Compensation Clinic: Checked Bag Damage By Air France

by John Ollila on June 8, 2013

This is a second article on the Sunday series called Compensation Clinic. You can drop me an email about what problems you have encountered during your travels (hotels, airlines, car rentals etc.), how you gave feedback (complained) and what the problem resolution was. I will publish the best ones in the coming weeks.

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It must have been a bad omen that I wrote about the carry on bag which I travel with couple of months ago (you can access the piece here).

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It came out in two pieces after two Air France flights from Madrid to Paris and continuing to Montreal.

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Normally, I don’t think that airlines tend to cover wear and tear caused by the baggage handling, but in this instance the Air France personnel didn’t have any problem giving me authorization to have it repaired at their contracted luggage store in Montreal.

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I took the bag to the JP Grimard that is full fledged luggage store that carries lots of different brands and is also an authorized repair center for most. They were not sure, if they have the part available that was needed to have the bag fixed, but I would know within a week.

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Went to the store a week later (I was two weeks in Quebec) and the bag had been repaired. I asked what was the amount that they were charging Air France and was told that it was 48 CAD. Air France  must get a really good wholesale discount for repairs!

Conclusion

I was positively surprised about the Air France’s handling of this baggage situation. If your bag comes out damaged, you can always ask the airline to have it repaired or exchanged. They may entertain your request.

On a side note, this bag has now gone through half a million flown miles in the past two years and is coming to an end of its life cycle. Need to start looking for a new one.

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  • Jerry

    same happened to me when flying to Vancouver with Air France
    luggage arrived damaged and when i went to the claim counter, the employee opened a file and printed a receipt, gave me an address in Vancouver where i had to go to drop my damaged bag
    about a week later, they called me to collect with bag which was fixed

    i wonder if this is specific to Canada, because i never heard about Air France having luggages repaired in other countries before

    • http://loyaltylobby.com/ John O.

      Yeah. Sounds that they handle these very expediently and without a fuss in Canada.

      • Alan

        I’ve had no issues with bag repairs/replacement from BA on a couple of occasions over the past few years – perhaps it’s just European airlines are better at this than US ones? Last time one of the handles had ripped off – I called expecting a repair but their helpline (run by Anter) basically just got me to look at their website and pick a replacement bag – pretty good given it cost £100!

  • Henrik Johansson

    What happens if you are not around when the bag is done? Will they ship it to your home, or can you have it repaired somewhere else? I would think most people are not around to wait for a week at their destination.

    • http://loyaltylobby.com/ John O.

      I am not sure exactly how they would handle it in such a case. I left most of the content of that bag to IC in Montreal when I made a side trip to Quebec City.

      They likely have thee repair arrangements in most of the cities that they fly to.

  • Ranerio Vieira

    I have had my checked luggage damaged in a Lufthansa flight FRA-GIG and I wrote to Lufthansa. They told me to get it fixed here where I live and then send the bill for reimbursement to Lufthansa. I thought it was pretty satisfactory. I bought and departed from Brazil.

    • http://loyaltylobby.com/ John O.

      That’s good to know. Normally you should always report any damage before you leave the baggage area so that they can document it.

      • Ranerio Vieira

        Oh I noticed only when I got home, it was a missing zipper handle. I called the shop and they said it would cost like $5 or so to fix it. If it comes at this price I will not even send the bill to Lufthansa but I was quite happy with their handling of the case.

        I also contacted them via Twitter. got a very quick response. Usually the website forms or corporate e-mails are slower and not very interactive.

        • http://loyaltylobby.com/ John O.

          Yeah. That is very cheap price to have it fixed.

  • TravelingWellForLess

    I noticed that you also use the Victorinox. I LOVE my Victorinox – definitely worth the investment in these bags. :)

    • http://loyaltylobby.com/ John O.

      I have been very satisfied with this bag as well and my previous one was same brand too. It is getting to the end of its life though, but after half a million miles, who cares.

  • Gautier

    Air France is not exactly known for good service, as a testimony of which my dealings with them which were completely the opposite of what you experienced. One of my bags once came out with a bent frame and they were most unhelpful in dealing with the complaint. It’s only when I involved our dedicated Air France representative (I work for a large bank), and maybe the fact that I was platinum with them, that made them reimburse me for the damage.

    • http://loyaltylobby.com/ John O.

      Like I said, I was truly surprised that they took care of this issue without any fuss. Good that you got it sorted out as well at the end.

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