three: an email to American Airlines

not so friendly skies


January 3, 2011

Dear Customer Service,

I have no words for the complete incompetence of your baggage claim department.

Today you lost my suitcase. It was supposed to be on the plane with me, traveling from Miami to New York. But it wasn’t. Your baggage claim advisor assured me it would be on the next plane landing thirty minutes later. The last time you lost my luggage, it didn’t turn up for five days so I decided to wait. I told my friends and family (and by extension the car service we arranged) to go on ahead without me. Well, guess what?! My bag wasn’t on the next plane. And what’s more, over twenty people on that flight were missing their luggage as well. When I returned to the baggage counter, your advisor was of no help. I filed a claim and was told that my bag should “turn up” in a few days–completely unacceptable. Your advisor was not apologetic nor did she give me any level of confidence in her ability to sort out my situation. I left the airport and incurred a $100 cab charge, a charge I could have avoided had I been able to leave as planned.

Your automated telephone service phoned me at 4 PM today to inform me that my luggage had been “located”. Nothing more. I could check back for updates. I should also mention that I had to call your system back–twice–because of its failure to recognize the requested commands of “yes” and “continue”. Again I say, completely unacceptable.

Despite having arranged for the baggage to be delivered to my apartment in the city, I decided to return to the airport. Have I mentioned my complete lack of confidence in your baggage employees? Guess what? No suitcase. I calmly asked your advisor where my baggage was and when I might expect its return. She had no answers or apologies.

Tell me please, what does “located” mean to you? I still do not have my bag despite your company assuring me it has been “located”. Nor do I have any indication as to when I will receive it. I’m also missing a cool $100 in cab fare. And as you can probably imagine, a whole lot of patience.

I look forward to receiving my luggage and a proper apology.



**UPDATE: My bag arrived! Three days later and with a huge black stain on the top (sadly, I brought the only non-black suitcase I own on this trip).

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