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Compensation for lost luggage / disruption to travel

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davidjo

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Mar 21, 2005
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Hi

Question: What compensation do you think we are entitled to ?

Recently when travelling as a family (2 adults and 4 kids aged 13yrs-15mths) from London to Rome BA (qantas ticket) lost our pram which was checked at the gate (and stolen we suspect). The trip was a free sidetrip from our original travel from Melbourne to London where i was working for 6 months and hece the family came with me.

As a result of the loss we had to wait at Rome Airport until about midnight on the Friday of our arrival - not easy with 4 little kids but the main problem was that we couldnt get around Rome very much without a pram ! Carrying a 12kg child for very far in the Roman summer doesnt work (try it with a few bags of potatoes to get the idea!). The lack of a pram really limited our mobility and ability to see key sights.

We were only there for 2 days so there really was little benefit in going.
The Pram was never recovered and no one from BA called to say what had happened - i had to call them.

To date after a couple of letters all we have been offered is an apology, cost of replacement pram and A$200. This hardly compensates us in my view.

To add insult to injury on return to Australia they had given away one of our seats at the airport and we had to nurse the baby all the way home!

Thoughts ? Do you know what has been obtained in similar circumstances ?

Thankyou very much for your help
 

Kiwifruit

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David,

While I'm sorry that your pram was lost and this impeded your enjoyment of Rome, the compensation offered by BA would seem to be appropriate in the circumstances. What did you really expect? Travelling with four small children is never easy but that's all part of the parental responsibility you assume when choosing to travel with them, from a legal perspective any consequential loss you may have suffered as a result of the lost pram is far too "remote" to be the responsibilty of the airline and I think you did well to get $200 compensation in addition to the value of the pram. After all, you could have simply purchased a pram in Rome and carried on as per your original intent.

So far as the airline giving away one of "your" seats on the flight to Australia is concerned, I have never heard such nonsense. The reason infants are not charged full fare is that the airlines make it clear that there is no guarantee of a spare seat or bassinette for the infant. The option is always there to pay for such a seat if you want one guaranteed for your 12kg child (a bit larger than your average baby).

I don't wish to sound uncharitable but I tire of parents who are not prepared to accept responsiblity of their parental obligations but suggest in future you check your pram in at check-in rather than have it confiscated at the gate. Prams these days are of mammoth proportion, not the sort of thing that can be accomodated in the overhead locker.
 

NM

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Lost luggage is a right pain in the neck, and can be a very expensive exercise. However, the airlines have standard compensation that is outlines in the conditions of carriage, where they have a maximum payment for lost or damaged luggage.

You should make a claim on you travel insurance policy, where you will likely find the compensation is more in line with the actual costs incurred by you.

I am also little confuded about the seat issue. Had yo paid for a set for your child? If so, then you should be entitled to a denied boarding compensation. If you have not paid for a seat (and the 10% fare for infants under 2 on international flights does not entitle you to a seat), then they did not give away "your" seat as you had not paid for it.
 

johnsmith

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Dec 5, 2004
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You do sound like an unsympathetic dragon but what you say is fair enough. I wish the airline would loose my old crappy pram so they could replace it with a lovely new one. I realise this should not have happened in the first place but it does and its always at the most inconvenient time. I always travel light so I have to fill my bags with bricks and rocks to make up the weight to at least 30kg because when they loose your bag and they will, you only get paid so many dollars per kg.
 

aspro2

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Nov 26, 2004
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davidjo said:
As a result of the loss we had to wait at Rome Airport until about midnight on the Friday of our arrival [...] The lack of a pram really limited our mobility and ability to see key sights.
(1) surprised you 'had to' wait until midnight, but don't know your circumstances. Usually, you would just need to give the baggage handling company/airline your address for delivery of the item when/if recovered.

(2) I assume you had travel insurance, in which case you should probably have been able to purchase a new pram (or cover other justifiable costs in dealing with the fact that you had no pram) after 6-12 hours had elapsed, depending on your policy.
 

QF WP

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Aspro said:
(1) surprised you 'had to' wait until midnight, but don't know your circumstances. Usually, you would just need to give the baggage handling company/airline your address for delivery of the item when/if recovered.
Aspro, they have 4 children, the youngest 15 months old. How did you think they'd get around Rome?? They probably were waiting to see if it had missed the flight and was being sent on a later flight. I think they said it best:

Carrying a 12kg child for very far in the Roman summer doesn't work (try it with a few bags of potatoes to get the idea!).
If one of them had to carry the youngest, it would have possibly created more work for the others having to lug an additional bag around (Airport/Hotel/Airport).
 

aspro2

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Lindsay Wilson said:
Aspro, they have 4 children, the youngest 15 months old. How did you think they'd get around Rome?? They probably were waiting to see if it had missed the flight and was being sent on a later flight.
I wasn't suggesting they sightsee whilst waiting, Lindsay. It sounded like a lose-lose situation.
 

QF WP

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aspro, indeed it's a lot easier (I'd imagaine, I don't have kids yet) to sightsee the next day with a pram for their 15 m.o. child...the chances were that it was more likely they were completing the bagage claim forms then waiting for BC to advise it's whereabouts. Thus the need to wait until they had some outcome...even if it wasn't positive in the end. Sightseeing at night at Rome airport, now that would be interesting :wink:

With such a short time in Rome, they probably would have wasted a lot of time ringing insurers in Australia, trying to find out whether the policy would respond to the claim, find shops, compare quality and price and finally buy one - thus using a lot of time missing out on the sole reason they were there - to sightsee.

In answer to their question, I think they should claim against their travel insurance and I would expect some form of compensation (perhaps travel vouchers in some denomination, free duty free vouchers for use when next they travel on BA) for the loss and aggravation of the situation.
 

geoffb78

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Jan 15, 2005
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At the risk of not being able to add much here, my approach would have been to shoulder the cost of replacing the pram in the meantime, so that my time in Rome was not wasted. I would then, as it appears has actually happened, have followed up with BA. It would have been likely you'd have received some compensation simply for the inconvenience. If the 'old' pram had shown up, then the 'new' pram would have been useless, but surely one could have been picked up for no more than the $200 BA ultimately offered?
 

serfty

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Certainly a Pram or Pusher is vital for touristing with a 15MO. I can easily imagine how difficult that would be. Not only do they carry the child, they double as storage for PINS/nappies/swipes/food/drinks/towels; any of the many things needed.

It's also a good place to store that extra film/video tape/memory cards/spare batteries/maps/guide books. :wink:
 

NM

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Its easy with hind-sight, but I would have considered finding the equivalent of Crazy Clarks or similar and bought the cheapest stroller I could find. Here you can pick them up for about $20. Then used it for the stay in Rome and asked the airline or my travel insurance to cover the expense. If the original one showed up, then just dump the cheapie at a charity shop. If it did not show up I would have been asking my travel insurance company or the airline to sort me with a proper replacement.

But its very hard to make such decisions when you don't know if the lost item is going to show up in the next few minutes.

Sightseeing in Rome involves some walking, and carrying a toddler is not going to be much fun after the first half hour. Just the security of knowing the tot is strapped into the pram/stroller and not about to walk out onto the street in front of an Italian driver is essential in my opinion. Of course one could always leave the tot in the hotel room with a supply of sweets and the TV turned on while the rest of the family go sight seeing :shock: . Its not like a 15 month old is going to have long-term memories of the Collesseum.
 
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