Help! American lost my luggage and shorted me on the replacement

American loses Paymon Rouhanifard’s luggage, but won’t fully compensate him for the replacements he had to buy. Can our advocates help Rouhanifard recover his unexpected costs?

Question: My wife and I flew with our two-year-old son to California on American Airlines last December to visit my parents. On our outbound flight, American lost one of our bags. This particular bag held all of our son’s clothes, diapers and toys. American did not locate the bag during our trip. We purchased replacements for the bag and all of its contents during the trip for $1,200.

We made numerous calls and emails to American and filled out its online form for a delayed bag search request. In addition, at American’s agents’ request, we forwarded them copies of all our receipts. But we didn’t hear from American for weeks. Over a month passed before American located the missing bag.

Then we learned that American was not willing to compensate us for the entire amount of our claim – only what they thought we needed during our visit to California. American’s agents didn’t specify how much they would reimburse us. Almost a year later, American still hasn’t notified us of their final decision as to how much compensation they will provide. Its agents have offered me a $100 voucher and 15,000 AAdvantage miles, but have indicated that since my claim is over $1,000, they need higher-level approval to reimburse me any additional amounts.

I’m at a loss – and beyond frustrated. Can you help us get American to reimburse us? — Paymon Rouhanifard, Camden, N.J.

Jennifer Finger

Jennifer is the founder of KeenReader, an Internet-based freelance editing operation, as well as a certified public accountant. She is a senior writer for Elliott.org. Read more of Jennifer's articles here.

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