This week the Compensation Clinic visits yours truly delayed baggage claim with Airberlin.
Remember that you can always email me, send me a Facebook message or Tweet me about the issues you have with hotels, airlines and other travel providers. We’ll feature one new Compensation Clinic case each week.
In April 2015, I was traveling from Sao Paulo to Helsinki via Abu Dhabi and Berlin. I had two separate tickets GRU-AUH and AUH-TXL-HEL.
I checked one bag all the way to Helsinki in Sao Paulo and another one in Abu Dhabi that I had left to a hotel in the city for couple of weeks for storage.
Upon arriving to Helsinki there were no sightings of either of these two bags and I was attending my brother’s 30th birthday party. Airberlin was handled by Swissport @ HEL and went to their baggage desk to get PIR (Property Irregularity Report). Don’t ever leave the airport if you don’t get one in case your bag is delayed.
The lady at the desk was tense and told me to file it over the internet. I told her that I would prefer having one immediately. After few more exchanges she did it for me and was actually pleasant at the end (when she realized that I know the missing bag code for my carry on – Black 22).
I took a cab from the airport to the Stockmann (department store in downtown Helsinki) and bought the clothes (trousers, underwear, socks & shirts) and personal hygiene items that I would need to get by few days. If the bags were left in Abu Dhabi, it would take minimum two days to get them to central Finland where I was going. The total tally for the items purchased was in excess of 600 euros.
The bags arrived two days later in two different deliveries. One bag in the morning and another one in the evening. These were delivered by a cab from a local airport (cannot remember if it was from Kokkola or Vaasa).
Filed a claim with Airberlin for the cost of the items and they were offering 500 euros discount of my next booking with them: make the booking, email them the ticket number and bank details. They would then refund 500 euros back to my bank account.
I wasn’t satisfied with this and requested cash compensation that didn’t seem to be forthcoming. Opened a complaint with German Sop that came with a proposal of getting either half of the amount I used for buying the necessities or 500 euro Airberlin voucher.
I chose the cash payment and Airberlin wired the money to my bank account in just couple of days.
It is good that there are government bodies that consumers can use to escalate their claims when companies such as Airberlin is not doing what they should. This reminds me that I need to follow up on two other on-going cases with Airberlin.
Previously, I have had airlines reimbursing the amount of entire purchase that I have needed to purchase due to luggage delays. Getting 50% is better than nothing, however.