british airways target of class-action lawsuit over lost luggage

Here’s good news if you are an American British Airways traveler whose luggage was lost or damaged between September 2005 and September 2007.  According to an article by Jennifer Miner, British Airways, the current record holder for most lost luggage, was slapped with a nationwide class action lawsuit on behalf of affected airline passengers, claiming recklessness. The class-action lawsuit will represent American British Airways travelers whose luggage was lost or damaged between September 2005 and September 2007. The law firm handling the case is Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP.

According to Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro’s website, the lawsuit claims that British Airways violated provisions of the Montreal Convention, which governs how airlines handle passenger baggage. If the court approves the case as a class-action, it would represent tens of thousands of travelers who have experienced what the suit claims is reckless handling of passenger luggage, and would award them actual losses not limited to the $1,500 cap British Airways invokes. The suit claims that British Airways has lost more than one million items of baggage over the past two years.

Some horror stories from Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro’s website:

Donald and Joan Smith flew British Airways to Italy for a two-week vacation in June but their luggage did not arrive on their flight through Heathrow Airport. The Smiths spent hours on the phone trying to locate the luggage but say British Airways’ customer service were uncooperative, with one agent telling Donald Smith that the staff was “overworked and underpaid”.

After two weeks of fruitless calls to the airlines, Joan Smith traveled to the Naples airport, and over the angry objections of airline staff, gained access to the lost-luggage storage area where she found the missing luggage.

The Smith’s story didn’t end there – when Joan opened the suitcase, she found the contents soaking wet, damaged beyond use.

Aydan Kayserili’s experience was similar. Traveling from Scotland to Madrid on business, the suit alleges that her luggage didn’t arrive. British Airlines told her they located her bag and it would arrive on the next flight. Over the next few days, the airline amended its predictions, saying it would arrive the next day, and later, the third day. All proved to be false.

Eventually British Air confessed they didn’t know where her luggage was, and told her she should replace her clothes and would be reimbursed.

After 21 days of fruitless effort, British Air told Kayserili to consider her luggage permanently lost. To this date, the complaint alleges, she has not received fair compensation for the value of her lost belongings, which far exceeded the $1,500 reimbursement British Air claims to provide for permanent losses.

The lawsuit seeks to recover actual losses incurred by travelers who had luggage lost, delayed or damaged. According to the lawsuit, the Montreal Convention waives the $1,500 loss limit when the carrier is reckless and has knowledge that damage would probably result.


6 Responses to “british airways target of class-action lawsuit over lost luggage”

  1. Marina A. Miller Says:

    Since Sept. 2006 when I had my nightmare trip from venice- Italy to Houston, Texas I am still waiting, complaining and trying to be reimbursed for delayed baggage in the arrival and for damaged buggage of my return, through un-countless written claims, faxes, expensive phonecalls to all british airways offices in italy (venice, milan and rome), in London and in Houston…NOTHING!
    When I’m lucky to talk to somebody they keep asking me to send and re-send the same fax with all my info and receipts over and over again acting like if they never received them blaming other employees for not having handle my case with care…than they promise me to take good care and call me the next day …but their game continues…they NEVER reply back!!!!
    After almost 2 years I still could not re-purchase my new Delsey lugguge neither got reimbursed for both claims! I searched and searched to find an exact phone number or e-mail address of the Manager in charge of Baggage Claims Office with no result at all! I wont give up fighting for my rights as a customer, how can I get some help?
    I can be contact also at my cell italy 011-39-347-3315569)

  2. travelchick Says:

    Hi Marina,

    I suggest checking out Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro’s website and start from there.

    Good luck,

  3. John Says:

    British Airlines Auctions off some of the Luggage that Customers never get back
    here is the place for more information
    Additionally some of it is sent to Milan where it disappears off the face of the earth. In theory it goes there to be sent to the people who own it . But rumour has it that the luggage is actually used to fuel teh electric power plant for Milan airport.

    R F Greasby (London) Limited
    211 Longley Road
    London SW17 9LG

  4. MudslideMama Says:

    Hi, travelchick! I just found your travel blog through a search, and am so happy you gave me credit (and a link) for my old British Airways article. I have a blog here at WordPress too; feel free to check out and join in the fun.

  5. Malcolm Brady Says:

    Italy is nearly each traveler’s ambition – it has been on everyone’s traveling plan for centuries, and with solid reason.

  6. Cameron Devargas Says:

    Take a look at lawsuit against American Commercial Lines Inc.

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