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Old 25.04.2014, 01:08
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It just never ends, does it?! [AirFrance Lost Our Luggage]

I thought planning an Easter escape would solve so many things... well, it kinda did but it also opened new roads for me to explore and these are not the most pleasant ones...

TLDR version - flying AirFrance via Paris CDG, we lost a Bugaboo in transport bag (north of chf 1400) and a suitcase with lots of clothes, two tablets, etc. It all started with a flight that left GVA 55min late and made it impossible to get to our connecting flight, then we spent good 16hrs traveling with a toddler without a stroller.

AirFrance have been "following closely" the missing luggage but until we came home moments ago - nothing.

I am worried that reservations were made on a golden MasterCard with no travel insurance and we may take a huge blow on the reimbursement/claim.

Any tips and experiences are most welcome - we're trying to make a list of all things that were inside and perhaps early next week I will submit the claim, although at this stage am not clear if I should append the current claim, if I should file a new one, if the items AF advised us to buy (toiletries, baby clothes, etc) within the first 48hrs will be part of it, and so on and so forth... I keep all receipts, all luggage tags, have been really pedantic about it but still worry to what extent this will do any good on covering our loss.

My word, I'm tired but also equally happy to be back... Thank you guys for sharing any info that may soften the blow...
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Old 25.04.2014, 08:01
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Re: It just never ends, does it?! [AirFrance Lost Our Luggage]

Tip: don't fly Air France, rent French cars, rely on the French. Steer well clean of the Garlic munchers and you'll have a better time. I'm sitting on a BA plane right now and for the many hundredth time - all aspects rock solid.
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Old 25.04.2014, 08:04
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Re: It just never ends, does it?! [AirFrance Lost Our Luggage]

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Tip: don't fly Air France, rent French cars, rely on the French. Steer well clean of the Garlic munchers and you'll have a better time. I'm sitting on a BA plane right now and for the many hundredth time - all aspects rock solid.
Oh, come on
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Old 25.04.2014, 08:09
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Re: It just never ends, does it?! [AirFrance Lost Our Luggage]

Two tablets in checked luggage? Little wonder it went walkabout at CDG.

And what you'll get back for it won't match what it cost you by the sounds of it. You want to read up on the Warsaw and Montreal Conventions.....

If you booked with a gold credit card, also call your issuer and check. Mine has absolutely no coverage for luggage but does cover the CDW and other trip-related events.
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Old 25.04.2014, 08:37
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Re: It just never ends, does it?! [AirFrance Lost Our Luggage]

Tips for the futur:

Don't put your electronics devices in the luggages but in you carry bag.

Buy a cheap stroller when travelling, easier on the wallet to replace if broken or magically disappeared...
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Old 25.04.2014, 08:39
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Re: It just never ends, does it?! [AirFrance Lost Our Luggage]

Hopefully in a few days your luggage will turn up unexpectedly, happen to me a few years ago. Relieved to say the least.
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Old 25.04.2014, 09:07
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Re: It just never ends, does it?! [AirFrance Lost Our Luggage]

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Two tablets in checked luggage?
Antacid, or LSD?

Tom
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Old 25.04.2014, 09:08
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Re: It just never ends, does it?! [AirFrance Lost Our Luggage]

A) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montreal_Convention

B) http://ec.europa.eu/transport/passenger-rights/

By the way you have 7 days after getting the luggage for a damage report or stolen stuff and 21 days after a lost/delayed luggage. So prepare your letter now and send them in due time.

So your process now:

0) Had to be done on airport. Fill properly the "lost luggage report", including the full value of the items, correct descriptions etc... Don't go on putting a lower value because it's old, usually the companies already going to reduce the values drastically.

1) If you are on holidays:
-Buy clothing item, toiletries, etc... keep receipts.

If you are home:
-Don't buy stuff

2) read the law carefully, and write complain letter. Do both and respect the delays if you also intend to claim for the lost items, remember the 7 days.
Send recorded delivery and keep receipt- OR email, but the good old receipt is still good in case of further conflicts.

3) Wait patiently for your luggage to be returned (sometimes can take 1 week)

4) Wait patiently for your claim to be processed (sometimes can take 2-3 months).

5) Receive answer to your claim. Most likely it will be reduce and rubbish. Compare with the law, and remember that in case of a lost luggage they MUST pay your reasonnable claim up to 1300 something Drawing rights (let's say 1000chf for being fast).

6) Complain again, refuse anything not reasonnable.

7) If they are still not being reasonnable and you see they are not respecting the law, complain to FOCA:
http://www.bazl.admin.ch/index.html?lang=en

Write again, explain them your claim, the law, and the company answer.

8) Wait further months.
See what FOCA are suggesting. If your claim is legitimate and reasonnable they will also mediate to the company.

9) Act accordingly:
Either accept company old offer; company new offer, or sue them to court.

10) If your claim is legitimate, you're almost sure that a judge will kick the company.
Additionally, if the company has not respected the EU passenger rights, the judge will fine them 5000 Euros on top of your claim.



A few additional things:

-Don't bother calling them now, if they get your luggage they will return it.
Anything else like speaking to wanker adviser is a lost of time, money and efforts.

-I hate airfrance, usually get my luggage lost, delayed, stolen items in Paris, (which is not their fault directly but luggage are under their responsabilities, so they should be reasonable with reasonable claims, they aren't.)

-The situation is similar with other companies (lufthansa, Iberia...).
All of those are eager to charge you hundreds of francs for 1KG extra, but when they don't assume their responsibilities with handling your luggage, they are trying to scam you later.


- On top of the claim, make sure you dont have any "travel insurance" lying around, it surely will help for your more valuable items.

Oh and last but not least:

-It's quite stupid to put an expensive tablet in hold luggage. But hey, you just learned the hard way.
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Old 25.04.2014, 09:12
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Re: It just never ends, does it?! [AirFrance Lost Our Luggage]

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Antacid, or LSD?

Tom
it doesn't matter, the French baggage handlers will have it......unless they're on strike like the last time I flew through CDG.

Which was 1996 and I vowed never again...!!
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Old 25.04.2014, 09:24
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Re: It just never ends, does it?! [AirFrance Lost Our Luggage]

I systematically avoid Charles-De-Gaulle airport, it's notorious for its bagage handlers who "lose" (steal more like, there's a mafia operating there... it's in the 93 after all) luggage at any possible occasion. It's the worst, and there's no valid reason to use it as a hub as far as I'm concerned.
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Old 25.04.2014, 09:28
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Re: It just never ends, does it?! [AirFrance Lost Our Luggage]

Last year there was a case where Air France was not even able to provide wheel chairs to some passengers at Paris CDG. Their flight was cancelled and they had to spend 30 hrs at airport. Read this blog:

http://jayharishshah.blogspot.in/201...-in-paris.html
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Old 25.04.2014, 09:47
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Re: It just never ends, does it?! [AirFrance Lost Our Luggage]

I always find it interesting that a supposedly tightly controlled Airport can haemorrhage items like this.
Also interesting (and telling) is the fact that when I begin to type "cdg bagage" into the search-box in my Firefox window, the very first suggestion for completion is "perdu".

Best of luck to the OP.
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Old 25.04.2014, 09:59
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Re: It just never ends, does it?! [AirFrance Lost Our Luggage]

Never experienced any problems at CDG, maybe I got lucky.
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Old 25.04.2014, 10:03
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Re: It just never ends, does it?! [AirFrance Lost Our Luggage]

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Tip: don't fly Air France, rent French cars, rely on the French. Steer well clean of the Garlic munchers and you'll have a better time.
Truer words were ne'er spoken.
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Old 25.04.2014, 10:08
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Re: It just never ends, does it?! [AirFrance Lost Our Luggage]

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Tip: don't fly Air France, rent French cars, rely on the French. Steer well clean of the Garlic munchers and you'll have a better time. I'm sitting on a BA plane right now and for the many hundredth time - all aspects rock solid.

I probably agree with all the groaners, that this may not help you right now. But for the future this is key advice to take. Don't fly Air France and don't transfer in CdG. Oh and make sure you have a good travel insurance, either separate or on the credit card.

Other than that, hope it all works out. If it is any consolation, I was stuck for an hour on the San Bernadino pass coming back from Easter

Last edited by jako; 25.04.2014 at 11:24. Reason: Change typo...
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Old 25.04.2014, 10:23
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Re: It just never ends, does it?! [AirFrance Lost Our Luggage]

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Other than that, hope it all works out. If it is any consellation, I was stuck for an hour on the San Bernadino pass coming back from Easter
Did you see a bunch of stars while you were stuck? Oh, hang on, that would be a constellation. Typo.
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Old 25.04.2014, 11:25
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Re: It just never ends, does it?! [AirFrance Lost Our Luggage]

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Did you see a bunch of stars while you were stuck? Oh, hang on, that would be a constellation. Typo.

Ta.

Actually by the time we got off the mountain it was a little dark...
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Old 25.04.2014, 13:55
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Re: It just never ends, does it?! [AirFrance Lost Our Luggage]

Allow me to preface with a thank you to @CorsebouTheReturn for the kind, detailed and super helpful post - I actually intend on printing it as a blueprint for my newfound timekiller hobby: surviving own stupidity

We never thought our toddler would actually fly that "long", a 5hrs flight but he kinda eased into travel the last few months. 6 months ago his record would be a 10min car ride. He is now a true champion, cranky at times but all in all happy to travel for hours, be it car or plane. For as long as someone is there to play and entertain him. LOL

Said above only to explain first level of innocent stupidity - why we overlooked AF and CDG. 5 years ago we flew AF via CDG for our honeymoon and vowed to never do it again. With the newfound courage for travel with a toddler, this was the ONLY reasonably priced route for the Easter break. Mistake 1 - if it looks too good to be true, it probably is...

The stroller might have been a magnet - we do have a MacLaren but this time decided to opt for the Bugaboo, as destination was showing rain for the whole stay and we have a transport bag for the Bugaboo... In hindsight this may have been a magnet for those of the 93rd district: a big well packaged stroller of a better brand.

What I am most pissed about is the suitcase - a classic plain Jane Samsonite, nothing particular or interesting about it. Apart from the content - my son's clothes, shoes, my winter jacket and shoes, my wife's clothes and undies. Plus those two tablets. Alas both have been locked-down to the max in terms of security and have PREY software installed on them: I have already activated the remote tracking and as soon as either is turned on and hooked up to wifi, I should receive photos captured by the front camera + GPS location. As entertaining as it sounds, I am sure these won't serve much but just add insult to the injury and hustle of buying again the same things, ordering, waiting, blah-blah...

If the claim takes months to be resolved.... this is indeed a painful lesson learned. I am now deciding between CreditSuisse BonViva and UBS Family, where we have different "gold" packages - to upgrade to Platinum which apparently covers for this sort of nuisance and a question of few calls and clicks and not an uphill battle.

We live and learn...

Thank you all again for the awesome posts and tips - much appreciated!
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Old 25.04.2014, 14:25
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Re: It just never ends, does it?! [AirFrance Lost Our Luggage]

Anything you post, keep photocopies of everything, all receipts etc.

The items you got for the 48hrs, you should get fully refunded, unless obscene claims like French underwear costing hundreds.

Once you send your 1st letter with enclosures by registered post, if you do not get an acknowledgement or something within 2 weeks, write to complain that they have not acknowledged. If another 2 weeks passes and still no acknowledgement, write to the Managing Director by name to complain no response from that department

Disappointed that the airline did not offer you a temporary stroller, it was something that airlines used to do, when asked, but no idea about now days.
Also if asked by delays, they often should have nappies etc, but one has to ask.

Luggage does get lost by any airline, but in most cases will turn up. I am not sure with the wonderful scanning systems whether tablets might disappear along the way.

I have a standard colour samsonite suitcase and put coloured ribbons and sticky things on so, i can recognise as it comes off. I also try to remember to put my name & address, phone number both outside and inside luggage. Obviously one has to be careful what address & how it shows, as one does not want to alert any burglar.

I have lost suitcase at least 2 times, the 2nd time took at least a month to turn up and be delivered to the address I was visiting. Yes it was a time no insurance, so asked my friend/ relative to hold on to it & as it happened it was some months before I went back to to retrieve.

Get some rest & good luck
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Old 25.04.2014, 14:34
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Re: It just never ends, does it?! [AirFrance Lost Our Luggage]

Your belongings might not be lost forever... One of my suitcases was once misplaced by Air France during the Christmas holiday season (so full of gifts), and they had no idea where it was for a week.

It ends up that they somehow found it in Milan, while I had travelled to Nice! We were spending Christmas with family in an area with no airport nearby, so they ended up delivering it via taxi to the place where we were staying!

So you might have the same experience - I wouldn't lose hope just yet!! (even though it's super annoying, and I did have to call their customer service loads of time. One piece of advice, ask for a specific contact person and their direct line so you don't waste your time on hold...)
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