Fun With American Airlines and British Airways
Unlike my last post about airlines, this one’s about luggage.
I was going back from the US to Amsterdam, transferring at Heathrow. Customs & security in England took so long that by the time I got anywhere near the A-gates they’d already started boarding, so I hurried to the gate and got on board of the plane as one of the last people. Only later did I discover that Heathrow is the absolute craziest airport in the world that should take a very, very good look at how they do things in a proper airport like O’Hare or Schiphol. They don’t even seem to know anything about their gates until 30 minutes or so before it’s scheduled to leave! Anyway, pretty much as soon as I was in the plane the pilot said something like “it looks like everyone’s on board already, so we’re taking off 30 minutes early, woo!” I remember thinking something like “good thing my luggage didn’t have to go through 1 hour of customs & security.”
We landed in Amsterdam, I got off the plane and I waited at the luggage belt, but my baggage never showed up. As I was looking around to figure out where to go to fix this problem, this guy working there came up to me in his cart and was like “can I help you?” So I said, “I just got here with British Airways flight BA217 [or something along those lines anyway]” and he said “that’s the one from London?” and I said “yeah, does it make a difference?” He said “no, actually it doesn’t. Anyway, you have to go to that office right there” while pointing at this place with a huge line in front of it.
I went to that office and waited for 30 freaking minutes until it was finally my turn. Then it turned out that this was the KLM & partners lost luggage claim thing, and the BA lost luggage office was on the other side! I wasn’t the only one misled by the bloke driving around on his cart and like 5 people who had been waiting behind me followed me to the other office where of course all the time no one had been to at all. Turned out my suitcase was still in London and it was scheduled to come toward Amsterdam in about 30 minutes on the next flight. Gee, thanks.
I scheduled a delivery for the next day between 9 and 12. That was all very decent, except for the fact that they actually came at 14. When I called them at 12:30 they said “oh, it’s normal that they might run a little late.” Sigh.
Well, as you may recall, my luggage once stayed in Schiphol longer than I did…
Düsseldorf only has one office where you can complain about lost/delayed luggage, but as you also may recall they are absolutely clueless (well, granted, the ppl at Schiphol didn’t seem to know either whether or not they still had my luggage….).
Also, they were rude and uncaring.
I was sent home with the prospect that should my luggage turn up – which was very unlikely – it’d be delivered to my home.
The luggage delivery service was way better than the ppl at the airport though.
Late in the evening the dude delivering all of that day’s stray luggage called me and said he could be at my place at around 11pm. He fully expected me to say that was too late and set a time for the next day, which of course I didn’t – I was so glad to be getting my stuff back.
April 29, 2010 @ 22:27Permalink
I remember that very well. I believe I was sleeping at the time.
April 29, 2010 @ 22:39Permalink
April 30, 2010 @ 23:43Permalink