Nikolas Mills PIR: CDGEY34269 PNR: FEIQCN RQID: 752476
I am writing on behalf of my son, Nikolas Mills who travelled with your airline on the 27th of November this year to CDG. My son who is 22 years old, had completed 14 years of schooling and graduated this year from University with a degree. He had been saving for many years to travel to France after studies, and this was an exciting trip we all were happy to have him go on. Being a past travel consultant for many years, I recommended Etihad to my son, hoping that it would be a stress free enjoyable flight and the start of an amazing memorable trip.
Unfortunately it has been memorable for my son but not in a positive way. This trip, thanks to Etihad has turned out to be a holiday from hell due to the incompetence, rudeness and total lack of any assistance given by staff at CDG, ground baggage staff and Etihad contracted couriers.
When my son arrived at CDG, his bag was left behind in Sydney and after a lot of time waiting he was just given his papers for his Lost baggage report and nothing else. He was advised that his luggage would be forward to Marseilles as soon as possible. This was on the 28th of November. He did not get his bag back till the 7th of December. It was not even delivered, but he had to walk 4 kms to collect it himself in Marseilles from the courier depot.
As his mother, I am extremely upset at the way he has been treated. He is flying back home tomorrow and I hope and pray that his return flight will at least be incident free and stress free. I have been in contact with Etihad help desk via Facebook for the last 3 weeks and lots of promises were made, but nothing was done. I myself spent a lot of time making international calls to courier companies as did my son, trying to track down his bag. He arrived in France with the clothes on his back and some underwear. Not having anything for 10 days was an immense burden, especially since he was travelling on a careful limited budget. He had to purchase basic items of clothing and toiletries, and when we submitted a claim, we were given a pathetic amount of 90 euros as compensation. That was an insulting offer considering all the stress and time wasted my son had to endure.
I will now copy his exact details of the whole incident:
I understand you have received an email from my mother written on my behalf as I am currently in Europe on a three week holiday. The email briefly highlighted the issues i have come across. This email is to back up the statements in the previous and to add some context to some of the information.
Upon arrival at CDG after a 14 & 9 hour Etihad flight I arrived at the baggage carousel to find my bags were not present. I had to find someone who would help me and after 15 minutes of waiting I spoke to an attendant who took my baggage reference number, only to tell me my luggage, my only suitcase was still in Sydney.
The attendant then provided some generic paperwork about my contact details and what address the baggage would be sent to. I advised him that I didn’t plan to be in the same place for more than three days and he explained that he couldn’t do much about it as the delivery process takes time. Which as frustrating as it was, I understood the situation.
I arrived in Thursday the 28th and he advised me that it would arrive at the address I provided in Marseille on Saturday the 30th. There was no details about a courier, only a link to a tracking system where I used my baggage reference CDGEY34269 to check the so called location.
As I had 2 hoodies and a t shirt along with the clothes I was wearing and no toiletries. I had to ring my insurance company as soon as I finished travelling 23 hours to let them know the issue at hand and find what I needed to do. They informed to buy basic clothing and toiletries and keep receipts. Jet lagged and in need of sleep I travelled to Marseille that I had a flight booked for 2pm that same day. I bought basic $5 euros t shirts, underwear and socks. The following days I needed some more basics like 1 more set of underwear, some socks and a pair of pants and a jacket. This should not have been necessary if the bags arrived in the first place and was a stressful hassle to put together after the flights.
Saturday came around with plans to leave early in the morning, being changed to leaving later in the day as I was advised that the package only arrives on Saturday mornings. I waited around the apartments reception and from 8 until 12:30 nothing resembling a courier arrived. Only to receive a text from the tracking software “EY-CDGEY34269 – Bag01/BLACK – We have located an item similar to yours, when this is confirmed we will inform you”.
Confirming my suspicion, that there was no chance a bag would’ve arrived and from the text it sounded like whoever was in charge wasn’t bad sure it was even my bag specifically. I then called the number provided by CDG baggage customer service to enquire about the tracking, provided my number and was informed that the bag could never have arrived on Saturday. The earliest arrival would be Tuesday the following week.
Following this another text was received from Universal tracking presenting the following information. EY-CDGEY34269 – Delivery Info: No of Items: 1 Courier: ARC 18H30.
After this text came through that initially made no sense I put my tracking reference into the tracking software and it stated “access to your file is not available, please contact your airline”.
I then called again to understand what was going on as I could not longer track my luggage through the software and the only info I could now go off was word of mouth, it “should arrive Tuesday hopefully”. as per the customer service agents advice.
I called the CDG baggage tracing service number once again and spoke to one of the most inconsiderate, impatient, incapable customer service agents I’ve spoken to. I started the call and pressed the English option, he answered in French, I asked if he spoke English, there was a long pause and large sigh and laugh under his breath until I finally received a yes. I asked about what has happened to my luggage as the text about ARC did not make sense and I could not track it with world tracker as the file was unavailable. His response was this word for word “it seems the baggage has been picked up and will be sent to you sometime in the next 2 weeks”. I asked him if there was any way to track it, any information on the courier like a name, number etc. He said he doesn’t know any of that information and does not have the ability to find out. After asking very possible question relating to finding ways to track the luggage he cuts me off and says is there anything else you need help with today. Clearly he wasn’t listening, didn’t care so I hung up.
The next morning I looked at the text again and did some research on this “ARC”. To find it is a courier service in Marseille and the 18H30 was a tracking number. I called the number on their website. That I had to go out and find myself and was told that the luggage would arrive on Wednesday and that it was out with a courier from Wednesday morning. I ensured that this courier company had my contact number for my international sim that i had to purchase to remain in contact as they said I would receive a text upon delivery.
On Wednesday I remained at the apartment complex back in Marseille from 9am until 4pm as I returned for 1 day with plans to head to Montpellier late that night. I didn’t receive a text and nothing arrive since again wasting another day of a holiday I’ve put a fair investment into.
I travelled to Montpellier that night of the 4th and for the following day the 5th then traveled to Toulouse the night of the 5th. Still awaiting any form of a text or follow of any delivery, I received nothing. I then spoke to my mother on the morning of the 6th who has been in contact and working around the clock to sort this from her end as well which is ridiculous as it should’ve been sorted by baggage services and Etihad days before. She informed that the package should arrive on the 7th on a Saturday morning from 8 until 11.
The courier who was supposedly delivering the package was called Chronopost and from reading the many many reviews it was obvious a competent courier was not on the forefront of anyone’s mind when organising this for my luggage and also the fact that it was supposedly arriving on a Saturday was ridiculous as it didn’t happen the first time. I emailed the baggage tracking company provided by CDG who my mother was also in contact with asking for options and questioning the courier dependability and also options if I could even pick it up from the depot. There is records from a conversation with a man called Mark. Where he responded “it’s not recommend to visit the depot”, “waiting for the shipment to arrive at reception is the best option…I guess”.
“I guess” this sums up the experience. Important luggage, lost due to incompetence and disorganisation and to be told when doing every conceivable thing that the so called professional “guesses” it could work is ridiculous.
Following on, As previously stated I received the info in Toulouse that afternoon of the 6th when I had plans to visit Avignon the following day with some friends. But was forced to take an 11pm bus back to Marseille as I needed my luggage.
The morning of the 7th I arrived at 5 in the morning, waiting in the station until the trains started at 6 and got to the apartment at 6:30. At 8 of course there was the issue of checking the tracking and being advised that “shipment not due for delivery Saturday, held at depot”.
At this point, I was at my wits end, myself in France as was my mother in Australia. After the days and days of back and fourth of poorly organised information, feedback and back an fourth between tracking, couriers and customer services agents it was obvious that without my intervention nothing was ever going to eventuate.
At 8am Saturday morning, I walked from the apartment to the industrial port district of Marseille as I refused to pay 25 euro for an Uber or have to sort out what time a bus would ever make its way out there. After the 3km walk I arrived to wait in the chronopost foyer for 30 minutes until finally speaking to someone who spoke about 3 to 4 words of English. Over a 15 minute period I spent time translating information through google translate back and fourth until finally someone who spoke English arrived and stated that my suitcase was not in the premises, even through tracking said it was held at the depot.
After asking to check the tracking one more time a driver arrived out of the blue at approximately 9:30 and the lady at customer service witnessed him with a black suitcase walking into the warehouse. My suitcase.
I told the lady that it was mine, she called him over and I was handed the suitcase no questions asked. Which was very unprofessional from any standard. I was happy to receive the suitcase nonetheless. The woman at receiption only knew my name.
For insurance purposes as well as proof of delivery I asked for a form of paperwork as my suitcase was merely wrapped in plastic.
The driver went back and came back with a few papers crumpled up in plastic that must’ve fell off the suitcase that we’re left in the van. Happy to provide images of this as well.
To conclude, for a first time solo traveler like myself or someone who travels constantly. This was an overall disappointing and dumbfounding experience to go through. My mother in Australia working around the clock with about 4 to 6 different customer service operators all telling her something different. Having to buy clothes and basic essentials with money saved for spending on the trip. Dealing with unprofessional, incapable operators who had no intention of making an effort to find a resolution and cutting short a holiday that has been in plan for a year.
I understand that this will be involved with the claim for compensation that will be put through. If you have any further question fell free to contact me on overseas sim I had to purchase on because of this on +[protected] or if not my email. My mother will also be contactable if I am not.
This will not go unresolved, please make an effort to get back to us with the what developments there are on this claim.
I don’t want to hear it’s high priority, or fast tracked. As from someone who has worked in customer service and with online business for years we know that means nothing. I’d just like a resolution from someone who wants to and has the ability to actually fix this mistake that was out of my control.
If there is any further information required, please let me know.
This is my response to the initial claim offer. All receipt attachments are in the email received by Iyad in Baggage claims, as I cannot attach them here. He also has all baggage tags, boarding passes and itinerary and e ticket details. To date we have NOT received the confirmation letter or email from Etihad confirming the dates that the bag was lost. That is just another item that is infuriating.
I have received your email, and unfortunately do not agree with your amount offered as compensation. The amount of EUR90 is frankly an insult, as there were many more expenses incurred that we were unable to upload on your baggage claim form. There was only space to upload 2 receipts and there are many more that were advised in my letter and my sons letter which you should have now received. I also have been in contact with Etihad help desk via Facebook, which you would have seen in the uploads. Have you been able to get a true idea of the massive troubles my son incurred due to the incompetence and rudeness of Etihad groundstaff and couriers contracted to Etihad to handle misplaced baggage ?
l have attached all the receipts for expenses incurred to this email and would ask that you review the claim, contact Etihad help desk at Facebook and make a fair and reasonable offer for compensation. The total amount of costs for clothing and toiletries, my son incurred was EUR211 and he also had tour cancellations and purchase of a local sim card, which he was asked to get by Etihad baggage staff at CDG. My son was without clothes, toiletries for 10 days and your compensation does not even come close to covering the basic neccesities he required to function for the period he was without any personal items. He was very careful to only purchase basic items and tried to be frugal with all purchases. I am sure if you landed without baggage, you would not be able to manage with just a pair of pants and a jacket. This money had to come from his own funds, so it impacted on his holiday. He also had to cancel travel plans to wait for the courier that never arrived or even made contact to advise his non delivery. A closer amount of EUR250 would not even cover all of the expenses he incurred for the period of 10 days. I am sure that Etihad could understand EUR25 an day is not an unreasonable amount to compensate my son for his troubles and stress incurred.
He is still in Europe and flies home on the 16th. I hope Etihad can look after him on his flight home so that there are no further negative issues.
We also have been requesting, many times, a formal letter from Etihad, showing the dates of 28 November to 7 December, being the total time that my son was without his luggage. This letter has been requested many times and Etihad staff at help desk have sent numerous reminders to have it forwarded to us from your department. Could you please arrange to have a letter of acknowledgement of these details sent to us at your earliest convenience.
Your prompt attention in this matter would be greatly appreciated. I look forward to your response as soon as possible so that we can close this matter in a positive conclusion.
We ask that you show my son some compassion and understanding, As his mother, I am so upset, knowing that I recommended Etihad in the first place. Your prompt assistance and reply would be greatly appreciated, so that we can put this terrible event behind us and move on with our lives.
Vera Mills, on behalf of my son Nikolas Mills
Found At: Etihad Airways: Reviews, Complaints, Customer Claims, Page 18 | ComplaintsBoard