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  • Cat 114 posts

    Hi all, AA lost my luggage on my way back from Costa Rica. It’s been 2 weeks and 3 days and they have no clue where my luggage is when I phone them, so I’ve started to put together the lost luggage claim.

    I downloaded their PDF form, spent eons going through my email receipts to find purchase dates, exact prices. I didn’t bother to copy and paste email receipts as the PDF form says receipts aren’t needed for lost luggage claims for items under $100 in value.

    I’ve got to the stage when I’m ready to submit the claim, but when I click through to where to send the document, it asks me to fill in an entirely different online form, with a check box that says “I certify Receipt(s) for all claimed items are attached”. Like most people, I imagine, many of my items I don’t have receipts for (I bought my cagoule in person in a shop in Covent Garden 8 years ago, so I have no receipt, likewise for many toiletries, various clothing items I had tailor made in Hoi An and Shanghai, and so on).

    My issue is both the time I have to spend again (going through the same emails I’ve already spent hours going through again, copying and pasting email receipts into a word document this time), and the £100s of items I won’t be able to claim for.

    For anyone who wants to see the AA website, to see what I’m talking about, go to the homepage, click on travel information, then bags, then “delayed or damaged bags”, then click the blue “Complete the questionnaire PDF”, then the form I’ve filled in should pop up.

    Then it says “Send your claim details and completed questionnaire by using the online contact form. Choose ‘Delayed bag expenses’ from the ‘Subject’ pull-down menu, then fill in your information.”, but when you click the “Contact us” button, then choose “Delayed bag reimbursement” from the drop down menu, it says “Good news – you can now submit a claim for your Delayed Bag reimbursement online.” (spoiler alert: it is not good news). Click on “Submit a claim”, then “Delayed Bag reimbursement”, then “International”, and the new form that I need to fill in appears, along with the information that I need receipts for everything.

    I’ve spent nearly 2 hours on the phone to AA, being passed from unhelpful person to spectacularly unhelpful person. Nobody was able to put me through to their supervisor for further assistance, nobody was able to provide me with an email that I could email my claim to, apparently baggage claims are solely contactable via phone.

    Does anyone have any advice, pretty please? I now have a banging headache, and am losing the will to continue battling.

    I do have insurance, both with AMEX Plat and Churchill, but both insist on claiming through the airline first (and Churchill insists on receipts for all items claimed for, I believe).

    All advice gratefully received! TIA!

    AJA 1,084 posts

    @Cat I’ve just seen this. This sounds like seven circles of hell.

    Instead of redoing everything again can’t you just upload the pdf form you’ve already completed? When/if that gets rejected then you can claim off your travel insurance as you’ll have evidence of having tried to get AA to pay out.

    Did you get a lost luggage reference number at the Airport when your luggage didn’t arrive? Have you tried using AA’s luggage tracing facility to see where your luggage may be?

    Cat 114 posts

    Right, I’m on the train (despite Avanti’s best efforts to make us miss the party, by cancelling my train without telling us)!

    That is a fair point…

    I did get a reference number at Heathrow straight away, and for the first ten days my luggage was showing as having been unloaded in DFW, and nothing else. Since then my bag tag number hasn’t been recognised.

    I might try uploading the form, and seeing where that goes.

    And yes, this whole experience has felt somewhat Dante-esque!

    Lady London 2,114 posts

    Hi @Cat, this does not sound like good news. Number not recognised to me says either IT error where a series of numbers eg from a feeder airline, hasn’t been programmed in or the baggage has been physically removed by someone at DFW. Depressing and I hope not too much of your camera eqpt was in it. Fingers crossed it somehow turns up otherwise at least Amex Plat insurance should cover it?

    Cat 114 posts

    Hi @LadyLondon, the whole journey was on AA, so maybe it was removed. Who knows? I strongly suspect t I’m never seeing it again, and have made my peace with that.

    I *never* put camera equipment in checked luggage, so as long as I can put receiptless, low value items through, I shouldn’t be too badly out of pocket…

    yonasl 971 posts

    Lost luggage compensation is a well defined formula based on weight and some max value.

    Receipts and all that are more for when you say “my luggage had a new Sony Alpha camera worth £2,000”. But if you try to claim that or any other luxury/jewels items they may just say “you should have insured it or not given it to us on the first place”.

    Cat 114 posts

    Hi @yonasl, this is more what I was expecting too – but the AA website luggage claim form has a check box that says “I certify Receipt(s) for all claimed items are attached”. It seems to indicate that receipts for everything are expected. This is what I’m so annoyed about!

    Lady London 2,114 posts

    You could just refer to the Montreal Convention and put in your claim for the relevant number of SDR’s converted into USD based on weight. You can do this at 21 days as that’s when it counts as lost. AA will be subject to that too.

    The only reason I can see for them wanting itemisation and receipts, given the SDR’s by weight checked is the legal international maximum of their liability, is if they are hoping you will claim less than the SDR’s per weight checked will yield you as your entitlement. I don’t really believe it’s to help them identify your suitcase as you will have labelled it with contact details inside and out, anyway.

    For receipts I wouldn’t bust a gut I would just provide estimates or any credit card statement lines if the receipts are not easily to hand.

    For your insurance co esp if value you need to claim is higher than SDR’s give according to the weight of luggage checked in, obvs higher standard needed but even they should be willing to accept reasonable proof or estimate

    Hold off till Day 22 and submit your claim based on SDR’s and attach whatever you’ve got as above – do a ‘see attached’ if you can and keep the SDR–>USD value of the claim front and center.

    Lyn 187 posts

    Hi @Cat – how annoying for you. I have a feeling your luggage is still stuck waiting to clear customs in Dallas, even though it didn’t need to be.

    I’ve just tried searching (in Bing) for “are receipts required for all items for american airlines lost luggage claim” and a few things came up that looked as if they just might be useful. I didn’t follow through to all the actual links but one is Flyertalk from many, many years ago and mentions receipts for all goods over $100. Perhaps worth a try? Good luck!

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