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Iberian Airways and British Airways Lost luggage

Cambourne, United...
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Iberian Airways and British Airways Lost luggage

Flew London Heathrow to Miami via Barcelona on Sat 24th March 2012. Booked with British Airways but didn’t realise that they use Iberia for the Barcelona to Miami leg of the journey.

Delayed out of Heathrow by 40 minutes and subsequently arrived in Barcelona for connecting flight 30 minutes late. However we made the connection with time to spare.

We were twice reassured by the purser and flight attendant that the luggage had been transferred and was on board the Barcelona Miami flight.

Arrived Miami Saturday evening and waited for our luggage, which didn’t arrive!

They knew all the time because when we asked what was going on they produced a note with our names on it and that our luggage had not been on the plane all along!

We were not the only ones either!

Despite all our efforts with a totally unhelpful and ‘didn’t give a damn’ Iberian representative we got nowhere and at 1 am Sunday morning was given a ‘chit’ with a reference and a phone number to call and basically told to clear off!

The phone number didn’t work and at 4 am that morning I find myself at Walmart trying to buy clothes and toiletries!

We spent the next week phoning and e-mailing British Airways, Iberian and Miami Airport trying to find someone who could tell us where our luggage was! We would be on the phone for hours a day and getting no-where.

BA says it’s not their problem as they were not the carrier; yet it is their name on the tickets, luggage receipts, boarding cards and who took my money!

With Iberian you cannot get through to the luggage department. If you call the office and try to get to speak to a human being, they say that they do not have a number for the luggage department and have no way of contacting them!!

Twice got through to Iberian (via Miami airport main number) who then said that they cannot find the luggage and have no record of it!

Got back to Miami airport yesterday (we had been on a much anticipated cruise – no clothes- great huh?), stormed up to the Iberian desk to say where are the bags and they supervisor says one minute and ‘hey presto’ he brings them out!!!!

No explanation, no apologies!

Then checked in at BA for return flight absolutely seething. The supervisor knew all about it and explained that she had just returned from leave, had heard about this and went over to Iberian that morning and sorted things!

Remember BA said ‘not their problem’!

So BA and Iberian. They did not reply to my e-mails or phone calls. They offer no explanations or apologies. They just ruined a dream holiday!

If someone had at least texted me or e-mailed a response saying sorry and we’re looking into it that would have been something to alleviate the worry.

You know I have flown all over the world, even with third world airlines and have never been treated so badly!

Bottom line is this:

BA and Iberian will not take ownership of any problem they have caused.

If you are happy to risk losing your luggage then fly BA or Iberian.

If you are happy to fly with a carrier who is impossible to contact then fly BA or Iberian.

If you want to fly then fly BA or Iberian, then take hand luggage only!

If you are happy to fly with a carrier who really doesn’t care about you then fly BA or Iberian!

Bangkok
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for Bangkok, Air Travel, Thailand
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1. Re: Iberian Airways and British Airways Lost luggage

Hi,

An unfortunate situation, but one in which there IS in fact a clearly defined and internationally accepted protocol for who 'deals' with these matters..

When traveling on ONE ticket and in which all carriers on that one ticket are interline eligible (meaning they share a baggage agreement) it is the LAST carrier who you ACTUALLY flew with that takes your claim and if necessary handles the settlement process..

This is regardless of who actually issued the tickets or the like, who name appears at the top of the bag tag or the like.. It's the actual operating carrier who takes you to your FINAL ticketed point who deals with the claim- if any.

This "last carrier" would then network with the other carriers in your travel itinerary to assist in tracing and if a monetary settlement is offered, these airlines would share that cost to the extent their agreement stipulates.. but this all happens behind the scenes.. YOU only deal with the LAST airline.

So..since it appears that your LAST leg was on Iberia, and this was all on ONE ticket and both Iberia and British have the necessary baggage agreements in place, it would be Iberia who should take your claim-- deal with the tracking, and if necessary, execute any settlement negotiations.. not BA...

So to that end, BA is correct in that the claim, or Property Irregularity Report (PIR) needs to be filed with Iberia as the final leg carrier and not BA...This is in keeping with established International aviation conventions.

Naturally, BA should assist you in getting to Iberia and help you file the correct report, but in and of itself, BA is correct that BA does not take this claim..

All of this speaks only to WHO takes the claim.. but it sounds like both BA and Iberia has mismanaged the process.. and had there been better coordination between BA and Iberia.. and better initial action by Iberia (as the ones who should properly take your claim), your impact might have been mitigated to some degree... so the handling I agree sounds very poor.

Travel Safe,

Edited: 02 April 2012, 18:18
Cala d'Or, Spain
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2. Re: Iberian Airways and British Airways Lost luggage

One quick question, why did you not fly directly from Heathrow to Miami with BA. Why go via Barcelona with Iberia (not Iberian) and then blame BA for losing your baggage.

Edited: 02 April 2012, 18:59
Portland, Oregon
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3. Re: Iberian Airways and British Airways Lost luggage

>>One quick question, why did you not fly directly from Heathrow to Miami with BA. Why go via Barcelona with Iberia (not Iberian) and then blame BA for losing your baggage.<<

Perhaps it was considerably cheaper that way, and perhaps just inexperience on the OP's part in believing that BA were the people to call. And, see below ....

I can empathize with the OP, as I've had two similar cases albeit 10-12 years ago. While GOPBI is correct in that the responsibility for retrieving your bags lies with the operator of the last leg, after 3 days I got fed up with being fobbed off by the (lazy) baggage departments at LHR, and I got my situations resolved by calling the *ticketing* airline in my home country (the US).

Case 1 - Delayed bags at Heathrow having flown PDX-SFO-ZRH-LHR on Delta Connection then (old) SwissAir. After 3 days of being fobbed off by the SwissAir staff at LHR, I called Delta (Skymiles elite number), matter resolved within 20-30 minutes, bags couriered within 3 hours.

Case 2 - Also Heathrow after PDX-YVR-LHR on a BA award ticket with Alaska on the first leg. After another 3 days of "It'll probably be on the next flight", I called BA in the US (yes 1-800-AIRWAYS was helpful then). Resolved within 20-30 minutes, bags arrived by courier by 9pm that evening.

In both cases, the bags had been flown over by another airline (United and Air Canada respectively) either same or next day, and were gathering dust in the T3 baggage area.

4. Re: Iberian Airways and British Airways Lost luggage

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Cambourne, United...
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5. Re: Iberian Airways and British Airways Lost luggage

Hi

Thanks for the posts, sorry I missed them. We flew via Barcelona because that was the flight that was available for us. We would have preferred direct of course.

Interestingly BA part paid us some recompense but as yet have had no response from Iberia.

Did I expect one from them? After reading about them well sadly no.

London, England
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6. Re: Iberian Airways and British Airways Lost luggage

In my experience 'missing' baggage generally turns up after a day or two. However, if you were going on a cruise how did you expect the airline to deliver the luggage?

Salisbury, United...
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7. Re: Iberian Airways and British Airways Lost luggage

I trust you had travel insurance and were able to claim on this.

This highlights the problems there can be with connecting flight and tight connections. I always prefer non stop even if it costs a little more.

Hope it gets sorted.

8. Re: Iberian Airways and British Airways Lost luggage

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Removed on: 17 May 2017, 17:30
Cambourne, United...
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9. Re: Iberian Airways and British Airways Lost luggage

Yes 36 degrees; thats the real worry! Anything can be in missing luggage and no one cares.

And you go through security at any London airport and half the time the workers are texting on their cell phones and paying zero attention! Extrapolate that into hold baggage and..................well I guess with the right connections any thing could get through!!!

10. Re: Iberian Airways and British Airways Lost luggage

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