Even while in transit to London airport, he could tell that there were problems with his luggage. Photo / Getty Images
Passengers flying from Europe have gone to great lengths to be reunited with lost luggage, but they do not expect to have to return to retrieve it.
A passenger Jamie O’Grady says that is exactly the advice that American Airlines has given him.
After returning to his home in North Carolina from a trip to Europe, O’Grady received a text message from a stranger with a picture of his case. Unfortunately, it was still in a bunch of others at the baggage claim at London Heathrow.
He contacted the carrier who – to his surprise – suggested that it would be easier if he himself “took down to the airport”. This was despite the fact that it was 6500 km away.
O’Grady returned from Faro Airport, Portugal – without luggage – July 10. He flew via Heathrow with codeshare partner Finnair.
Even while in transit to London airport, he could tell that there were problems with his luggage.
“I was just completely overwhelmed by how much luggage was in that luggage storage area. I thought to myself, ‘I’m not super sure my luggage will even be transferred behind the scenes for tomorrow’s flight,” he told Insider.
O’Grady was right.
He said he spent over an hour at Raleigh-Durham International, but his luggage was a no-show. Without any update, the airline regretted that the luggage had never been scanned through.
Despite sharing the trip with 30 of his colleagues, he was the only one who lost his luggage – both.
After being contacted with photos of his lost belongings, he thought it would be an easy process to be reunited with his luggage.
American Airlines customer service also thought so, provided he could return to London:
“We suggest you take the trip down to the airport to get this fixed ASAP,” the airline wrote.
Astonished and a little annoyed – O’Grady shared the conversation via Twitter.
To add insult to injury, the airline replied: “We have responded to your DMs. See you there!”
The exchange went viral, with passengers piling up to share their problems with broken luggage and disbelief in the response.
O’Grady was eventually reunited with the case on July 15, almost a week after the incident.
“I have traveled all over the world,” he told Insider. – I’ve never seen anything like it.
In April, a report from the US Department of Transportation found that almost one in every 140 bags on flights operated by American Airlines was abused.
This is higher than the proportion of luggage abused by most other airlines flying transatlantic routes.
American Airlines was contacted for comment regarding the strange exchange.