.staralliance.com/en/contacts/ and you can use the online form to send an email. You'll have to guess at what topic to use.
Good luck.
 
Aug 28, 2015
3,729
2,904
New York
I would leave out the music angle as well. It will distract the reader from your actual request and doesn't help distinguish your case. 2 weeks without bags is a legit grievance as you had to purchase clothes, toiletries, and of course a new suitcase- which is very pricy. As suggested gather your receipts. You are definitely entitled to reimbursement here.
For future, you may wish to consider a digital means of transporting your sheet music if it doesn't fit in your carry on. You can scan it yourself or for very cheap and print it out when reaching your destination. There isn't really a need to drag it in your luggage.
 
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