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Air france lost luggage - any contact and compensation

Hamburg, Germany
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Air france lost luggage - any contact and compensation

Air France lost my luggage just from the start of my trip 5 days ago.

Saturday it was still in Paris, supposed to come with the next flight to Rio, but this was cancelled.

Since then the luggage cannot be LOCATED ANYMORE, unbelievable for me.

The hotline is neither helpful nor friendly (shouting at me and hanging up in a few cases), complaints are not answered either (sent 3 already via the web). Information was changed in a wrong way, opening hours 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. are not customer friendly, mainly busy and not reachable, just telling me "tomorrow we will have more info", same thing next day, no matches1

The tag is known, but maybe the bag lost the tag I was told. So I wonder whether anyone is checking bags w/o tags??

Was just told I need to wait - have 4 1/2 weeks of holidays left, but don´t want to call them an wait every day to have the holiday even more ruined

Have the feeling no one is looking at all as I´m not business or Premium (20 lights with KLM last year only ...) - really bad picture conveyed of an international airline not cring about "normal" passengers.

As I´m browsing the internet I find more and more complaints and wonder how to proceed - I would like a more personal and proactive contact as I´m now travelling on a daily basis between different locations.

They only allow 100 EUR emergency, but as I´m travelling different climate zones, I need warm and long stuff now as well as a bikini to do the trips I have booked already.

Any suggestions what I can do and buy? There´s no way to get any reply on the web, the hotline just says "buy what you want, you get your money back", but of course you do not get that in written.

Thanks for advice!

170 replies to this topic
Palmetto, Florida
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1. Re: Air france lost luggage - any contact and compensation

Just my opinion

You should at a convenient place buy the minimum amount necessary for rest of your trip. Don't call everyday it will just be aggravating a waste of money and time. Try to enjoy your trip. Get family or friend to call airline for you. Or just deal with it when you get back. When you are on the move its almost impossible to have luggage catch up. Save your receipts of rePlacement purchases just in case.

Good luck

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3,237 posts
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2. Re: Air france lost luggage - any contact and compensation

Have you got travel insurance?First call to make in this situation.

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for London
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55,644 posts
15 reviews
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3. Re: Air france lost luggage - any contact and compensation

Baggage is not considered lost until 21 days have passed so your bag is delayed rather than lost. None the less, the Montreal Convention's rules should apply to flights operated by AF; www.auc.org.uk/default.aspx…

Keep every receipt for the goods you buy whilst travelling; until your bag is located and returned to you start to make a list of what was in the bag should it be unfortunate enough to go missing permanently.

And do contact your travel insurance provider to enquire what cover is available to you now and in future (if the bag isn't delivered to you) under the policy terms.

Good luck.

Destination Expert
for Bangkok, Air Travel, Thailand
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15,568 posts
71 reviews
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4. Re: Air france lost luggage - any contact and compensation


Baggage issues is one the things that is actually rather well defined by either Contractual language by the carrier or by one of the two international aviation agreements-- Warsaw or Montreal.

For the most part, all airlines classify bags as "delayed" -- even if they can't tell you where it is or when it will be delivered to you -- until **21** days after the date you arrived..

Once day 21 comes if the baggage is still not located and returned to you, the case now changes from "delayed" to "lost"..

The term or verbiage used is somewhat important because a "delayed" bag case remains within the airlines Central Baggage Office for tracking and tracing.. by comparison, once it'ss changed to a "lost" bag status, it triggers your whole case to be moved from the airline active tracking department to their claim settlement office for eventual payment..

At that point-- commonly 21 days-- the airline stops actively looking for it, and assumes it to be lost/stolen etc, and begins the process of determine your proper compensation amount in accordance with either their Contract of Carriage language or the applicable international aviation agreement.

The ugly reality is that airline staffing has been radically reduced post 9/11 and a large percentage of those cut-backs was from back-office and support related positions-- of which baggage services is a part of.. So, it can in fact be hard to actually speak to someone..

While it may be of little consequence to you, the statistical odds that your bags will not be returned to you are in fact very, very small.. but given the staffing situation at most airlines, I'd be sure that you're pro-actively in touch with them-- at reasonable time intervals-- and that they have a good contact number to reach you..

Also if they do authorize you to buy things (which you say they have) in the interim, I'd be sure that I asked if there was any restrictions on what I bought and got that authorization either in print or in someway verifiable if it's questioned later on.

Travel Safe,

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628 posts
15 reviews
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5. Re: Air france lost luggage - any contact and compensation

@ AKW,

sorry to hear about your misfortunate travel start. More than understandable, you are not happy about it.

Both prior posts have high value. Especially you may want to stop calling AF.

According to the "Montreal Convention", in case of total baggage lost, a fixed, and maximum compensation amount of 1131 SDR (Special Drawing Rights) per pax applies. 1131 SDR value today is round 1250 Euro (daily exchange rate).

This means, if your baggage is finally declared lost after 21 days, you can claim the full 1250 Euro compensation, no matter what was the real value or weight of your luggage.

Another story is the 100 Euro allowance for replacement of urgently needed things like toilettries or clothing. This is to understand as an (advanced) down payment only, and not as a compensation limit. This advancement will later get subtracted from the total 1250 Euro.

Saving bills and receipts is important, but only for prove of purchasing those items, in case your luggage might got found again later. In this case, toilettries are refounded 100%, but new clothing only by 50%.

You are qualified to purchase/replace all the needs "adequate for your journey". What is "adequate", depends from purpose, duration and travel itinerary.

(E.g.: in a one week all-inclusive resort it might not be adequate to replace the complete wardrobe within the first day of arrival; whilest a backpacker's trip trough less populated, or special climate, areas may qualify).

You don't need to adjust your itineraries, just to keep costs of replacement low. But you should bear in mind, maximum compensation is 1250 Euro for total baggage lost; and 50% only may refunded for clothing in case, your baggage is found again.

Hope you can start enjoying your trip nevermind. Fortunately, although the strong BRL, in Brazil clothing is still cheap, so you may find all you need at an affordable price level.



Edited: 6:31 pm, July 05, 2011
Mexico City, Mexico
1 post
1 review
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6. Re: Air france lost luggage - any contact and compensation


I understand you very well since AF lost my bag for 20 days, and spoil my business trip and my vacations in Europe. I wrote several letter demanding a compensation for all the things I bought and for the wasted time. I'm still waiting.

Their service is bad and incompetent. I totally agree with you about the baggage service: useless.

Their personnel is not professional and is misinformed in many respects.

I had several incidents in this trip from the very beginning besides the baggage incident. For instance, they overbooked and I was denied to embark.

Definitely AF is one of the worst airlines now. We should start boycotting this terrible airline !

Oslo, Norway
1 post
1 review
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7. Re: Air france lost luggage - any contact and compensation

I just experiences the excact same thing with air france! Our situation is almost completely the same!

4th of August I arrived at CDG Paris - without my luggage.

Was told they would most probably find it and transport it to my destination.

Rightly enough- they found it and - supposedly sent it from my departing airport to my arrival airport CDG (as informed the same night on sms by Air FRance).

No news nothing from them, I called them every day of my holiday and with no news - nothing - Charles de gaulle says they never received the bag from my departing airport.

My holiday was from the 4th to the 12th - I still don't have my bag.

I have now written a huge letter with all details of customer representatives (the worst customer serice I have EVER experienced) and other important details.

Advice: Note down all information you are given! numbers, names, dates, times...

Edinburgh, United...
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13,598 posts
16 reviews
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8. Re: Air france lost luggage - any contact and compensation

"I have now written a huge letter with all details of customer representatives (the worst customer serice I have EVER experienced) and other important details."

Probably not the best idea. Short and sweet is usually how these sort of things should be kept.

San Diego...
1 post
2 reviews
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9. Re: Air france lost luggage - any contact and compensation

Travelled Business Class on air France from SFO to CDF Nov 4th 2012 - checked bag did not arrive. Went to Air France counter for lost luggage - Air France stated the bag should have arrived at CDG as this is what their computer states. Filled out form for lost bag. Air France at counter was extremely rude. Still awaiting bags and Air France has no idea the location of our bags. The 100 Euro to cover toiletries and clothing necessities in Paris does not cover the bare minimum. Every time the concierge at the hotel calls Air France there is no news as to the potential location of the bag. The world tracer on line keeps stating check back for further information. Air France could care less the ticket purchased was business class. Air France has no class. Will never fly Air France again.

Fredericia, Denmark
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10. Re: Air france lost luggage - any contact and compensation

Bags are 'officially' not lost - but delayed - until 21 days have passed.

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