Airline Complaints

Go Back   AirlineComplaints.org > U.S. Airline Complaints > American Airlines Complaints > Complaints > Baggage Problems
Register About Us FAQ Tips Airline Contacts Links Members List Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Baggage Problems Had any problems with your baggage on American Airlines?

Free Dating Site

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 11-01-2011, 09:53 AM
Abooismail Abooismail is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 10
Default Saudi Airlines lost 3 bags and denies claim

On August 28, 2011 my family traveled back to the States via Saudi Airlines flight SV0021 from Jeddah to JFK. This was in the final days of the month of Ramadan with the airport in its usual chaos that occurs annually during this time. My family checked in with seven bags. All were tagged but only four were put on the belt for weighing. The Saudi employee told my family to leave the other three bags on the cart and they (Saudia staff) would put the bags on. Later, on the plane, a man told my son that he came after my family and the bags were still on the cart.

Upon arrival to JFK those three bags were missing, along with approximately 50 missing bags for the entire flight. My family processed the claims and were given three Fed Ex tracking numbers to be used when the bags (presumed) arrive on later flights. They were not given a claim receipt or number. The bags never arrived. My wife was in daily communication with Saudi airline staff at JFK until I got involved approximately 6 or 7 days by telephone from Saudi Arabia, where I work. They told me (I will not the staff names) that they have been sending telexes to the airline office (HQ) in Jeddah but getting no responses. These employees also gave me the claim number and bag tag numbers and after about 10days of not finding our bags they suggested I travel to the Saudi airline lost baggage warehouse in Jeddah to look for my bags. I took one day off from work and paid 200 dollars for airfare and traveled to the (dirty and stinking) warehouse but did not find my bags. I was sent to the customer service manager for baggage services across the street. He accessed my information based on the claim number I gave him and spent about 30 minutes trying to locate our bags but could not. He gave me 3 claim forms and instructions for completing. I returned to Dammam and on October 2nd, 2011 faxed the forms with all items to that office.

On October 30th I received an (insulting) letter via email from a Mr. Abdullah M. Alhejailan, Manager Customer Relations-Baggage denying our claim (over 2,300 dollars) stating we did not file the claim until 14 days after arrival. I said this is insulting because, one, my family filed the claim and have the Fed Ex tracking numbers and two, one would have to be a complete idiot, suffering dementia, having psychotic illness or have had brain trauma to not report the loss of all of their clothing and other belongings, then 14 days after wearing the same under-ware, socks, etc that he arrived in, enquire about where his luggage is.

Further, this man had the utter audacity to state that a “thorough search was done on a courtesy basis”. They lost our luggage, I searched the warehouse, loosing a days wage and 200 dollars air fare but they consider whatever they did as a “courtesy”. I can only apply the label ‘criminal’ to that.

To conclude this sick tale, he ends his letter by stating, “we sincerely hope to have your thoughtful understanding of our position”. This is like being raped then the rapist asks his victim to understand that he had a sexual urge. We feel victimized in the same way.

I take all this back to corporate governance because for me that is where the problems lie. I will not launch my a tirade about my perception of Saudi Airlines Corporate leadership (or more appropriately, a lack of it), but suffice it to say, it’s ‘business as usual’.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 11-01-2011, 09:40 PM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Shropshire, England
Posts: 3,195
Default

They sound like a complete nighmare....their reputation is poor. In future, I would choose another airline, but in the meantime you might try complaining to:

Civil Aviation Authority: Presidency of Civil Aviation
PO Box 1165
21431 Jeddah
SAUDI ARABIA Tel:+966 2 640 5000
Fax: +966 2 640 1025
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.gaca.gov.sa
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 11-02-2011, 05:18 AM
Abooismail Abooismail is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 10
Default Thanks Jim

Thanks Jim. I didn't think about the Civil Aviation Authority. I'll try that, but frankly, I've been in Saudi 16 years and really don't expect much from that, but I'll give it go. Lost baggage is understandable (to a point) but stating in their denial of claim letter that the airline searched for the luggage as a "courtesy" and "hopes" we understand is their decision of denial is just too much to fathom. I am probably correct when I state that I spent more time in the (stinky) lost baggage warehouse in Jeddah then any of their employees.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 11-03-2011, 12:07 AM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Shropshire, England
Posts: 3,195
Default

To me, apart from the insulting tone and language and transparent insincerity of their response, their attempt to "get off on a technicality" that the claim was not made within 14 days is the worst offence. I would emphasise this with the CAA?.that you have proof that you did file a claim, and were given tracking numbers. This should at least force Saudi to reopen your file. Good luck.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 01-22-2012, 04:15 PM
Abooismail Abooismail is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 10
Default Follow 3 lost bags Saudi Arabian Airlines

It's nearly five months since Saudi airlines lost 3 of 7 bags and later claimed I filed 14 days after arriving in JFK, thus, asking me to please understand that they must deny the claim. I have taken to the social media, specifically on the airlines facebook page and at one point several weeks back touched a nerve. Then I changed up and softened a bit to which I was asked for my claim number. Same result today....I supposedly filed 14 days late. Even if I did, and I didn't, they lost the bags. A point of logic here. Unless someone had some serious mental health disorder or brain injury, or was from another planet, and unaware of baggage rules, who would land in an airport, find 3 pieces of luggage missing, two of which had all the belongings for two people, including clean underwear and just leave, then notify from another State, 600 miles away by telephone, that they l lost their bags? This type of argument doesn't work with this airline, despite the three Fed Ex tag numbers given by Saudia staff in JFK when my family reported the bags had not arrived. Seems if and when the bags arrive, they are sent by Fed Ex to the owner under the numbers given at the time of processing the claim. This did not impress the airline customer service manager. Poor business ethics is not an issue when a company does not have to be competitive to survive. Complacency and poor governance seems the rule rather than the exception. Flyer beware.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 01-22-2012, 08:02 PM
lostinlondon lostinlondon is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 31
Default

Unfortunately, reporting a baggage missing on arrival is one thing, filing a formal claim with the carrier is another. Under applicable legislation (namely the Montreal Convention), ''the complaint must be made in writing at the latest within 21 days'' (article 31).
Correct me if I am wrong but, from your initial post, I understand that the incident occurred on 28/08 and that you wrote to SV outlining the extend of your relatives' damage on 02/10/11. SV are therefore rejecting your claim because it was filed 14 days later than the official deadline (=18/09).
All airlines will follow the same policy based on the Montreal Convention. But that obviously no consolation to you...

BTW, why did you post in the AA sub-forum?
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 01-23-2012, 03:56 AM
Abooismail Abooismail is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 10
Default claim refusal by saudi airlines

Thanks for this valuable piece of information. I understand the 'loophole' saudi airlines can use to get out of compensation for their mistake. If the information you posted and the airline made clear in their website that failure to ensure that a claim is actually entered by ground personnel could result in claim denial, we would not have left the airport without a claim number. On the contrary, my family thought it was done because of being given Fed Ex tracking numbers, to be used when the bags (would hopefully) arrived. Plus, we were on the phone almost daily for about 2 weeks with personnel in JFK. In fact, 2 weeks later they sent claim forms by Fed Ex. Their assumption intially was the bags would arrive. The last time I spoke to one of the baggage personnel (3 for 4 weeks ago), and told him what has happened, he said that because they were so busy with lost bags on that flight, "maybe we forgot to enter 1 or 2 claims"...and so it goes..It is basically incompetence and poor oversight, in my opinion as a quality professional. And your right, is if of no consolation, particularly when one understands the nature of governance in many organizations in Saudi Arabia. Thanks again.

Last edited by Abooismail; 01-23-2012 at 03:59 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 01-23-2012, 07:57 AM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Shropshire, England
Posts: 3,195
Default

`Did you get any response from the CAA? Is there a small claims procedure in Saudi? I feel that you did register a claim when you notified Saudi at the airport. It is ridiculous to suggest that because Saudi didn't process this, you are penalised. I would consider going to court with this debacle, but have no idea how difficult that might be in Saudi.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 01-23-2012, 05:41 PM
Abooismail Abooismail is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 10
Default reply to jim and lost saudi airline luggage

Hello Jim,

I wrote a complaint on the civil aviation site soon after you recommended that but got no reply and frankly, not surprised. I started leaving shots on the Saudi Airline facebook page. Got them a bit upset at one point then changed my tactic and was asked for my claim number and flight. I posted that and same result. "14 day" applies. I had called JFK and the employee in baggage remembered me and I explained the denial and supposed late claim. He said there were so many lost bags that week (alone) that "we may have missed entering one or two"...None of this has had any impact on the airline. That week, which was the last week in Ramadan, there was chaos in Jeddah airport has thousands of Muslims were traveling in and out going to Makkah. The paper here reported that young staff were on duty with little supervision, one night a belt broke on the baggage handling device and I believe at least 1000 bags were lost during that week. I imagine the airline is doing anything it can to reduce payouts. Either way, it certainly reduced my pay out. Can't sue them here in Saudi but can go to small claims court in NY, however, I'm working in Saudi and that process is a bit lengthy and even if you win a judgment you have to collect it. It has been an experience for sure. And, I have to fly them next month to the states! Going to take pictures on my cell this time.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 01-23-2012, 05:50 PM
Abooismail Abooismail is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 10
Default to lost in london

Thanks for the info on the montreal convention but doubt that has any meaning in Saudi. Actually, my family arrived in JFK and did what they thought were the formalities in the end of august. It took 2 or 3 hours because there around 50 missing pieces of luggage. My family assumed because they were given 3 fed ex tracking numbers to be used when the bags arrived (ahh, but didn't) and after giving their number and by the way, giving the baggage claim numbers, (which they didn't get back) that all was well. After more than a week of my wife calling JFK checking in-bound flights, I called and I was given the claim number and the bag tag numbers. a few days later when I called to check on progress, I was told they would send 3 claim forms by fed ex to my family, which they did. When I went to Jeddah to hunt for the bags in the Saudia lost bag warehouse, I went to customer my service and my claim was in the system. I got the forms, and returned in them via fax in 2 weeks. Anyway, no amount of discussion, use of logic, and snide remarks on facebook is working (at least not yet).
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 01-23-2012, 06:56 PM
Abooismail Abooismail is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 10
Default Maybe some good news on the 3 bags lost on Saudi airlines

Just got some interesting news. My wife got through to a manager in Saudi Airlines in NY and will investigate. The woman couldn't believe it. She got the 'big-picture'. I'll post the outcome...
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 01-23-2012, 08:40 PM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Shropshire, England
Posts: 3,195
Default

If you could file in Small Claims Court In NY I would. Yow will win... If they don't pay, you can have the pleasure of slapping a no fly order on one of their nice planes at JFK until the judgement is satisfied.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 01-24-2012, 09:44 PM
lostinlondon lostinlondon is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 31
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Abooismail View Post
Just got some interesting news. My wife got through to a manager in Saudi Airlines in NY and will investigate. The woman couldn't believe it. She got the 'big-picture'. I'll post the outcome...
Could be good news. However I do not dare congratulating you as it might be premature. My advise is to pursue the route of ''friendly'' negotiation with SV rather than pointlessly threatening to take them to court. Whether the correct claim procedure was made clear to your relatives or not, it is mentioned in SV's General Conditions of Carriage (= the contract between the carrier and the passenger). The law is on their side. Your relatives should have filed a claim in writing with the carrier within 21 days of arriving and they did not. I can only reiterate that the report made at the airport does not constitute a claim for damage in the meaning of the Montreal Convention.

For all its worth, The Montreal Convention was ratified by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Oct 2010 and became effective in Dec of the same year. It is therefore incorporated in Saudi laws. SV will abide to it since, in your case, it actually gives them an excuse not to pay you anything.

Let's hope they will take a "commercially" orientated decision and settle on the basis of goodwill.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 01-25-2012, 06:18 PM
Abooismail Abooismail is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 10
Default more positive news

Hello Lost in London,

We heard from SV in JFK that they sent a letter to Saudi Airlines in Jeddah confirming that we reported our bags lost at the time of arrival. A sharp manager in JFK took up the cause and couldn't believe the story. She investigated and found the claim. So now we wait. By the way, I never threatened the airline with a lawsuit and wouldn't. I stated that in the States we have a system called small claims court. Anyone can sue, without a lawyer for claims under a certain dollar amount but, if you get the judgment you also have to collect.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 01-25-2012, 06:25 PM
Abooismail Abooismail is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 10
Default

Lost in London, I'm a bit confused. When you report the missing baggage you are given a claim number. You are supposed to be given claim forms, which SV forgot to do but sent them. Either way, they were telling us for at least a week to wait, to see if the bags arrived on a later flight. That is the reason for the Fed Ex tracking numbers. So, are you saying that according to the Montreal convention, you have to actually file the claim form at the time of reporting the lost bag? What I understood from the general aviation authorities web site, that airlines operating in Saudi Arabia are supposed to post their baggage rules and regs on their website. There is nothing in the SV website explaining any time frames, consequences, etc. It only states inform the airline of missing baggage upon arrival. Thanks for your information.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 02-06-2012, 02:30 PM
Abooismail Abooismail is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 10
Default Good news. Claim to be settled

Good news, we hope. My wife spoke to a manager for Saudi airlines in New York. The woman was shocked and to make a long story short, she investigated and about 1 or 2 weeks later I received a call from Saudi Airlines in Jeddah asking me where I wanted the claim check sent. I didn't ask an amount and not concerned. Hopefully, a wrong has been corrected. That was our goal. Now, we're waiting for the check...
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 02-06-2012, 08:28 PM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Shropshire, England
Posts: 3,195
Default

Lets hope justice is served!!
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 02-07-2012, 07:49 PM
lostinlondon lostinlondon is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 31
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Abooismail View Post
Good news, we hope. My wife spoke to a manager for Saudi airlines in New York. The woman was shocked and to make a long story short, she investigated and about 1 or 2 weeks later I received a call from Saudi Airlines in Jeddah asking me where I wanted the claim check sent. I didn't ask an amount and not concerned. Hopefully, a wrong has been corrected. That was our goal. Now, we're waiting for the check...
Congratulations Abooismail. While it certainly has not been as all plain sailing, what's important is that you appear to have reached an acceptable outcome without the need to involve the DOT, your local judge or the King of Saudi Arabia.
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 03:25 PM.


Free Mobile Dating | Yup.mobi | Free Walking Tour Barcelona
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

counter free hit unique web
visitors