Airlink SABack to Forum
Hi all, just a quick note to advise not to try to travel with any items that are fragile / glassware or precious that have bought in Namibia or try to go through airport security at (WDH) Windhoek Hosea Kutako International Airport, as will either be accused of either trying to set fire to the aircraft or breaking an item over another passengers head in an attack. I had bought some local items in Windhoek that I did not want going into my hold luggage as where fine glass ware items, but was made by security to check my rucksack in after having already gone through. therefore I went back to check-in for Airlink and advised them why I was asking to check the later item in, which seemed to confuse the agent at the Business Class Desk, but she accepted the bag and put at least 4-5 fragile items labels over the front, back and sides of the back, especially over the zip areas to protect them & tagged with a “Priority Tag”, as where my other to pieces of hold luggage.
Arrival in JNB was smooth and not to long a queue at immigration which was a miracle of a change, but a hell of a long wait at the baggage belt for all 3 items to arrive. 1st suitcase arrived, then 20 mins later for smaller trolley bag, but almost 30 mins for the rucksack to turn up, when it did the zips where not where in position they where when the bag was checked-in, not only that nothing was in the compartment either that it had been packed in, I had removed laptop, iPad, wallet / credit cards, but had forgotten to remove my Jaguar Pens, but discovered on inspection that they had only taken the trouble to steal one of them, it may seem trivial but I had left Sterling Cash that I had forgotten that I had stashed in a pocket on leaving LHR. So why rummage all through the bag, not be careful to put items back where they had come from, or even attempt to make it look as if the bag hadn’t been pillaged by replacing the fragile label over the front zip, or put the zips where they should have been???????? The irony of it all is that they only stole one of the 4 pens that where in my bag and took nothing else!!!!!!! Beggars belief to be honest.
The reaction from the baggage ground agent, was “are you sure you bag has been tampered with “????? Yes was the reply, the zips are in incorrect position, also nothing is where it was when packed in hotel or checked in, in WDH. Until in no certain terms assertively made aware that the bag had been tampered with and got the answer of, ” I didn’t think we still had people that did that”, to which he went through a very slow (even so for South African Standard’s) process of doing a claim on the computer system to the point that I was almost waiting for him to get a piece of stone out and start hacking at it with a chisel. I am used to things being done in a certain way and patiently in SA/ZA and have been travelling there for coming on 20 yrs, but this was nearly 1.5-2 hours after landing. Was eventually given a piece of paper with my claim reference and told to either ring the number on it or go to the website and download a claim form, which as I have found is not possible to do.
After finding this out I have contacted customer services which have only informed me this morning after being home 7 days that they may pass it on the baggage department or I can call them from the UK to get a form emailed to me. This is the service that is given by, the onboard announcement of South Africa’s most reliable airline and wishes to embrace the “Freedom of the Air”.
Mark19 Jan 2023
If I were you I’d have paid the security agent with the Sterling you’d left in your backpack and have saved myself the money.
Sadly “breakfast money” still talks.
That being said it sounds like your problem was more with the security and third-party ground handlers (IIRC they use Swissport at O R Tambo), not Airlink (they dropped the SA a while ago).
Maybe I have been lucky, but I have found Airlink to be generally efficient, punctual and the aircraft and inflight product very good.
(Disclaimer – I’m flying with FlySafair not Airlink in a couple of hours!)26 Jan 2023
I don’t think the airline can really be found to be at fault. What happened was unfortunate but sadly a little predictable, not sure why you are so surprised.
I have flown with them in the past month four times , never before then, in J and I must say I liked them a lot. Kind of a bit like Comair, but cheaper. I hope they do well and survive, they will certainly be getting my business in the future.26 Jan 2023