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Delayed baggage on Virgin ticketed, Etihad operated flight

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djchuckles

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So for the first time in my many years of flying, I had a baggage problem!

I was flying from BNE to AUH (via MEL) on the 17th April. I checked in at BNE - well tried to - the Priorit Checkin lady wasn't 'trained for Int'l check in's) so I was asked to go down to a different counter. Took a long while but eventually ended up with two boarding passes, and baggage checked through to AUH (or so I hoped).

Transit in Melbourne was all good - had a Virgin printed BP, which was fine for the Etihad operated MEL to AUH leg. Forgot my Platinum card so was a bit of a faff getting in the Air NZ lounge - but thats my fault, and I got in eventually.

Landed a bit late in AUH, and then a chaotic 2 hours to get through passport control. Seems the UAE don't really understand queuing - each time I was near the front of my queue, they would bring through about 20 airline staff and what seemed like a constant flow of other people (looked like friends, family etc.) would be bought to the front of the queue!. Anyway - after 90 mins I was through.

Went straight to carousel to collect my bag - only a few still on the carousel and no sign of mine. Had the horrible realisation that maybe it hadn't arrived - so went to Etihad baggage desk and they said they couldn't check but if it was't there then it probably hadn't arrived! On further investigation they discovered it on a 'missing bag list' and confirmed it was still in MEL. Next flight into AUH was 24 hours later so they said it might come in on that.

Now I normally travel with a small wheelie bag and chuck in a few essentials (change of clothes, contact lenses, toiletries etc.) but for some reason on this flight, I just too my laptop bag with me as carry on.

So I'm in AUH for 3 days - with nothing but a laptop, pair of headphones, wallet and the clothes I'm wearing (and have been for the last 18 hours of travel!).

I asked what I was supposed to do and if there was any compensation for delayed baggage (as I'd heard in the past that the airlines would give some support in this instance). This is where it got interesting. Had I been on an Etihad ticketed flight, I would apparently have been entitled to compensation in the form of purchases of emergency clothes. But because I had a Virgin Australia ticket - they told me this doesn't apply. Obviously there is no Virgin Australia counter in AUH so I didn't have many other people to ask. Didn't want to rack up a massive roaming bill so reached out to Virgin through Facebook and Twitter - and to their credit they replied pretty quickly. Though they didn't really know the policy and said they'd check. They came back and said there was no policy in place to help in situations like this, but I should check my travel insurance.

Now I booked and paid for travel with my Amex Platinum Edge so it does seem that I have some cover through that. So off I went to buy some essential clothes and toiletries. Stupidly though I didn't read all of the terms and conditions fully until later when I spotted that purchases have to be made with the Amex card. Wouldn't normally be a problem but in one shop, they didn't accept Amex, and in another - they said there card machine wasn't working. So I paid cash and MasterCard for those purchases - will still try to get Amex Insurance to cover it but fully prepared to have a fight on my hand for that one.

Anyway ramble over - my question really is, is there no policy in place from Virgin Australia when travelling on a code share partner for delayed or lost baggage? If not - I think it really devalues the point of my buying the ticket through Virgin Australia and not just booking direct with Etihad.

Any feedback gratefully received.
 

Jack3193

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I recently had a similar experience - travelled MEL-SYD-AUH-BRU, VA metal on the first leg and then EY metal from SYD onwards. Got to BRU and found out that my bag was still in SYD. I was travelling on business and had my first meeting within hours of landing, and had no suitable clothes.

I was on an EY ticket, but the EY duty manager told me the policy is to provide only USD$80 per day that the luggage is missing. Obviously wasn't going to get me very far! I told him I had no option but to buy clothes given the circumstances, he said he understood, and said I should keep receipts and submit a claim to Etihad when I got back. He said he couldn't guarantee anything, but he'd be optimistic they'd pay up. They did eventually - 2 months later after a fair bit of hounding from me. In the email confirming they'd pay up, they stressed they would normally only have reimbursed me $80 - so in effect they were just being nice. Btw I was in J, which might have affected their decision.

All I can suggest is that you file a similar claim with VA and keep hassling them.
 

OzEire

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That's appalling, I hope it is sorted. Let us all know how it turns out.

Edit: I am in a similar situation (VA ticket EY metal) later this year, so I'm keen to know how this is resolved.

OzE
 

jneufeld

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For flights into the EU there is legislated compensation that is applicable. The most important thing is to be vigilant and know what to do if your luggage is lost or delayed. This usually involves writing to the airline within a very short timeframe after the incident usually no more than 7 days. If the airline takes no recourse you are able to raise the issue with the national enforcement body of the country where the incident took place. Keep all boarding passes and baggage receipts including lost luggage forms from the airline as well as receipts for purchases you have made as a result of lost baggage

By knowing and following the rules to the letter I was able to get 400 euros compensation out of an EU budget airline for delays and lost luggage 9 months later by raising it with the national enforcement body. While this is no consolation to the OP as the issue arose in the UAE, when flying into Europe if your bags don't arrive with you there is a path to follow to get appropriate compensation.

More info: Your passenger rights at hand - EUROPEAN COMMISSION
 

djchuckles

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No call yet from Virgin - said i'd be available from this afternoon

Will see if they call tomorrow
 

djchuckles

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Guest Relations called today - very apologetic. Asked me to send them details of purchases I had to make. Will see how this goes...
 

serfty

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...
I asked what I was supposed to do and if there was any compensation for delayed baggage (as I'd heard in the past that the airlines would give some support in this instance). This is where it got interesting. Had I been on an Etihad ticketed flight, I would apparently have been entitled to compensation in the form of purchases of emergency clothes. But because I had a Virgin Australia ticket - they told me this doesn't apply. ....
They were wrong (or lied to you)!

The Montreal Convention applies as travel began in a signatory country (Australia). Even if Australia was not a signatory to the convention, it would still apply as the UAE is. Travel only needs to begin or end in a signatory country.

EUR-Lex - 22001A0718(01) - EN

Article 36


Successive carriage


1. In the case of carriage to be performed by various successive carriers and falling within the definition set out in paragraph 3 of Article 1, each carrier which accepts passengers, baggage or cargo is subject to the rules set out in this Convention and is deemed to be one of the parties to the contract of carriage in so far as the contract deals with that part of the carriage which is performed under its supervision.


2. In the case of carriage of this nature, the passenger or any person entitled to compensation in respect of him or her can take action only against the carrier which performed the carriage during which the accident or the delay occurred, save in the case where, by express agreement, the first carrier has assumed liability for the whole journey.


3. As regards baggage or cargo, the passenger or consignor will have a right of action against the first carrier, and the passenger or consignee who is entitled to delivery will have a right of action against the last carrier, and further, each may take action against the carrier which performed the carriage during which the destruction, loss, damage or delay took place. These carriers will be jointly and severally liable to the passenger or to the consignor or consignee.
The carrier is that which operates the aircraft.
 

djchuckles

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Interesting - though I'm sure I would've been looked at like a complete loon if trying to quote the Montreal Convention to the rather unhelpful Etihad staff member at the baggage counter!

Lets hope Virgin come good - though it'll make me think twice about booking with Virgin, if Etihad metal - especially as I don't 'need' the status credits right now...
 

Jack3193

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Lets hope Virgin come good - though it'll make me think twice about booking with Virgin, if Etihad metal - especially as I don't 'need' the status credits right now...
On intl flights you get the same status credits whether the ticket is with EY or VA. The only difference (AFAIK) is that the flights don't count as eligible sectors if it's an EY ticket.
 

djchuckles

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Thanks - even less reason to book via Virgin - I actually seem to recall it was cheaper to book with Etihad direct but my return leg was on VA30 and I wanted (and did) to upgrade with points
 

djchuckles

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For those who were interested, Virgin have offered me $300. Less than the c. $500 of receipts I submitted and in my opinion pretty light for what was required to get me through 2 days in a foreign country (where it's 40+ during day and I needed something vaguely presentable for an evening function). Not to mention wasting nearly the first day of a 3 day short trip

Wouldve been good if Virgin knew this policy when I asked at the time but hey ho.
 

NM

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For those who were interested, Virgin have offered me $300. Less than the c. $500 of receipts I submitted and in my opinion pretty light for what was required to get me through 2 days in a foreign country (where it's 40+ during day and I needed something vaguely presentable for an evening function). Not to mention wasting nearly the first day of a 3 day short trip

Wouldve been good if Virgin knew this policy when I asked at the time but hey ho.
$300 is pretty generous for an airline. I received $90 from MH for a 2-day delay (would have been only $60 for an economy class pax), and had to claim the remainder of my costs through my travel insurance (which paid up quickly).
 

Reggie

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$300 is pretty generous for an airline. I received $90 from MH for a 2-day delay (would have been only $60 for an economy class pax), and had to claim the remainder of my costs through my travel insurance (which paid up quickly).
Were you still out of pocket because of the travel insurance excess?
 

NM

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Were you still out of pocket because of the travel insurance excess?
No. My claim Travel Insurance to was for my full receipted expenses less the $90 that MH paid me in cash at the airport. My TI policy had no excess for delayed baggage claims. So it just cost me my time to complete the claim process and postage of the paperwork to the TI company (stamp plus envelope).
 

Reggie

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No. My claim Travel Insurance to was for my full receipted expenses less the $90 that MH paid me in cash at the airport. My TI policy had no excess for delayed baggage claims. So it just cost me my time to complete the claim process and postage of the paperwork to the TI company (stamp plus envelope).
Reggie hurries off to check his travel insurance terms and conditions.
 

Quickstatus

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Booking flights in codeshare is never the same as booking with the airline flying the aircraft.

All sorts of issues can arise and its never seems to be in favour of the travelling passenger.

Sounds like VA came to the party with some compensation.

Your idea of contacting VA via FB/Twit is a great idea when overseas.. I must remember that...
 
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