At the beginning of last month I posted a rant on my luggage (Another Travel Rant…). I finally got some compensation from the airline and I figured I’d do an update on it.
I first submitted a report on Oct 6th the day I returned and I hadn’t heard from AA until Oct 23rd, letting me know that someone from the Seattle office will be contacting me. Again, some time went by and I hadn’t heard anything so I decided to let them know that no one has contacted me up to now. I received a response a few days later on Nov 19th apologizing and again letting me know that the Seattle office has been notified to contact me as soon as possible. I finally got that call on Nov 21st. I was on the phone for about 25 minutes creating a new file with the Supervisor because for some reason she was unable to open my file and see the claim. In the end, because I told her I’m travelling next month and I will like this resolved ASAP, she told me she just received stock luggage and I can come and collect it. The normal procedure would be for me to give them my damaged luggage, they send it to HQ, HQ assesses it and then compensates accordingly.
She told me the box was marked with the same brand as my luggage and even though it wasn’t the same piece, I was happy to take it. I was just hoping for the same brand and not feel like I was being outsmarted by them. She had opened the box as it had just arrived that day and told me the color and let me know it was all soft as mine was a hybrid of hard and soft materials.
After the Thanksgiving festivities, I dragged my husband with me on Sunday afternoon to the airport to collect the piece. I took in my damaged piece and came out with the box with the new piece in it. I didn’t stop to check it (something I should’ve done) and I ran back outside before the police came and made my husband move the car. When I got home, I opened the box and pulled out the piece which was labeled American Explorer not Ricardo. My husband couldn’t contain his laughter because only a few minutes before he was asking if I was receiving the same brand and I said I would not be taking anything less than it. I hopped on the phone and called American. After being shuffled around and getting in contact with the kiosk at the airport, I let them know this isn’t what I was promised and to not throw out my old piece until this gets resolved. The agent told me that as my claim has been closed, with the understanding that I was receiving this new piece of luggage, I had to call their luggage supplier to sort it out. On Monday I called 3 times and got through on the 4th call, which I was lucky to do because it was closing time for the company in Dallas. Throughout this whole ordeal, I was finally able to speak to one person who gave me all the advice and answers for everything I needed to know and what to do.
I learned that American Explorer is made by Ricardo (their lower market pieces – hence the Ricardo box it was in) and that they needed permission from the Supervisor at Seatac to send me the correct piece of luggage. I took her name and direct number and called the Supervisor. By then she was aware of the situation and apologized – she assumed that from the Ricardo box it was a Ricardo piece. I gave her the name of the contact and she said she will call me back once she had spoken to her. I got my call back, asking me to bring back the piece to the airport and that they will be shipping the correct piece directly to me. It’s over. THANK YOU!!!!
The day I went home with the first piece, and realized it was the wrong thing, my husband was telling me to just leave it, and stop getting flustered and going after AA. I was determined for one reason. AA is the only airline I can use to fly home without changing airlines, flights are never “cheap” and I basically conduct most of my travel on them. I didn’t think that it was right that I just let them get away with something like this. If everyone always says “fine, forget about it, I’m done”, then big companies get away with doing things.
Travel isn’t what it used to be. We do not get free food or blankets or pillows. Security is hell. Gone are the days of discounted kids tickets and discounts in general. Tickets have soared in price. Couple that with delays and multiple long flights/layovers, you always need a day to recover from a trip – going and coming. Certain things are expected of us when we travel, so why shouldn’t certain things be expected of those whom we’re paying to get us from A to B?
I managed to keep my temper down after the whole luggage mix up and I was very proud of myself for that. I didn’t want to fly off the handle again like when the incident first occurred. I’m a real stickler for customer service and, unfortunately, as I get the feeling like someone is taking me for an idiot or not behaving as they should in customer service, I get annoyed quickly. As a travel agent, I always gave of my best, even when I was being cussed by someone else’s client, I tried to help them and not return attitude with them. In customer service, your job is to help the customer whether or not you are the reason for their anger. You are there to help not judge.
As I said, this was just to fill you in on what happened since that rant and I promised my husband this wouldn’t be another rant. So I’ll sign off here with a quote I posted the other day.
never back down from getting what is rightfully yours. don’t let people/companies get away with crap. stand up for yourself.