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miami United States of America
Lost luggage and then denied expenses incurred
May 15, 2011 05:52 AM 13555 Views

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Air France has terrible customer service in every department of their business. The check-in attendant wouldn't allow me to take my second suitcase as a carry on because she said it was too big, although she allowed the customer just before me to carry on a suitcase larger than mine. As it was the second bag checked, I had to pay a $55 fee.

When I arrived in Paris, I learned that they lost the bag that I paid $55 that I had been forced to check. As my warm clothes were all in that suitcase, (and it was below freezing when I arrived in Paris), the lost-baggage attendant explained that Air France would reimburse me 100 euros for any immediate expenses incurred as a result of my lost baggage.

She gave me all the information to file the reimbursement claim including the phone number, the address, and the forms to fill out. She specifically said that I had to file in the U.S. since my flight originated in the U.S., and that I could do this when I arrived back in the States in three and a half weeks. Air France phoned later that day to say they found my luggage (they simply did not load it onto my flight) and that I could collect it at the CDG airport at 10:30 AM the following day.

That evening, I purchased a jacket and some gloves for the cold. The next morning at 10:30 AM, I reported as I was instructed to a specific security door and use a telephone located outside the door to gain access to the baggage claim area; however, no one answered the telephone. I spent an hour and a half walking around the airport trying to find someone from Air France who could help, but every Air France employee said they did not know how to help. I returned to the phone, and called incessantly for about 3 minutes, at which time someone answered and opened the door. When I finally got in to the lost luggage claim area, I approached the clerk at the desk. As I was in a desperate rush to collect my baggage before I missed my train, I got straight to the point and told him why I was there. He stared at me and did not respond. I asked him if there was a problem, and he said he was not going to help me until I said "Hello" to him. I told him I was not trying to be rude, I was just in a very big hurry to get my luggage that they had lost and get to my train that was about to leave in fifteen minutes (a 75 euro non-refundable ticket). He folded his hands and said he would not help me until I said "Hello". As I did not have time to play games, I left the counter and went to where I saw several bags sitting to see if mine was there. It was, so I collected it, and left running to catch my train.

When I arrived back in the states, I phoned the costumer service number to ask questions about the items I had to submit, but the phone number was completely automated. There was an option to press zero to speak to a representative, but when you pressed zero, the phone call ended. I tried calling several times. Unable to get ahold of anyone, I mailed Air France the paperwork I thought was necessary. After waiting 9 weeks, I received a letter from Air France saying they cannot reimburse me because I did not file my paperwork within 21 days of them losing my luggage. Absolutely no where on the paperwork given to me by the baggage claim attendant did it have specified that I had only 21 days to file, and the attendant specifically said I could do it when I returned to the States in three and a half weeks. I even called the customer service line, and no where on there does it state a time limit. Air France does mention this 21-day rule on their website, but I didn't check their website to see if the information given to me on the paperwork, on the customer service line, and by the flight attendant was correct.

Air France is a company with no regard for the customer. They feel it necessary to create loop holes for themselves so they can evade their responsibilities of the reimbursing customers for AF mistakes.

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