Delta Airlines - Baggage Claim Fiasco with no Customer Committment

Posted on Friday, July 16th, 2010 at 6:49am CDT by fe15e281

Company: Delta Airlines

Location: US


Category: Airlines

Below is the email that was sent to Delta Customer Care. I also sent them all my detailed expenses according to the request made by them. It has been two weeks and have yet to receive confirmation of the fax upon repeated requests! It was 23 pages in length and I only asked to make sure that it was received. No one seems to care to do anything decent and in order.Your help would be greatly appreciated.

Baggage File Reference #DARKL14665

Corporate Customer Care Case 8547087

I am writing to inform you of the pathetic and irresponsible handling of my affairs concerning my baggage. I am in process of putting in expense reimbursements for not only my incurred expenses throughout the trip, but also a refund of my ticket. I will take no less than that or I will afford the luxury of going to every news agency in this nation, sending them this malady of inexcusable behavior which can be branded as idiotic, reprehensible and a complete insanity of "passing the buck", which when logically studied you come to a conclusion is that no one cared at Delta about my situation in getting my luggage to my destination.

I left DTW on Friday, April 30th going first to JFK and then taking a connecting flight from JFK to Amsterdam, finally arriving at my final destination which was Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. This of course was all booked through Delta.

When I arrived, and after waiting until all baggage from the airliner was confirmed to be extracted and that all handlers reported that there was no more luggage to be found anywhere on their carriers, I put in a "lost baggage report" with the Tanzanian authorities responsible for handling this situation. I asked them to check with the airlines to see if they have located the baggage and when it would be delivered. He could not give me any information at this time. The report was filed on Saturday, May 1st @ approx 1:00AM in the morning.

The next morning, I spoke to my wife who from Detroit called the Delta baggage claim office at 6:00am May 2nd and was told by the representative in Georgia that the luggage was at JFK and that she would inform JFK to forward the bags to my destination, which was at the airport in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The representative could not tell her when the bags would be forwarded, but it was in the hands of JFK.

In the mean time, I was told to wait for the bags by the officials at Dar es Salaam that they would likely come on the 11:30pm flight on Sunday, May 2nd. Also, my wife requested that she contact JFK to make sure that the luggage was transferred but was told that there is no contact number at JFK. Beginning unsatisfied with that response, my wife asked to speak to authorities that were higher to resolve than the representative and she informed her that she was the floor supervisor and that her manager does not take phone calls, but only email. My wife was refused the email address to write to her manager. Of course, the luggage did not show up on Sunday, May 2nd causing more delays!

In the course of the day, my wife called back and spoke to about six representatives that told her various stories about where the bag was at, whether the bag was to be sent to its destination, that there was no record of the request, no information on my flight from Detroit to JFK, etc. She was told to put in a lost claim for the bag, which she refused, because the bag was not lost! It was at JFK and no one cared to follow-up and send the luggage to the appropriate destination!!

The last representative she spoke to was at 9:30am on Sunday, May 2nd and her name was Nancy who told her that there was a flight leaving that evening and that the bag would be sent then. She was told to call about an hour before the flight left and when she did, again, they told her that the bag was at JFK and could not tell her whether the luggage was put on that flight to Tanzania. My wife told her that she refused to accept this, and told the Delta Rep that she refused to help her and follow-up on this pressing issue, knowing that I who was seven hours ahead in time was waiting for that confirmation! My wife stated she would go to the news media to tell others how Delta refused to handle this mistake in a proper manner because her husband had no recourse from Tanzania to follow-up, but rather waited in vain with no answers and a refusal of Delta to confirm ANYTHING!

That same day, Sunday, 6:00pm, just prior to the flight leaving JFK to head toward DAR, my wife was at Detroit Metro Airport baggage service to see if she could do! She spoke to Joe at baggage service of all that transpired during the day, and within a couple of minutes, he had JFK on the line! Why was my wife lied to all the daylong by your reps in Georgia? The luggage was located, however, it was too late to transfer the luggage unto the aircraft! This is inexcusable, the lies and distortions instead of helping my poor wife who when I spoke to her was exhausted and in tears because of this travesty! Then, Joe advised JFK to send it out the next day, Monday May 3rd and was confirmed that it would be sent out because important material, medicine and even candy for the African children was in the bag and though I only had ten days there, and they promised to send the bag, I waited another day. The luggage never showed up! More lies from Delta at JFK. I do want to say that Joe at Detroit Metro baggage service was very helpful and a caring attitude to help as much as he could, but his hands were tied! He could not have any influence over the pathetic and disgusting lies and uncaring attitudes of both Delta at JFK and baggage service in Georgia!

At this time, he also put in the baggage delay file reference information as DARKL14665.

On Monday evening at 6:30pm, my wife once again went to Detroit Metro Airport baggage service to speak with Joe. Joe called JFK and was informed that the luggage AGAIN did not go unto the flight to DAR!! My wife called me in Tanzania at 3:00am Tuesday, May 4th (7 hours difference in time!) to tell me that Delta once again FAILED to put the luggage on the flight to DAR! I told her that I cannot wait any longer and that I would be leaving in the morning and would not be back to Dar es Salaam until the day that I was departing, ie, Saturday, May 10th.

Therefore, I instructed her to have the luggage sent back to my home in Detroit. My wife told Joe, the rep from Detroit Metro to send the bag back home because I could no longer wait, and he then called JFK and told them to send the luggage back to DTW. This was done around Monday, May 3rd @ 7:00pm.

My wife called the baggage claim department in Georgia (800-325-8224) on Wednesday, May 5th to find out where the luggage was and was told that they could not tell her whether in was in Washington DC or headed there prior to be sent back to Detroit! The tracking number, DARKL14665 had been established and yet the central baggage claim service center once again could not tell me where my luggage was???? This is insanity of major proportions that cannot be logically understood or fathomed by anyone who would have the least bit of care and concern for their customers!! My wife could do no more up to this point! What confusion and customer care, that outside of Joe at Detroit Metro baggage service, is beyond belief or comprehension. A nightmare would be much more pleasing and plausible if this was not so tragic!

Then, on my way back to Detroit, to add insult to injury, I was told by your KLM representative when requesting an upgrade of my current seating, due to luggage not delivered to me throughout my stay, her inconsiderate response was, "You want me to give you a seating upgrade because of lost luggage?" It is fortunate for her that I am a Christian gentleman and did not respond at all to her rude and foolish remark!

Also, when I arrived at JFK on Sunday, May 9th, all flights were cancelled going to Detroit and I had to wait another day to fly back home! After yet another inconvenience, and after informing them about my luggage fiasco, do you think that Delta once again would have at least another chance for reprisal of some sort to pay for my hotel bill?

No, the representative did nothing at JFK!

Then to my outer dismay and disbelief, when I arrived in Detroit airport on Monday, May 10th I was told by Lavine, Supervisor at baggage claim that my luggage is in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania!!!! What in the world is going on? What compelled them to send the luggage after all this trouble and perplexity to Tanzania knowing that I was returning back to Detroit on May 9th?? Who made that decision, when it was told them to send the luggage back to Detroit on Tuesday of that week? Why was not the customer called at anytime or informed of any of these decisions?

This incompetency and absolute no care attitude toward a customer who flew 8,000 miles to a funeral to bury the Bishop of the Anabaptist Churches of Tanzania, who drove over 2,000 miles across Tanzania without his luggage, containing the most important priceless commodity which was 10lbs of suckers for the African children of our churches and even for the surrounding city of Bunda, and Delta could CARE LESS or even attempted to do right to deliver this luggage after three days of waiting!!!!!! And then to find out it is in Tanzania after I arrived back to Detroit, MI???? This is beyond belief and when thinking about it you come to a conclusion that this was done in order to "cover up"

their errors and hoping that the bag would never be found!

And as of today, May 15th when I called the baggage claim in Georgia (800-325-8224), I was told that the last time any information is known about my luggage was scanned into the system on May 10th showing the bag is in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania!!!

I called your Customer Care (that is a misnomer- 404-714-7101) on May 17th in the morning and spoke to Shawana. All she told me after she read this long record of events is "that nothing has been scanned in since May 10th". Thanks for nothing.

At this point in time, after many attempts to get ANYONE at Delta to "take the bull by the horns" and get in touch with Dar es Salaam and get my luggage back home, I took it upon myself to find out the number for the airport in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and then I was able to get the number of the area in which I first reported my luggage missing. Again, with no help from Delta and my own expense I spoke to the individual by the name of Nzutu who remembered me!! In the matter of less than 5 minutes he located my bag and even through broken English on his part I was able to communicate to him the necessity of what needed to be done.

I hung up the phone and called him after ? hour in which he told me that the bag would fly out the next day, and gave me the following


. New luggage tag number 61664; KL952339

. Leaving Dar es Salaam to Amsterdam 61664; Flight KL 569 @ 11:15pm May 17th (Tanzania time- 7 hours ahead)

. Leaving Amsterdam to JFK and arriving 61664; Flight 641 @ 4:05pm May18th

. Leaving JFK to Detroit Metro and arriving  Flight 9609 @2:33pm May 19th

All this accomplished by the customers persistent work and would not quit and one who spoke little English, yet Delta behind its billion dollar corporation could not accomplish this task after 7 DAYS that the luggage was sitting at the airport in Tanzania! Yet another inexcusable set of events that would leave any normal thinking person gasping and shaking their heads as to why this is happening?

I called later on in the evening around 8:00pm Detroit time (the plane is already in the air for 3 hours) and spoke to Kim (404-714-7101) to confirm that the bag was confirmed in the system. She tried for a little time and I left off not knowing if all is well I called the following day, May 18th @ 1:00pm and spoke to Sally (404-714-7101) to confirm baggage was scanned and flight information matched what was given to me. At last it was at least confirmed that on my Baggage File (File Ref- DARKL14665) the information appeared, but she was not able to confirm the scanning in of the bag. I asked her to call JFK or even Amsterdam to confirm, but she gave me some flimsy excuse and tried to appease me with "I am sorry sir, but just give it time and we will get the info". Just what I needed to hear-MORE TIME!

I called later that day @ 8:00pm and spoke to Sally again (404-714-7101) who was not able to confirm the luggage came, but told me that customs was backed up after I insisted she call JFK to confirm ANYTHING and tell the JFK baggage claims to personally go and find my bag! They told her that "customs was held back and that they did not know when this would be completed". What else should I expect from Delta knowing that it has been 18 days that my luggage has been in Deltas control, 9 days AFTER I returned from my trip?

On May 19th @ 7:30am I spoke with Jason (404-714-7101) who after reading the Bag Claim File (File Ref- DARKL14665) said "he has never seen anything like this" and could not believe what had happened called JFK to no avail and then promised that he would send out many emails to those in JFK and Detroit hoping to get a response and that he or others he emailed would call. Once again, disappointed.

And then finally on May 19th @ 11:45am I decided to call once again, but time I called the Corporate Office (404-715-4150,2,5) and spoke with a Mr. McDonald. I gave him the case number, 8547087 that Deverson wrote up in lieu of the Baggage Claim File (DARKL14665) to show that I had contacted Corporate headquarters concerning the handling of my issue with Customer Care Baggage in Atlanta, GA. After review all the files,

and a twenty minute explanation of events he was unaware of, I convinced him to "take the bull by the horns" and confirm where my luggage it at!

He said that he would and after 1 hour and 20 minutes on line with him and putting me on hold for no less than 10 times making numerous calls, he found the luggage in Detroit, and spoke with Lavine who assured him it was in her hands and that it would be sent to my home today! WOW.

Kudos for Mr. McDonald the ONLY true help that I received after 19 DAYS OF THE MOST HELLISH EVENTS THAT ANYONE WOULD HAVE TO ENDURE to establish an incompetency and an extremely deficient baggage claim department If you think after all this that I am going to rest and allow this story to stop here, you are all out of your minds! Unless I am reimbursed ALL of my travel expenses including my ticket price for my travel, I will write, call, send to every news agencies in the US this story and asking them to help me to expose this kind of treatment by Delta and its affiliates!

I will also be speaking to a lawyer about damages unless all my demands are met! Do not bother to inform me about what you polices are because I could careless about any of them! Your legal obligation is to deliver my luggage and myself to the appointed destination, and of course because of issues that arise, baggage might not arrive on time. But, based on my story, your customer commitment was none-existent and your careless attitude in handling the delivery of my luggage, which is NOW in Dar es Salaam, is truly tragic, pathetic, un-called for and worthy of seeking damages and claims beyond you polices, since it is proven by this letter that you gave my wife and I the run-a-around to cover up your tragic deficiencies in the handling of this matter.

Therefore, as stated previously in this long discourse, not only that my round-trip ticket from Detroit to Dar es Salaam is refunded, but also all expenses incurred throughout my travel. This is only a small token and it must be done this way in order for Delta to take this seriously and to put in the many changes required, especially teaching all your employees to do all that they can to satisfy the customer.

My expenses are as follows:

Ticket price- Round-trip Detroit to JFK $ 515.40

Round-trip JFK to Dar es Salaam $1,358.30

Hotel Costs- $ 902.31

Vehicle Rental Cost- $1,200.00

Vehicle Fuel Cost- $ 287.70

Misc Food Cost- $ 87.50

Costs to travel through National Parks- $ 222.00

Laundry- $ 14.40

Misc Costs- $ 79.26

=====TOTAL $4,666.87

Therefore, that is my request for reimbursement- $4,666.87

**Note: All costs paid for in Tanzanian shillings were converted at a rate of 1350 shillings / $1US And according to your following site:

Delta Air Lines Customer Commitment

Last Updated: April 26, 2010

Delta Air Lines intends to ensure that your air travel experience will encompass, to the best of our abilities, the most comprehensive customer service possible. We have outlined our responsibilities and how we will fulfill them in 12-key points, known as our Customer Commitment.

3. Delivering baggage on time

It is our intention to deliver your baggage on time. However, in the event that this does not occur, we will strive to return your misplaced baggage within 24 hours. Notify a Delta employee at the airport if you cannot locate your baggage. To check on the progress of your bag search, call 800-325-8224 or go to Delayed, Damaged, or Lost Baggage.

We will attempt to contact owners of unclaimed baggage when a name and address or telephone number is available. We use scanning technology to identify the location of all unclaimed baggage which assists us in quickly reuniting you with your property. Bags unclaimed after five days are sent to our headquarters in Atlanta, where continued efforts are made to locate bag owners.

I am being kind and informing you ahead of time, but I am warning you that I plan to take EVERY AVENUE afforded to me and once I start, I will spend WEEKS or even MONTHS to inform all that will listen that NO CONSUMER should have EVER been treated in this manner as my wife and I, she working so hard to resolve this issue, but continued to be pushed aside by all except Joe at Detroit Metro, but could only do so much and then after nineteen days, Mr. McDonald, through my urging finally bought a conclusion to this nightmare. We have spent no less than 40 hours of our time to finally resolve this issue.

I am 53 years old, and I have had other issues and complaints about customer service from other companies, but you can take EVERY ONE OF THEM and put them together and not come close to attain to this travesty of affairs that Delta Airlines has done!


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