In March of 2009 I decided to fly the newly popular US Airways, or "Sully Air" as I renamed after Cpt. Sullenberger's fantastic emergency landing into the Hudson. I departed from JFK in NY and flew to Phoenix to visit my sister. When I landed in Phoenix and arrived at her house, I unpacked my baggage, where I had mistakenly packed my digital camera and gps unit. When I looked inside my luggage I noticed that my camera, packed inside its carrying case, and my gps were missing. However, I did still have my battery charger for my camera and gps mount.
As soon as I realized these items were missing, I contacted US Airways and explained my situation, at first the agent on the other end was confused wondering at first if I lost my baggage, if my bag was delayed or if my bag was stolen. After multiple attempts of clearing up the situation, I was finally transferred to the Baggage Claim Dept., which of course was closed. The funny thing was that US Airways is based out of Arizona, but they operate on EST Office Hours. Nonetheless, I was forced to go to sleep feeling very screwed and unsettled that I was unable to at least start a path to a resolution.
The next morning, I was able to start off my vacation with a friendly phone call to US Airways Baggage Dept., again I had to go through the entire process of explaining my story and get to the point of the fact that no, my bag is not missing, no my bag was not stolen, I finally blurted out "A US Airways Employee stole contents from my baggage !", the response: "So you are a US Airways Employee ?". After finally making the agent understand my situation, he informed me that US Airways does NOT have a "Form" for Stolen Contents, Only Stolen or Missing Baggage or Delayed Baggage. I then asked him what I should do, so he decided that I should fill out a report for stolen baggage, evidently that should be sufficient. After giving the agent all my info, about five times, he gave me a case file # and said someone would be in contact within 14-21 business days. I was enraged by the response time, so I asked to speak with the customer service dept, guess what ? They don't have a phone number for the Customer Service Dept., I guess this happens all the time. The agent informed me that the only way I could contact customer service was by mail, fax or email, so after I hung up with the agent, I filled out a Customer Service Complaint via email, their response time was slightly better, estimated 3-4 days.
After realizing I was not going to get anywhere soon, I went out to the local Wal-Mart and purchased another digital camera for our vacation, as we really wanted to capture the beauty of Arizona's landscape. When I returned home, about 7 days later, I still had heard nothing back from US Airways, so I decided to give them a call again, I got in touch with the Baggage Claim Dept. and was promptly informed that they had no record of any claim on file with them. Shocking !!! After debating with the agent for awhile, she then informed me that their "Baggage Claim Escalation Dept." may have my file, but like the Customer Service Dept., they don't have a phone number either, lol. I was told they would be in contact with me the next day, its been 10 days, still no word.
In conclusion, I was given the traditional run-around by one of America's most respected domestic airline, no answers, no responsibility. The worst part of all was not the financial loss, not the run-around, but that the fact that my girlfriend had not had a chance to upload the recent photos of our niece and nephew's birthdays and christmas, which cannot be replaced with any amount of money. To add insult to injury, it just feels like crap to know that an American company has no responsibility and no care for how they treat their customers. We pay for their services and expect at the least for them to transport us to our destination and hope that we get their on-time with our baggage. Understandably we incur delays and sometimes lost baggage, but to have an airline employee opening your personal belongings and taking out items of yours feels so disgusting. I hope that filing this complaint will have at least opened our eyes a little more to know that we need to hold these corporations responsible, this type of freedom and cowboy operating standards is what lands these companies in trouble and then they look to us to bail them out.
I understand I should not have packed my camera and gps in my checked luggage, so please don't comment on my stupidity, only comment of Larceny by US Airways. Anyone who has had a similar situation with this company and is looking for payback, let's file a class action suit, and see if that gets any attention.
Unsatisfied in Ct