At her “wit’s end” about a lost breast pump

Welcome to “From The Trenches,” a daily review of the hottest thread in our forum. It’s a raw case that’s being resolved in real time. If you can help, please jump in now.

Timothy Lee and his wife are at their “wit’s end” with American Airlines, and they need help. Right now.

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“We are on day two of our vacation in Fort Walton Beach, Florida,” he says. “The airline has lost my bag and seems to not be helping or providing answers as to what our recourse is. We have a 7-month-old and our breast pump is in this bag along with all of my clothes and personal items.”

Folks, this lost luggage drama is unfolding even as I write this. Here’s a link to the case.

The family flew from Minneapolis to Fort Walton Beach with a stopover in Dallas on March 10.

One bag went MIA, so they filed a lost luggage claim. They assumed it would be on the next flight and that American would deliver it to their hotel. But it didn’t make the next flight. Or the next one.

“We are on two days with no response now and continue checking the bag status only to find it has not been located,” Lee adds. “All they can say is it was scanned in Dallas, which is where our connection flight was, so we know it was accidentally taken at our destination because it never made it here.”

He adds,

I’m just very displeased with the handling of the situation by American Airlines and frustrated that we had to pay for baggage that was not even delivered and seem to get no help from the airline.

Are there any suggestions or any help you can give us to try and recover our bag or get reimbursed for the contents? I understand there is a process but I can’t seem to get any satisfying answers.

Matt Rosenfeld, one of our advocates, has already said the obvious. Buy a new breast pump, pronto. And keep receipts.

“First and foremost, if you need something to enjoy your trip, buy it,” he recommends. “Make sure you keep your itemized receipts. If you are buying multiple items at a store and some are to replace luggage items and some are non-luggage replacement items, make two separate purchases so that they are on different receipts. This will be important when you put in a claim later.”

But now what? Well, we do list the executive contacts at American Airlines. In fact, I just added a new name yesterday. Say hello to Kerry Philipovitch, please.

But is there a way to assign a higher priority to lost luggage? If there is, I’d like to publish it in the company contacts file. And, more immediately, I’d like to get that information to the Lees. They sure could benefit from it.

Related fact: American Airlines lost 3.77 bags per 1,000 enplanements last year, making it pretty much average. But American Eagle, now called Envoy, was at the bottom of the list with more than 9 bags per 1,000 misplaced.

Tsk, tsk.

So come on, everyone. Let’s save this baby’s vacation to Fort Walton Beach. Log into the forums and tell the Lees how it’s done.

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