Qantas passenger waits three months for airline to return lost bag | Qantas


When Emma Bradley landed in Perth while visiting her parents from her home in Wales, she was approached by Qantas staff and told her bag had been left in Singapore.

She wouldn’t see him again for three months.

Bradley spent around $1,300 to replace his clothes and other items after the June 3 flight, but said Qantas only offered him $120 in compensation.

Bradley said she spent her vacation trying to retrieve her missing bag.

“It never came,” she said. “My month at home, I was calling Qantas every week, they were like ‘you called the wrong service’, me being like ‘this is the number they told me to call’.”

Emma Bradley was left without her bag for three months. Photography: Emma Bradley

Bradley returned to Perth airport several times to see if she could speak to someone in person, but no one could tell her where her bag was.

On August 24, two months after returning to Wales, she received a call from Qantas saying the bag would be delivered to her parents the following day.

“I was like ‘no, I’m in Cardiff,'” she said. “It happened to me in 24 hours.”

Bradley filed a claim for the clothes she had to buy, and after two months of appeal, the airline was offered $120. She told them that was not enough and they closed her claim. To get compensation, she now had to go through the whole process again, she said.

“It’s just frustrating, I could use that money – gas and electricity are so expensive.”

The national carrier has come under fire for losing luggage since outsourcing around 1,700 ground staff jobs at the start of the pandemic.

Bradley's bag was eventually found and returned
Bradley’s bag was eventually found and returned. Photography: Emma Bradley

Miner Ash Divakaran flies frequently for work in Australia and said Qantas had lost his bag six times in the past six months.

“Most of the time he arrives on the next flight, but that usually means I miss work the next day,” Divakaran said.

“The worst was on a [Melbourne to Brisbane via Sydney] theft, where they lost one of my bags for a week. Apparently he was sitting in Sydney and was not put on the treadmill.

Divakaran said he was compensated $200 for the week he lost his bag.

John Middendorf spent six weeks trying to locate a missing bag after flying with Qantas before it was finally returned – by Virgin.

Middendorf, who lives in Hobart, had visited relatives in the United States. He booked his ticket through Qantas, an American Airlines partner.

When he landed in Hobart, Qantas told him his bag, which contained a valuable set of newspapers, had been lost en route.

“For six weeks I tried to contact Qantas,” he said. “They wouldn’t recognize the case number, they would recommend that I call customer service and create a customer service request. It all did no good.”

He said that every time he called he was asked to give all the information again, as no records were kept of his previous calls.

He ended up putting together three different demands before his bag was found in Dallas by United Airlines, who he hadn’t flown with, and sent home on a Virgin flight.

Oh joy! It was only thanks to the communal lost baggage system that the AAJs succeeded, more than 6 weeks lost. Qantas never did anything to help, not a single request to other airlines. Thank you United and Virgin, with whom I did not fly, but found and delivered the bag.

— John Middendorf and Portaledges (@JohnMiddendorf4) September 15, 2022

“Then I get these follow up emails from Qantas, I try to tell them it’s been found and I just get the email saying ‘your customer service email is invalid’. I don’t can’t even tell them they found the bag.

A New Zealand woman, who did not want to be named, said she had been waiting for her bag for nearly a month and, despite numerous calls, had only been contacted once by the airline .

She flew from Auckland to Abu Dhabi, via Sydney on August 25. When she landed, Abu Dhabi Baggage Service told her that one of her checked bags had not been scanned when she boarded the plane.

She said she had called the airline every week since, but only received one email saying the case was being investigated.

“The Qantas number is so hard to get,” she said. “The minimum waiting time for the call is 40 to 60 minutes.

“Once you walk through the staff are not able to give any solutions, all they said was ‘this is a different service, I passed all the details to the baggage team “or” the baggage team will call you back within 15 minutes” or “you must contact the baggage team via the customer service portal”.

In a statement, a Qantas spokesperson said lost baggage rates for the first half of September had fallen below pre-Covid levels.

“The mishandled baggage rate on Qantas is now five in 1,000 passengers for domestic flights and six in 1,000 passengers for our international services,” the spokesperson said. “Before Covid, it was five out of 1,000 passengers.”

They said they would apologize to customers who had lost their luggage, but in some cases it was complex itineraries involving multiple airlines.

“In one instance the baggage was lost with another airline before it connected to a Qantas flight. In the other instance there was a ticketing error which prevented the baggage from completing its connecting flight,” the spokesperson said.

“We returned the luggage to Ms Bradley last month and continue to work on the return of [the New Zealand woman’s] luggage.

“We will contact both customers to apologize for the inconvenience and discuss their complaints.”

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