COMPLAINT: Spanair service (or lack of)

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Old Oct 14, 2010, 12:07 AM
winelover winelover is offline
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 1

I took a Spanair flight from Marseille to Malaga, through Barcelona. In Barcelona, there was heavy rain and thunderstorms, so the flight to Malaga was delayed a few hours. When we got go Malaga, we found out that our checked bags, as well as that of many others, did not get onto the plane. We were told it would be on the first flight in the morning from Barcelona, and we could pick it up or have it delivered by ~10:00 AM. When the bags did not show up at our hotel, we went back to the airport to find out if we would have our clothes for the cruise leaving that day. Needless to say, the bags were not on either morning flight, and we were told that was because of weight concerns. Ha! What a bold faced lie. We then were told they could send our bags to one of the ports we were going to, as long as we would be in port for two days. We gave the person at the service desk a copy of our itinerary listing ports, arrival dates and times, and asked if we could have the bags delivered to one the airports in cities we were going to. He said that could easily be done, so long as we were in the port for two days. As there was no way we were going to be in port for two days, but were going to be back in Barcelona in 7 days, we asked if they could deliver the bags to the ship there, and then we had to get on the boat. On the ship, I when I told the Concierge who I had flown with, he just rolled his eyes and I knew I had more trouble. I realized that the cruise line had permanent offices in each port which could accept the bags and get them to the ship. This is where Spanair really got even worse. The phone numbers I receive from Spanair were all incorrect, and we needed to get onto the Net to get the real numbers. I then found that they did not answer the phone most of the time and when they did they were completely non-responsive, even to the ships crew who were native Spanish speakers. After three days of non-response (the week-end) I was told they had found my bags and were sending them to Malaga, instead of one of the ports we were heading. I did manage to get them to send the bags back to Barcelona, but by then we had bought a lot of replacement articles, and now I see here that I will be lucky if I ever hear from them about my claim. I am sure this is not unique to Spanair but we the passengers have virtually no leverage to make Airlines responsible for the actions and inaction. They have written the laws to slant nearly completely in their favor. What we can do is boycott or avoid as best as possible the worst and reward the best with our business.

Last edited by winelover; Oct 14, 2010 at 12:11 AM. Reason: Spell check
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Old Oct 14, 2010, 12:19 AM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Shropshire, England
Posts: 3,197

This is some excellent advice from the EU in Ireland website, which sets out the position relating to delayed luggage, as opposed to lost luggage. This part of the regulations needs tightening in my opinon. The consequent damages caused in your situation ought to be the responsibility of the airline.

The Montreal Convention deals with lost or delayed luggage. Under this Convention, the maximum liability of the airline in the event of lost or delayed luggage is limited to 1,000 Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) per passenger. The value of a SDR will vary each day and is linked to exchange rates. To give an idea of its value, 1 euro equaled approximately 0.85 SDR on 6th May 2010.
This limit of 1,000 SDRs was confirmed in a decision of the Court of Justice of the EU on 6th May, Walz v Clickair SA, in which the Court declared that this limit of 1,000SDRs (1134.71 euros) must be interpreted as including both material and non-material damage.
If your luggage is delayed for less than twenty-one days, it is important to be aware that there are no set regulations stating the compensation payments for delayed luggage. Most airlines take the view that once your bag has turned up you will have future use of the contents and refuse to make any compensation payments.
Some airlines offer immediate one-off cash payments at a set amount to cover emergency purchases until the delayed bag is delivered. Others will pay a set amount per day, up to a maximum number of days.
Other airlines do not make immediate cash payments, but prefer to reimburse a passengerís expenditure on essential purchases and will often therefore insist on seeing receipts.
If your bag has still not been returned to you more than 21 days after your flight, the airline should treat it as lost and settle your claim on that basis
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