A reader who lives not far from me shared his story of arriving at the Austin airport on American Airlines and finds his checked bags wet and contents damaged.
He’s currently 395 miles from qualifying for Executive Platinum status (and has already more than met the $12,000 minimum spend requirement – in fact he’d have met next year’s $15,000 requirement as well). He had been traveling for two weeks, paid first class, with his two small children.
They went home late on Friday night and he filed his claim with American Airlines first thing Monday morning — so the immediate next business day. American denied his claim because he didn’t file within 24 hours.
I’m very sorry to hear your bag arrived wet with some of the contents wet on your arrival into Austin. I deeply apologize for all the inconvenience this may have caused you.
Our records indicate, you traveled from Washington DC to Austin, on October 26, 2018, and notification of your wet bag and contents was received on October 29, 2018. When you completed your travel and because we did not hear from you within the required timeframe 24 hours, we must trust that your baggage was delivered as scheduled and in good condition. Therefore, I regret we are unable to honor your claim.
By the way he’s only asking for $25 to cover dry cleaning charges. However as a formal matter they’re correct, you have to report damage right away.
That’s true at American and other airlines also. Normally if they didn’t cover damage I’d suggest going to the credit card company used to buy the tickets, many cards come with lost, stolen and damaged baggage coverage. However one of the items they would ask for is proof of timely filing of the claim with the airline — because the card coverage is only going to cover what the airline doesn’t.
Under the rules there’s not much this customer can do. Still, it seems pretty petty to potentially lose a customer over.
I get being tired from two weeks of travel with young children, and assuming that you’ll get a sympathetic ear from a company you spend a lot doing business with over and over. In this case American’s rules trump. Maybe this will at least result in a higher Eagle rating.