Reader Question: Airberlin & Broken Guitar


A LoyaltyLobby reader sent us (yet another) Airberlin related question this time by Facebook message regarding broken guitar that was lost and later delivered as broken.

Airberlin Broken Guitar

Remember that you can always email us, send a message via Facebook or use Twitter and include photos too. We’ll try to cover Reader Questions & Comments here several times a week.

Here’s the message from the reader:

Hi, I saw your article about air-berlin. regarding their handling of lost and damaged baggage. I am having some serious issues even trying to reach them about my case . and thought to suggest the story to you guys.

Basically, they didn’t allow me to take my jazz guitar in a soft case as hand carry on. i agreed to send it in the hold asking that it will be taken good care of. it then got lost and arrived a week later with a broken neck.

I contacted dolpi, and was answered that they do not handle such matters and that i should contact them directly. and despite my attempts i cannot get through to no one. I can attach the letter i have composed for them to consider

Well. I guess that the surprise of the story here is that Airberlin actually did deliver the checked item and only a week later albeit broken!

It seems to be practically impossible to get hold of anyone working for the company that handles these on Airberlin’s behalf. The reader should open a case with the German regulator SOEP (access here) that seems to get the airline to actually reply.


It is really sad state with Airberlin and we continue to receive messages from readers that have or have had lost/delayed bag cases with Airberlin. It seems to be impossible to get the airline to process any compensation without getting the SOEP in Germany involved in the process.

I am not familiar what the Airberlin’s contract-of-carriage says about musical instruments and their liability transporting them. It is unclear too, however, where this was broken.

I believe that the best course of action is to get the SOEP involved and see what comes out of it. Sending letters/emails/faxes to Airberlin is waste of time.

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  • David A

    The ‘case’ is a soft case, correct? A hard case would make for a strong case in your case!! The AB gorilla was angry that day. AB could state that utmost care is taken when handling luggage but the passenger must mitigate possible damages. A credit card may cover the loss/repair, (some U.S. cards do) as part of coverage when buying the air ticket. Good luck…

  • Paolo

    If you ever seat window side during the load of the luggage in the cargo hold (not via pallets) and you see how they are treated, you will never trust anything remotely fragile to cargo hold.
    If I must ship bottles I use a hard shell luggage and I wrap them not only in laundry but also extra shock absorber items like bubble wrapping or polystyrene packaging. And doing so you loose at least half of the volumes of the luggage.

    Airberlin can not really be blamed here more than any other airline company. Even a few red fragile tags could have not helped a lot, but perhaps they could have improved marginally the hope for a softer handling.

  • Joseph Merrick

    To check a guitar in a soft bag into hold is simply not a good idea.