No compensation for lost baggage
I travelled from Abu Dhabi to Bahrain and onwards to Cairo, Egypt, on July 15, 2016, on Gulf Air. I had checked in my baggage at Abu Dhabi International Airport. But when I arrived in Cairo, my baggage was missing.
I lodged a complaint at the lost baggage section at Cairo International Airport. They informed me that the bag would arrive on the next flight, on the same day. I later went to the airport but the Gulf Air representative told me that my baggage was still in Abu Dhabi and would be arriving the next day, on July 16, and asked me to keep in contact with them.
I stayed in touch with representatives in both Cairo and Abu Dhabi on a daily basis, but they couldn’t find my bag and I was told to wait for 21 days until the airline could trace it. They told me that if I don’t get the bag back, I can log a claim for it.
After waiting for 21 days, when I did not get any response, I logged the claim online and delivered a copy of the claim to the Gulf Air office in Abu Dhabi.
I got a response on August 21, stating that my baggage was declared as lost and they would compensate me, and they then asked for a couple of documents. I sent all the details and documents and got another call on August 22, telling me that the compensation would be only Dh1,400, although my claim was for Dh10,400 for lost content.
I went to the Gulf Air office on August 23 and they wanted me to sign a document that they are not liable for anything above Dh1,400. I didn’t accept the compensation and the accountant there gave me the customer care’s email address to send them an email with my case.
I contacted customer care through email on August 23, and received feedback that someone would be in contact with me soon. Of course, no one has contacted me. After that, I sent several reminders and contacted Gulf Air’s call centre on September 8. They asked me to forward the emails sent to the customer care department, but nothing happened.
Since then, I have sent them another reminder, but there has been a long silence. No one has bothered to answer or act on my claim.
I got a response on September 26 stating that they need receipts, bills or invoices of the lost items, as they see the claim as a “big one”. I told them that I don’t have receipts or bills for such things as no one keeps the receipts of their own clothes or shoes for so long.
Could Gulf News please help in this matter? It has been around three months and I am still waiting to settle this issue and get my claim. I think it’s more than enough to lose my items.
From Mr Marco S. Attia
The management of Gulf Air responds:
Thank you for your email. Please be advised that following your correspondence, members of Gulf Air’s Customer Care and Service Quality Control Department did, once again, liaise with Mr Attia and, following comprehensive discussion, arrived at a mutually satisfactory conclusion and settled the matter with him.
Mr Attia responds:
I can’t thank Gulf News enough for the efforts in my case, but let me clarify one thing. Yes, they settled the matter as per their policy and a member from Gulf Air was trying to ensure my satisfaction. However, how can I be satisfied with a settlement of $1,557 (Dh5,719) while my loss is around $2,899 (Dh10,648)?
The representative was doing his best to convince me to be satisfied and it seems that he was restricted by Gulf Air policies, but such policies wouldn’t satisfy a customer after he has lost $1,342. This is besides the experience I have faced these past four months.
Gulf Air is considering this money as compensation, however it is not, as it not even exceeding 53 per cent of my losses. And then, they are expecting me to be satisfied?
I accepted the settlement to avoid further waste of time, as I mentioned before, but this has nothing to do with “satisfaction”. Yes, we reached a conclusion as they mentioned in their feedback, but the conclusion was reached just because I got fed up, not because I’m satisfied.
In their “comprehensive discussion” with me, they mentioned that this is the maximum they can do, however I can assure you that other airlines with similar incidents do more by far, to ensure their customers’ satisfaction. If they are considering that each airline has its own policies, then it’s alright, I respect that. But they shouldn’t seek or even expect satisfaction from their customers.
Again, I would like to mention that the representative from the customer care was doing his best to seek my satisfaction, but unfortunately, Gulf Air policies were not helping him. He was relying on his politeness and apologies, however actions and reality speak louder than the words.
Editor’s note: The complaint was forwarded to the management of Gulf Air for further investigation. However, despite repeated reminders, they failed to respond.
(Process initiation: October 16. Response from organisation: October 31. Process completion: November 22.)