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Priority Bag lost for five days - and still waiting

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hroebuck79

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Just looking for some advice (and yes, to rant a little!). I flew from Sydney to Adelaide on Friday evening....with a business colleague. We checked in together at the priority desk - and both our bags we checked under my name and tagged as usual...including the priority label. However, on arrival at Adelaide one of the bags was missing.

I have to say - the service from Virgin has been pretty terrible on the whole. It the five days it has been missing, we have found it incredibly hard to get through to the baggage desk to obtain updates on the status of the missing bag - and the majority of calls have just been the person telling us they have no idea where the bag is. Apparently, they are even currently checking internationally (alarm bells ring at this point as how on earth does a domestic bag checked at T2 in Sydney get on an international flight?!).

Anyway, I could go on all day. The frustrating thing is we have been at a professional conference for the entire week - all my colleagues business attire and was in the lost luggage, and work material required for the conference was also in there. It has been a massive inconvenience to not have this luggage. Not to mention having to make multiple phone calls, and on one occasion get a cab back to the airport to speak to someone as we had been unable to speak to anyone via the phone all day.

We return to Sydney tomorrow - and as it stands, we still don't have the bag and Virgin have no idea where it is. To add insult to injury, we were offered $50 today as compensation - ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!!!!!!!!!! Five days in Adelaide without any clothes/toiletries etc, and you offer $50. Not to mention, you have lost the luggage.

Anyway, has anyone experienced this situation? If so, what compensation were you awarded, and how did you obtain this? Who did you speak to? What can I do in one last vain attempt to have the luggage found? Seriously, bags don't completely disappear do they?

Any advice appreciated!

From a VERY angry platinum member :-(
 

pythonisman

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That's ridiculous and I'd be livid. I've thankfully not been in that situation, I would be screaming down the line to get a better answer...
not that it sounds like it'd get the bag back though!!
 

oz74

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I think I would be furious!

Always amazes me to see company's working so hard to attract customers and then not managing stuff like this.

How would I fix it?

For staters I'd be giving you one person as your point of contact with the company and secondly, $50 compensation??

More than that is going to be required.

Just my opinion.
 

anat0l

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One option may be to raise the complaint via PM to the AFF Virgin Australia / Velocity representative. I have to say it's unfortunate sometimes that it comes to that, but in any case I guess on AFF we are "lucky" to have such contacts. Some people (not on AFF) seemed to get things moving by sending an email direct to John Borghetti!

The only relevant documentation I can find in relation to baggage on the VA website are:
  • On the Delayed or Damaged Baggage page, there is this text and a form that can be lodged if you seek compensation for your missing bag. Note that this compensation is a claim for the lost contents of the bag and the lost bag itself. It isn't a "punitive" or "inconvenience" compensation as such (i.e. any lost time and afflicted inconvenience is not covered in this process).
    Lost Baggage

    If lost baggage has not been located within seven days, we will commence the claims process. The search for the baggage will continue until the bag is found or the claim reaches determination. Baggage claims for mishandled, lost or damaged baggage can only be accepted in writing. This form must be printed, completed in full and returned to the applicable address indicated in Section 9 of the form.

    View and print the mishandled and/or damaged baggage claim form <downloadable link here>.
    I guess if you have company supplies, including materials or such which have no specific cost attached, that could get difficult as receipts must account for all lost contents (in principle, according to the form when you open it).
  • Section 10 of the VA Guest Charter outlines the airline's commitments to you if your baggage is mishandled, i.e. you are allowed to submit receipts from expenses incurred for basic needs to be reimbursed if your lost baggage was not received within a reasonable timeframe. I assume you purchased shirts, underwear, etc. that was packed in your checked baggage.
    Baggage Services

    If your bag has not arrived at your destination with you, and we find out it’s on its way, we will arrange for a courier to deliver it to your hotel or home at our expense when it arrives. If your bag is delayed for more than 24 hours you will be reimbursed for basic essential items purchased as a result of the baggage delay (limits do apply). This will be done by submitting your receipts to our Guest Relations team (see “Giving us your feedback” for contact details).

    If your bag is declared lost, you will be refunded any applicable baggage fees as well as being able to claim for the contents (baggage claim limitations do apply).
  • Section 18.2 of the Terms and Conditions of travel set out the limits for which you can claim for contents of the missing bag:
    18.2 Australian Domestic Flights: our liability is limited by the provisions of the Civil Aviation (Carriers’ Liability) Act 1959 (Cth), complementary State legislation and these Conditions to: AUD$1,600 in respect of destruction, Loss or injury to your Checked Baggage
    I guess you would also be checking with your travel insurance for their applicable processes in relation to lost baggage.
I haven't been in the situation before and especially have not gone so long without my checked bag; in fact, if my checked bag hasn't made it to the belt in the first place, it was usually found / located (i.e. someone has found it in the system and it has not been carried on my flight for whatever reason). These experiences are on non-VA airlines, but I'm assuming the process was much the same anyway.

When an airline has no idea where your luggage is, that is always a bit scary! At least knowing where it is even if it is not where you are now is one thing; to not know where it is in the system is another....

To be honest, although your status should hold some sway, the fact it was priority labelled probably won't make a difference to your claim, except possibly if that means it gives some clue as to how your bag may have been loaded and thus some possible clue as to why it may have been misplaced. I assume you were amongst the first to get to the baggage belt in full sight of unloaded luggage, so there is no chance that someone has picked up your bag (whether it be an honest mistake or theft).

As for compensation for loss of your time and purely the inconvenience of not having your luggage, that is more goodwill on the part of the airline (or possibly from your travel insurer) rather than something mandated in policy. I'm not sure how much you should try to claim for that part of your grievance - if any at all - but I would be prepared to have a rationale behind whatever figure you propose. Of course, at least from VA an apology should be well and truly forthcoming (I suppose you should have got a few of these now).
 
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