Will Alitalia ever reimburse me for my lost luggage?

Alitalia lost Carole Pollack’s luggage, and it stayed lost for five days. It’s been more than five months since she submitted her expenses to the airline, and she’s wondering if she’ll ever be reimbursed for the incidentals she had to buy for herself and her teenage daughter “so she wouldn’t have a major meltdown.”

As someone who is traveling with three young children, I definitely feel for her.

She explains,

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I am trying to get a refund/response from Alitalia for expenses resulting from them losing my luggage for five days on a trip to Rome in December. We flew from Philadelphia to Paris and then on to Rome. The luggage never arrived in Rome (we got in on Wednesday and didn’t see our luggage again until Sunday).

I had to buy some things for my teenage daughter so she wouldn’t have a major meltdown and I incurred expenses at the hotel to call the airlines, since I do not have an international phone.

Pollack submitted her receipts and filled out several forms, as required. Alitalia sent her a letter on Feb. 1, acknowledging the form and asking for an unbelievable 90 days to figure things out. But after waiting three months, she started making polite inquiries about her check.

I email them, a courtesy email is sent back and then they email me requesting more time. On May 24th they sent me an email asking me to fax the info to a different number and “an agent would get on it” right away.

Lately they haven’t even been responding to my emails. The lastest was sent on June 25.

From what I’ve read, seems Alitalia has a terrible reputation for this sort of thing, and rightly so. Any advice or help you can give would be most appreciated.

It shouldn’t take 90 days to cut Pollack a check, and the airline should at the very least be able to offer her an update on the status of the payment. In fact, it shouldn’t have lost her luggage in the first place.

I contacted Alitalia on her behalf. It responded immediately, which is highly unusual for the carrier, and promised the check was in the mail.

Sure enough, I hear back from Pollack yesterday.

I have no idea what you said to them, but today I received two refund checks in the mail – one for me and one for my daughter. You da man!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

(Photo: Jonatan Ortega/Flickr Creative Commons)