Help Getting Compensation for Delay and Baggage Fees

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Sep 11, 2019
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#1
In June I took a flight from SFO to ACC. I booked the flight through United, and had a connection in AMS and LIS. Unfortunately the flight from AMS was delayed so when I arrived in LIS I missed my connection from LIS to ACC. The AMS and LIS flights were operated by TAP Portugal Airlines.

This was a two day emergency trip to begin with, and they refused to connect me with another airline. Now I'm stuck in Lisbon and initially they were unwilling to provide me with a hotel. I ended up getting a hotel, that was about 90 minutes each way from the airport. My connecting flight left the next morning and got me to my destination almost 24 hours behind schedule.

On my return trip from ACC to SFO I attempted to bring back extra luggage. I called in when I booked my flight, as well as called the day before to confirm prices. At no time did the representative tell me that the airlines was debit card only. They did emphasize that I’d pay a different fee at the airport versus online. I arrived at the airport considerably early and was surprised that they did not take credit cards. I had tried to add the bags online, but wasn’t able to. I figured now that I’m here at the airport with their employees, surely someone can figure out the problem. To me this should’ve been a non-issue.

After going back and forth for hours trying to problem solve, I was forced to leave my luggage because their system would not allow me to add luggage to my trip and pay with a credit card. I was told by one of the reps that my friend could come back and send it unaccompanied, but when he tried they denied him. He had to send it through another carrier and they charged considerably more.

Here it is a few months later, TAP and United have both denied me flight compensation and refund the difference in cost for the baggage fees. I hold a United Premier Silver status, and this was a reward flight. Do I qualify for flight compensation, miles, refund of fees, ANYTHING?!
 

weihlac

Verified Member
Jun 30, 2017
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#3
In June I took a flight from SFO to ACC. I booked the flight through United, and had a connection in AMS and LIS. Unfortunately the flight from AMS was delayed so when I arrived in LIS I missed my connection from LIS to ACC. The AMS and LIS flights were operated by TAP Portugal Airlines.

This was a two day emergency trip to begin with, and they refused to connect me with another airline. Now I'm stuck in Lisbon and initially they were unwilling to provide me with a hotel. I ended up getting a hotel, that was about 90 minutes each way from the airport. My connecting flight left the next morning and got me to my destination almost 24 hours behind schedule.

On my return trip from ACC to SFO I attempted to bring back extra luggage. I called in when I booked my flight, as well as called the day before to confirm prices. At no time did the representative tell me that the airlines was debit card only. They did emphasize that I’d pay a different fee at the airport versus online. I arrived at the airport considerably early and was surprised that they did not take credit cards. I had tried to add the bags online, but wasn’t able to. I figured now that I’m here at the airport with their employees, surely someone can figure out the problem. To me this should’ve been a non-issue.

After going back and forth for hours trying to problem solve, I was forced to leave my luggage because their system would not allow me to add luggage to my trip and pay with a credit card. I was told by one of the reps that my friend could come back and send it unaccompanied, but when he tried they denied him. He had to send it through another carrier and they charged considerably more.

Here it is a few months later, TAP and United have both denied me flight compensation and refund the difference in cost for the baggage fees. I hold a United Premier Silver status, and this was a reward flight. Do I qualify for flight compensation, miles, refund of fees, ANYTHING?!
You should start with United and then go to TAP. Unfortunately, we have had other posts where the airline check-in desk would not accept anything but cash. And yes you should have been informed of those payment requirements.

I just had a much less aggravating experience with United last week where my flight to DEN form ORD was delayed enough that I missed my next flight( which was the last of the day). United booked me on the next flight in the AM, but because my destination was only a 2 hrs drive, I rented a one-way car and drove myself. United paid for the car ($78) and I then asked for 5000 miles compensation, which I received today.

I think you can ask for reimbursement of your actual expenses and refund of fees and a reasonable amount of miles added to your account. They will not give you back all of the miles you used since they did get you there, albeit late.

I made the mileage request on the UA online form and got a prompt response.

You can try that first and then move to the United contacts if the response is not satisfactory. You are a Premier UA member
https://www.elliott.org/company-contacts/united-airlines/ .
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#4
When was your trip in June?

Why was the AMS to LIS flight delayed?

There is a baggage embargo on TAP for flights leaving Accra in the summer -- no excess baggage allowed

Due to space limitations on our aircrafts, during certain times of the year, purchase of extra baggage transportation is restricted for the following destinations and periods:

  • Travelling to Abidjan, Accra, Bissau, Dakar, Lomé, Praia, Sao Vicente and Sao Tome:
    • Christmas – from 11 December 2019 to 6 January 2020
    • Easter – from 28 March to 12 April 2020
    • Summer - 13 June to 30 August 2020
  • Departing from Abidjan, Accra and Lomé:
    • Summer - 20 June to 16 September 2019
    • New Year’s – 1 January 2020 to 7 January 2020
    • Easter – 13 April to 20 April 2020
    • Summer - 13 June to 13 September 2020
The trips whose destination is Abidjan, Accra, Bissau, Dakar, Lome, Praia, São Tomé and São Vicente and whose origin is Abidjan, Accra and Lome will not allow excess baggage (weight and / or dimensions) on the allowance associated with the fare, the purchase of extra baggage, nor the transportation of animals, sports equipment or musical instruments dispatched to the hold. The number of pieces accepted will be in accordance to what is indicated on the ticket and, for each piece, the sum of the three dimensions (height + length + width) cannot exceed 158cm, with a maximum weight of 23kg, in Economy and 32kg, in Executive class.

This restriction is applied to all tickets, regardless of the product that is acquired or the Passenger’s Frequent Flyer status, with the exception of tap|discount tickets, where it is possible to add the transport of one piece of baggage.




We present our sincere apologies for any inconvenience that this situation may cause.


That may be why the computer would not let you add the baggage.

https://www.flytap.com/en-us/alerts-and-informations
 
Likes: VoR61
Sep 19, 2015
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#5
I do not think the airline is required to put one on another carrier -- and once could end up with a dreadful routing, such as 3 connections and 18 hours of flight.

Silver Status does not mean much with the partners.

UA would not pay for the baggage fees as they did not collect them or cause the problems in Ghana -- and UA did not cause the delay.

I think you have to approach TAP. What has TAP said in response?
 
Jan 6, 2015
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#6
Interesting stuff, Christina. Here's what throws me off. @Ife states: "At no time did the representative tell me that the airlines was debit card only"

So I understood the issue to be the inability to use a credit card ("their system would not allow me to add luggage to my trip and pay with a credit card")
 
Jun 24, 2019
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#7
We had that once at KLM at Schipol when the agent would not let us shift some clothing to get a bag under the weight limit. (Our friends at the next agent were permitted to do so. KLM insisted on cash. No credit cards. No debit cards. About US$70. (I secured a refund from KLM later, although it took a bit.)
 
Likes: VoR61
Sep 19, 2015
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#8
Interesting stuff, Christina. Here's what throws me off. @Ife states: "At no time did the representative tell me that the airlines was debit card only"

So I understood the issue to be the inability to use a credit card ("their system would not allow me to add luggage to my trip and pay with a credit card")
I think some details would be helpful to clarify the situation. When was there an attempt to book excess luggage -- before check in started? Was there an error message?

Is there a local concern about foreign credit cards -- are they only using cash at airport to counter fraud?

As there is only one TAP flight per day from Accra I would suspect the airline uses a ground handling service which may not be reliable.
 
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Likes: VoR61

Patina

Verified Member
Dec 22, 2015
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#9
We had that once at KLM at Schipol when the agent would not let us shift some clothing to get a bag under the weight limit. (Our friends at the next agent were permitted to do so. KLM insisted on cash. No credit cards. No debit cards. About US$70. (I secured a refund from KLM later, although it took a bit.)
And if you didn't have cash?!? That is ridiculous. What is wrong with these agents, have they lost all cognitive function?
 
Likes: VoR61
Jun 24, 2019
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#10
And if you didn't have cash?!? That is ridiculous. What is wrong with these agents, have they lost all cognitive function?
There was an ATM there. KLM clearly did not want to deal with credit cards, perhaps because people disputed the charge. We stood on a line to pay (while our bags were held to prevent us from shifting some clothing) with other travelers facing the same situation. It's just a new profit center.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#11
Ugh, what a terrible experience to have to leave the luggage. Many entities do not take credit cards for a million reasons. This is one of those things that you have to verify carefully ahead of time. My first thought would be that the agents can't be trusted to use the credit cards properly, but the airline accepts a CC for a flight booked at the airport, so that can't be right. But we all know that logic cannot be expected in the airline industry.

As far as slightly-overweight bags ... it's always a good idea to pack a luggage scale to avoid these vampire agents at the airport. In a pinch, you can approach any airport agent that's not busy and ask to have your bag weighed before you start the check-in process.
 
Jun 24, 2019
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#12
Ugh, what a terrible experience to have to leave the luggage. Many entities do not take credit cards for a million reasons. This is one of those things that you have to verify carefully ahead of time. My first thought would be that the agents can't be trusted to use the credit cards properly, but the airline accepts a CC for a flight booked at the airport, so that can't be right. But we all know that logic cannot be expected in the airline industry.

As far as slightly-overweight bags ... it's always a good idea to pack a luggage scale to avoid these vampire agents at the airport. In a pinch, you can approach any airport agent that's not busy and ask to have your bag weighed before you start the check-in process.
As to our "overweight" bags, since I started flying in 1967, that was one of the few instances I've ever had of an overweight bag, and the only one where I was not permitted to move stuff to my wife's bag. My bag had made that trip from LAX to CDG with no issue, only to be stopped at Amsterdam on the way to Edinburgh. From Manchester to LAX, no issue. Same bag. Same contents. So I don't believe it was overweight, but my beef to KLM was that I wasn't allowed to move stuff to my wife's bag when others, including our friends in the next line, were permitted to do so. I had Euros, so I could pay, but others lined up at a private ATM to get Euros to pay. I was not the only victim of the scam.

It's a similar issue to my roll-aboard, a Briggs & Reilly I've had for about a dozen years. In more than a hundred flights totalling several hundred thousand miles, it has been rejected exactly once, and that was LAX to MIA in First Class, which was a 737 red eye. (Hardly worth being in First Class. Late substitution of equipment.) On our connecting flight, MIA to Quito, no one blinked an eyelash. And since my most common flight is a Southwerst 737 where my only luggage is the Briggs & Reilly, I know it fits the requirements.
 
Sep 27, 2018
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#13
Ugh, what a terrible experience to have to leave the luggage. Many entities do not take credit cards for a million reasons. This is one of those things that you have to verify carefully ahead of time. My first thought would be that the agents can't be trusted to use the credit cards properly, but the airline accepts a CC for a flight booked at the airport, so that can't be right. But we all know that logic cannot be expected in the airline industry.

As far as slightly-overweight bags ... it's always a good idea to pack a luggage scale to avoid these vampire agents at the airport. In a pinch, you can approach any airport agent that's not busy and ask to have your bag weighed before you start the check-in process.
Now if I could just convince our corporate travel dept of the fact that not everyone takes CCs.
 
Likes: jsn55
Jun 24, 2019
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#14
Now if I could just convince our corporate travel dept of the fact that not everyone takes CCs.
Keep in mind that the Fair Credit Billing Act applies to extensions of consumer credit, not business credit (i.e., corporate travel departments), although most credit card issuers treat their business cards much the same. Consumer credit is credit for personal, family or household purposes.
 
Sep 11, 2019
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#15
I flew before the embargo so I was allowed to bring the luggage. I tried to add it more than 24 hours prior to departure so that had nothing to do with it either, but I didn't think it would've been a problem at their airport dealing with a human being versus a machine.

The issue was that their system was having some kind of error. I later found out from one of the TAP reps that the error was because I booked the flight through United, therefore it would not allow me to add baggage. Either way, this was a quirk within their system and no fault of mine.
 
Likes: VoR61