Is there any way to improve lost baggage handling?

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This topic contains 10 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  LuganoPirate 31 Aug 2018
at 13:31
.

Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)

  • Cedric_Statherby
    Participant

    Although the number of bags that get lost is actually very small, if one flies enough it will eventually happen. And sure enough, on a recent flight my suitcase did not appear. Fortunately it was the flight home after a holiday, so replacement items were all at home, but even so, a nuisance.

    I report the missing bag at the airport, get a case reference number and go home. And it is only then that one realises quite how broken the business model is for finding bags.

    Over the next day I got alternatively no news and then contradictory news (“We are pleased to say your bag has been found” followed 6 hours later by “We regret to say we have not yet found your bag”). The website of the baggage handlers is useless and does not update. The email address they give on the website does not work. The enquiries number rings and rings and rings – I gave up after 1 hour on the line.

    After 3 days I ring the airline for news. They say they had indeed found the bag and put it on a flight to London, over 24 hours earlier. “It will be going through the Heathrow system now and I regret to say that other than confirming it is at Heathrow it is now out of our hands and there is nothing more we can do”.

    Finally, after over 72 hours – and well over 30 hours after the bag arrived at Heathrow, it is delivered to my house. With no advance notice from the handlers, despite their claim that “We will give you at least 3 hours notice of the delivery to your address”. The suitcase is, needless to say, damaged.

    The problem here is that the baggage handlers have no contract with me and no incentive to provide me with a good or even acceptable service. They are not competing for my business, they are impervious to bad reviews, they shrug their shoulders at complaints. Their sole interest is to provide their service as cheaply as possible, which enables them to win and keep the contracts from the airports and airlines.

    The airline in question, when I went back to them to remonstrate at the poor service, merely said “We sympathise, and are as disappointed as you, but it is out of our hands – and anyway they have a monopoly”.

    Capitalism and market economics seems to have no answer when A (the airline) outsources a service to B (the baggage handler), who then gives C (the customer) poor service. How can baggage handling be improved?


    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    http://www.trakdot.com – and I do not own the company, but do own 2 licenses…

    at least you know where the bags are… honestly Cedric, the thing works….. and the new release, when ready, should be even better….


    GivingupBA
    Participant

    Although the number of bags that get lost is actually very small…

    Maybe not so small – I remember reading once, many years ago, that BA misplaced 3% of bags (I know that figure has improved now). That’s a lot.

    My idea – and it may be a poor one, I don’t know – for “How can baggage handling be improved?” is to slap a large automatic fine (which is passed to the offended customers) onto airlines who misplace bags. That should sharpen them up a bit.


    Cedric_Statherby
    Participant

    Thank you Martyn. I presume this is battery operated, and (of course) turned on? How does that get round airlines increasingly not wanting battery-operated things in hold luggage for fear of lithium fires?


    Cedric_Statherby
    Participant

    Message for Tom Otley – someone seems to have taken offence at this thread: “This topic has been reported for inappropriate content”.

    I confess to being baffled. Do you have baggage handlers scrutinising every posting???


    GivingupBA
    Participant

    Message for Tom Otley – someone seems to have taken offence at this thread: “This topic has been reported for inappropriate content”.

    I confess to being baffled. Do you have baggage handlers scrutinising every posting???

    I am VERY SORRY, that was me, clicking ‘Report’ instead of ‘Quote’ by mistake – many apologies – it was an accident – lucky I’m not a pilot.


    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    Thank you Martyn. I presume this is battery operated, and (of course) turned on? How does that get round airlines increasingly not wanting battery-operated things in hold luggage for fear of lithium fires?

    The units come with an FAA approval certificate. They work off AA batteries and GPRS.

    Besides being able to view the bags whereabouts via mapping, up to 5 emails can be sent to your choice of contacts to confirm arrival at airports. Works at 95% of airports around the world…


    canucklad
    Participant

    Martyn’s contraption is a great idea, especially if you have high end luggage, filled with high end gear and/or priceless keepsakes etc.

    I like GivingUpBA’s idea of fines for airlines that misplace luggage…….
    Maybe, just maybe it might inspire them to revise MCT’s at their hubs !!

    I’m sure that BA’ will not be alone at 3% …..God knows what AF’s percentage is at CDG !!


    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    Martyn’s contraption is a great idea, especially if you have high end luggage, filled with high end gear and/or priceless keepsakes etc.

    on the occasions I have lost luggage, it is not the value of the bag/contents, its the not knowing where it is and the constant lies you are told, “its on its way back”.

    What this unit does, is show you where the case is via mapping (or the last time it was seen via GPRS). The first time it used it, on arrival into Miami, my bag didn’t turn up, the BA agent, said it must be in London, I simply flipped my computer open, logged in, and showed him it was in Miami…

    Worth its weight in gold…….


    Alex McWhirter
    Participant

    I like GivingUpBA’s idea of fines for airlines that misplace luggage…….
    Maybe, just maybe it might inspire them to revise MCT’s at their hubs !!

    I’m sure that BA’ will not be alone at 3% …..God knows what AF’s percentage is at CDG !!

    Good idea. However nowadays these hubs are in competition with one another on a global basis. So would AMS FRA CDG extend their MCTs knowing that rival hubs outside Europe would benefit ? Why would AUH/DOH/DXB extend their MCTs knowing that European or Asian hubs would gain ?


    LuganoPirate
    Participant

    In the good old days you’d be given a name and a phone number you could call. That’s long gone. last time I lost some baggage I got a phone number with an automated message asking me to press 1, 3 etc then input the reference number I’d been given only to hear a rerecorded message saying my bag is being traced and I’ll be notified when it’s found. Which it was and arrived 24 hours later!

    Of course costs saving rules over customer service so I doubt things will chnage, but the idea of making airlines pay a fine or compensation (I hate that word) is not at all a bad one. Of course they will never agree and it will need government to pass a law.

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