This resolved gripe is influencing 314,793 people thru 2,403 friends and followers
When I flew Omaha-Minneapolis-JFK on Delta Airlines and then to Peru through Lima-Iquitos on another airline, my luggage was separated from me in Minneapolis. The baggage personnel with Delta at JFK assured me that my luggage would be forwarded to me at my address in Iquitos within 2 days. Instead, it never arrived. I spent 12 days in remote Amazonian rainforest, trying to teach high-school students and conduct biological research, with a single change of clothes, only the toiletries I was allowed in my carry-on, and no professional equipment. I endured a bout of traveler's diarrhea, my menstrual period, and daily rains, not to mention the hot, sweaty work I planned to do, essentially in the same clothes for almost 2 solid weeks. Since I was 14 hours by boat from the nearest city and needed to remain with my students, simply buying what I needed as a replacement was impossible. Having become convinced -- through occasional satellite phone communications with someone in Iquitos -- that my luggage was permanently lost or had been destroyed as abandoned, I was thankfully reunited with my belongings in Lima (not Iquitos, as was promised) only after 2 days of calling around once I returned from the field. By that time, my husband had flown to Lima with a complete set of replacement items for me (things we already owned), as we planned to continue our travels for another week. This meant that he had to limit his own belongings and that, ultimately, I was carrying twice the amount of items I needed. Because I had to fulfill my duties as an instructor and researcher with no access to my belongings and with no way to replace what I needed, I have asked Delta for compensation for the minimum amount of clothing and equipment I would've purchased to replace my missing items (not even the full replacement value for all of my missing items), had I been able to do so. I'm also requesting reimbursement for satellite phone and checked-bag charges associated with trying to carry and later locate my luggage.
Unbelievably, on top of all of this, I wrote a detailed explanation of the incident, my complaint, and my request for compensation to Delta, who assured me a response within 30 days. It has been 35 days, and I have not gotten a response to my initial complaint or to my reminder. Delta Airlines' customer service has been abysmal while I've been seeking fair compensation for upset, hassle, and lost productivity that resulted from Delta's mistake.
Baggage personnel at JFK; email from customer service
I would like $1502 in compensation for necessary clothing and equipment, satellite phone charges, and checked-bag fees. Travel vouchers would be a considerate gesture too, although I am hesitant to fly with Delta again.
I just heard back that my complaint has been forwarded to a baggage claims manager and that I should expect a response in 2-4 weeks. At least my complaint has been acknowledged after having collected dust for over a month, but this additional delay is ridiculous!May 16 2012
I contacted Delta Air Lines Inc @DeltaAssist and informed them of your gripe. Hopefully they'll be in touch soon. Best, Kim (Gripe Support Team)May 22 2012
Thank you Kim! I heard back from baggage claims that nothing but my satellite phone charges would be considered for compensation. I consider this unacceptable, so I am keeping this gripe open and asking for additional support from my friends, family, and colleagues. Thanks, everyone!Jun 6 2012
Heather, what else can we do to help?Jun 6 2012
Wow, I had a late bag on united and they volunteered to give me a travel voucher. And it was only one hour late! As someone who travels a lot, I will be less likely to choose delta, especially of I am traveling with students or my family.Jun 10 2012
Ultimately, Delta offered to reimburse the satellite phone expenses and the checked-bag fee, along with offering travel vouchers. Since I'd like this to be resolved and appreciate that my difficulties were finally acknowledged, I will consider this done. Let's hope for no problems when the vouchers are used! Thank you, everyone, for your support.Jun 13 2012
I admire your tenacity and diligence, Heather. Congratulations.Jun 13 2012