A disappointing New Year's Eve

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  • Travelling4Fun

    I am only sharing this because of the great sense of frustration I feel. I am using the forum as therapy so apologies !

    On New Year’s Eve -Sunday 31/12/17 – I was on a KLM flight from BHX to AMS. We were scheduled to leave at 13.20 but actually left a little early as our Captain proudly announced. As we started pushback another passenger noticed that his luggage was still on tarmac. He alerted the crew who said they could do nothing at this stage. They subsequently confirmed that his luggage was still at BHX but they thought his was the only luggage left behind.

    On arrival at AMS it seemed that several passengers were similarly without their luggage. I reported it immediately and received much sympathy.

    My Trakdot tracker sent me a message at 16.50 telling me my bag was still at BHX so I telephoned KLM to inform them. A little later I went back to the airport to try to speak to someone face-to-face about my situation but no one was prepared to come land-side to do so and I ended up speaking via a helpful security guard at ‘Door 16’ (to which I had been directed by KLM agents at check-in) explaining that getting my luggage to me at 20.00 on Monday 1/1 which is what they planned was unacceptable because I would be on my way to BKK (via LHR).

    On Monday 1/1 I checked in for my BA flight early so that I could go back to the lost luggage desk airside to speak to people face to face. The agent there and the Land-side Coordinator quickly grasped the situation and telephoned BHX to explain the need to get my suitcase identified and sent to me in time to catch my connection to BKK or at least to put it on a KLM flight which was scheduled to arrive in BKK close to my arrival time.

    So, I set off for BKK in hopeful anticipation expecting my luggage to be reunited with me in the arrivals hall. At BKK I found the handling agents but they were unable to tell me if my luggage had been found. My Trackdot emailed me Tuesday this time to inform me it was still in BHX so I checked in the airport hotel to wait for my luggage until the agents telephoned to tell me my bag had not arrived.

    What no one seemed to comprehend was that a) when you are big you cannot just pick-up clothes and so having worn the same clothes for three days (with the exception of underwear – a spare pair being packed in my hand luggage) so the idea that I can just go and buy clothes because my size is not readily available. b) Despite explaining my situation very calmly and clearly no one seemed to acknowledge that my situation was complicated in that I am working in my final destination (VTE) for the next few months.

    So on Wednesday 3/1 I travelled to VTE and later that day I was informed my luggage had arrived in BKK. By this stage my Trakdot had stopped sending messages – presumably because the battery had worn out.

    To cut an extremely long saga short I expected my luggage to be transported to my final destination address – something that had been confirmed several times with KLM – but the agents would only commit to getting it to VTE airport. I referred this to KLM – who had to check but then confirmed it could be delivered to me. I even offered to travel back to BKK – an hour’s flight – but that offer was not accepted.

    So, in summary : my luggage has been in transit since Sunday 31/12 – because it was not loaded on to my flight and yet despite leaving early the crew said nothing could be done at pushback stage. It finally reached BKK on Wednesday and yet, only an hour away I am still without it – and the in their last message KLM stated “We understand your disappointment in this quite exceptional case …… of course we will do what we can to have the baggage delivered to you by Monday and we offer our apology for this situation, for what it’s worth”.

    Has anyone had a similar experience with a 45 minute point to point flight ? (incidentally this is the suitcase KLM gave me in July to replace the one which was trashed on a flight from DME to AMS to BHX !)


    This must be the ultimate passenger insult, seeing your bag by the side of the aircraft as you push back.. WOW!!

    I realise it was not the OP’s bag and he had no way in knowing the status of his bag, but had it been my bag, I had seen and I was on the way to Asia for a 2 week trip (never mind a 3 month stay) I would not have accepted “there is nothing that could be done”.

    I would have insisted the Captain gave me a quick scribbled and signed written assurance (plenty of time to do that as the pushback tug was being disconnected) that the bag would go on the 17.40 flight (presume that was still running) later the same day OR, I would have insisted the aircraft goes back to stand and either lets me off or loads the bag. After all, the aircraft had left early.

    Some comments about Trakdot (I don’t leave home without the 2 I purchased).

    1. Don’t rely on the email or text (SMS) messages. They are currently hit and miss. However, the mapping system on the app works very well. The one time I have needed it, was when I was told in Miami, my bags were in London. When I flipped open my lap top and showed the BA agent they were in Miami, he was lost for words…

    2. My trakers do not always send messages on arrival into BKK, but the units were showing on the mapping. Milan (LIN) is another airport where the trakers do not always work.

    3. I have seen some info about a new generation of Trakers being launched

    I hope your bag turns up..


    I had a 30 minute flight in December Valencia to Madrid connecting to HKG with CX.

    Bag didn`t arrive in MAD.

    The lady at the Iberia Customer Service Desk advised that as it was a small plane not all the point to point bags were loaded priority was given to transit bags.(I had two tickets as the CX flight was a voucher upgrade).

    When I pointed out I was the only one of 7 people at the belt who didn’t get his bag and was also the only passenger with a “Priority” tag being Emerald in One World that was hard to fathom. As it it turned out the bag went to LHR!!.

    Anyway reunited with bag when I returned through Madrid 5 days later. Another story getting delayed bag compensation from Iberia !!.

    Probably the most lamentable customer service of any airline I have experienced.

    I also read Madrid is the worst airport in Europe for lost bags. !!


    Thanks Martyn – my Trakdot has nearly always been reliable in sending messages except in remote Lao airports. However, after more than a week the batteries have clearly run out and needless to say the promised courier with my bag has not made contact and my bag has not yet appeared. Sadly, as I commented to KLM an hour and a half ago (longer than it takes to fly from BKK, where my bag is, to VTE, where I am) the ‘silence is deafening’.


    If I wanted to lose my luggage then my only improvement to your torturous route (BHX – AMS – LHR – BKK – VTE) would be to add CDG!

    I’m also seeing the irony in your username: Travelling4Fun

    I hope you see your luggage arrive today!


    KLM have lost my bag twice in about 30 years of using them. I don’t remember much about the first time, but the last time it was handled superbly, and I got confirmation within a day that my receipted expenses claim was being processed, and a few days later the money was there. That’s one of the reasons I appreciate KLM.

    Another story getting delayed bag compensation from Iberia !!Probably the most lamentable customer service of any airline I have experienced.

    That’s for sure, and I am convinced they have a special training centre to train usually pleasant Spanish people to be arrogant, unhelpful, pig-ignorant, and useless.
    A friend of mine was denied boarding on IB due to overbooking almost 2 years ago, and is still fighting for his EU261 compensation. I’ve offered to handle it for him but he’s a bit stubborn and feels he can do it himself. QED!


    Yes – it was a bit of a journey but in the past it has not been an issue…..

    I think I would be less annoyed if my bag had not arrived in BKK on Wednesday of last week. I have offered to go and get the suitcase myself. Perhaps I’ll offer to go back this weekend – it might be quicker !


    I really wasn’t expecting to write any more about this event but ….

    Yesterday I discovered that my luggage which had reached BKK last week was still in BKK. It had arrived shortly after I had left for VTE. This morning I wrote to double check it was still there thinking about cutting my losses and taking time off work and flying down to BKK to collect it. The handlers confirmed it was still in their office. So for the last week my luggage has been languishing in the Bangkok delayed luggage office and no way could be found to deliver it to me in VTE – just an hour away.

    As the people on Messenger had not updated me – they subsequently told me that due to volume of enquiries they were a little slow to reply (there’s a surprise !) – I telephoned AMS this afternoon. The person who answered was extremely helpful, and at my request she spoke to her supervisor, who remembered me from New Year’s Day (there’s a surprise) ! He had been extremely helpful during our meeting. However at the end of a 41 minute telephone call I now know that my luggage is currently on a flight from BKK to ……… AMS.

    Despite the levels of incompetence shown throughout this sorry story – I do have confidence in the lady I spoke to and her supervisor that my luggage will then be returned to me via BKK (!!!) and subsequently to VTE.

    I hope to be able to end this thread very soon by telling you my luggage has arrived safely, but to be honest I am not going to hold my breath.


    Travelling4Fun, you seem amazingly calm, I would have gone postal by this stage and probably done some irreparable damage to someones reputation on social media or even kicked the cat ( figure of speech)

    Please tell me what you are taking to remain this calm and I am going to go out and buy some

    Hope it resolves really quickly for you!


    Thank you K1ngston – I am not as calm as you think, but working in SE Asia makes you realise that losing your cool is counter-productive. For me the main issue is the ongoing incompetence of KLM and it because of this that I will be expecting compensation over and above a refund of my expenses. So no need for happy pills or alcohol (though Beer Lao is truly excellent) just come and work in Laos……got to go now and wash my underwear since KLM is holding most of mine and my size is just not available in this region !


    Have been in Laos many times there is a great coffee shop restaurant (name escapes me) where I managed to crawl home from on a few occasions! Don’t stay out too late tho its almost impossible to get a taxi or transport after about 11 and we had to call our customer to come and pick us up!!

    Love how you step back into the 1970’s when you land and the wonderful process of stamping your passport ..

    Enjoy VTE


    Ah yes – understand your perspective – but we have got very sophisticated now with the opening last year of the Crowne Plaza, though if you live in the “outer suburbs” it is impossible to get transport at any time of the day or night.

    Just to keep the saga going : needless to say the promised SMS or Email to confirm that my luggage had arrived in AMS last night was not waiting for me this morning. What I cannot understand with KLM is how they attract such lovely delightful people to speak with but offer a service level of incompetence which is more akin to being in the back and beyond. I will be telephoning again later today…..

    Let me know if you ever remember the coffee shop’s name…..


    T4F the name of the place is Senglao in VTE really good food and location worth checking it out …..


    Ah yes – they do a very tasty carbonara !


    Would you recommend Trakdot or is it a waste of money ?

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