When a passenger on-board a British Airways flight lost her luggage, which was worth over £2,000, she didn't expect the public to unite quite in the way that they did.
Nora Low was flying with the airline from a two-week business trip in Amsterdam to Lake Tahoe, California for her brother's birthday when she discovered her luggage was missing thanks to a glitch in the luggage computer system.
"œIt completely ruined my vacation. I had about £2,000 worth of clothing in it." Nora said.
A European-wide computer glitch meant that flights were delayed and luggage identification was confused as the computer problems spread throughout the entire company. One passenger, Dan Rivers, took to Twitter to announce that his BA flight had departed "œminus 100 bags".
At the time, a British Airlines spokesperson said, "œWe are doing all we can to minimise disruption caused by an IT failure which is affecting the performance of baggage systems at numerous airports. We are very sorry if customers have not received their baggage and we will reunite them as quickly as possible."
Many frustrated travellers took to Twitter. Ms Low said, "œI just started tweeting. That's when I started to realise that there were other people that were tweeting the same. And we formed a little army and just kept retweeting.
Nora tweeted, '@British_Airways I wish I could just be patient but I have medication in my luggage. You shouldn't have taken off.' And 'I wished I lived in London so I could go look for my luggage myself. I know it's still there @British_Airways.'
She also retweeted other passengers who were tweeting about being in similar positions, some who were stating that British Airways had kept hold of their 'well-being', often calling the ordeal 'mental torture'.
Soon, newspapers and journalists began to get hold of the story, and frustration from disgruntled passengers began to leak through to become one of the main threads of the reports. It was only once Ms Low had informed British Airways that news channels were looking to report the story about their lost luggage that the airline finally got in touch with her personally.
In a statement, British Airways said, "œWe are very sorry that Ms Low's luggage was misplaced during a time of disruption at Heathrow. The airport teams have been working very hard to locate the luggage but on the rare occasion we are unable to find a bag due to a tag falling off, for example, we will make sure a customer is compensated. We have been working with Ms Low to make sure she receives payment as quickly as possible. We understand we let our customer down on this occasion and are staying in regular contact while the situation is being resolved."
Ms Low received a cheque for £1,945 for her lost items as well as an additional £300 'good-will' payment but is still missing the £2,385 worth of items that were originally in her bag.
"œTravel nightmare; lesson learned the hard way," Ms Low said, "œI'm never going to check in a bag ever again."
If your luggage is lost, stolen or damaged, Alpha Travel Insurance provides cover for your personal possessions should you find yourself in a situation similar to Ms Low and her other fellow luggage-less passengers. Airlines are unlikely to issue compensation for lost luggage, especially if it is just yours which is lost, so having travel insurance as a back-up can have you hundreds of pounds in the long run.
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