Listen to this first-world, but still frustrating tale:
The last time I saw my checked luggage was in Saint Louis on Sunday, May 19.
Having missed our Madrid connection that day, a very kind Liliana (Liliana.Trespalacios@aa.com) met me and Kevin in the terminal at ORD, and provided us new boarding cards for the re-route. That re-route was ORD to LHR>Casablanca>Tangier.
She also emailed me at 7.23 p.m. CDT on Sunday, May 19:
Arriving at LHR on Monday morning, May 20, the very kind AA employee at the baggage desk said “I can see that your bags are on the next flight, which will arrive around 11 a.m.” She suggested that Kevin and I return around 2.30 p.m. to collect our bags and physically take them with us to check in with Royal Air Maroc (AT) for the remaining flights. She suggested that would be better than AA transferring our bags directly to AT.
We returned at 2.30, went through employee security, and the AA employee then informed us that our bags had already been transferred to AT. Somehow the morning shift and the afternoon shift missed an critical message!
An important point: AA provided no proof, and no baggage claim numbers for the recheck and the reroute. (Our initial itinerary was STL>ORD>MAD>TNG.) I have no proof that my luggage was ever transferred to Royal Air Maroc.
Upon arriving in Tangier 12 hours later than planned, Kevin found his checked bag was present. And wrapped inside his baggage routing tag was one that had my numbers on it!
My checked luggage was nowhere to be found.
After an interminable wait, an Iberian employee showed up to start the no-luggage process. He was clearly and visibly frustrated that I could not provide an AT baggage claim number. After the intervention of two other people, he finally (around midnight) completed the luggage interruption report. I notice that this report was in the Iberia system, and not the Royal Air Maroc system.
On Tuesday, May 21, from Tangier, I called the AA baggage number and had a pleasant visit with an employee who suggested that I file lost luggage reports with both AA and AT. He also said that ultimately AT had the responsibility for my bags, but he could not verify delivery, by courier or in person, of my luggage to AT when the bags were at Heathrow. He did indicate that a WorldTracer had been initiated on my luggage.
I am now nearly eight full days since I confidently left my luggage with American Airlines, and I’ve not seen it since. No word has come by email or phone. I’m going to commence the lost luggage claim process when I return home, and expect a full and complete monetary reimbursement.
This process will take time and energy and patience, and at this point I have little patience left for American Airlines.
The holiday in Morocco has not been ruined simply because I’ve not allowed it to be. And I realize that these are first-world problems indeed. I’m grateful for the opportunity and means to travel!
But I’m going to become more vocal until AA gives some monetary satisfaction, or returns my bag to me AND compensates me for the delay.