It has been four months — where is my reimbursement check from Iberia?

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By Christopher Elliott

When Iberia Airlines promises Susie Burton compensation for her lost luggage, she waits. And waits. And waits. Four months later, she calls our advocacy team. Can they help?


We traveled on Iberia Airlines last April and our luggage was lost for two days. We have been waiting since then for Iberia to send us reimbursement as they said they would. I have been corresponding with them and I just keep getting the runaround. I hope you can help. — Susie Burton, Parkland, Fla.


Four months is enough time for Iberia to send you a reimbursement check. More than enough time. And if it couldn’t keep its promise to you, at least it could have told you why instead of leaving you guessing.

May I take a quick detour? I hate this airline game, where it makes you wait for the refund or credit or apology, hoping that you’ll give up. This is one of cruelest airline plays in the book, but also the most effective. That’s because passengers simply give up after waiting a long time. Airlines know it; it’s sometimes written into their business model.

Now, I’m not saying that was Iberia’s intent — making you wait so that it could keep your money — but I have to admit, that’s what it looks like from here. And that’s also what it looks like to you. (Related: They lost my great-grandmother’s luggage, and I want it back.)

If Iberia promised you reimbursement for your lost luggage, it should have paid up in a timely fashion. The foot-dragging is wrong, wrong, wrong.

If you ever find yourself in a situation like this and want Iberia to pay for your lost luggage, take it up the chain. Contact the Iberia executives yourself. (Here is our guide on how to resolve your consumer problem).

My advocacy team and I hounded Iberia on your behalf until it paid up. It shouldn’t have been necessary, but my team assures me they really enjoy pursuing airlines for missing money, so they’re happy to help.

International Citizens Insurance helps expats, travelers and anyone far from home find the right insurance plan. Our knowledgeable agents will help you find the best plan at the right price and be your advocate for the life of your policy.

And hey, Iberia. Four months? Come on.

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Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is the founder of Elliott Advocacy, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that empowers consumers to solve their problems and helps those who can't. He's the author of numerous books on consumer advocacy and writes three nationally syndicated columns. He also publishes the Elliott Report, a news site for consumers, and Elliott Confidential, a critically acclaimed newsletter about customer service. If you have a consumer problem you can't solve, contact him directly through his advocacy website. You can also follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, or sign up for his daily newsletter. He is based in Los Angeles.

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