DEAR TRAVEL TROUBLESHOOTER: Breeze Airways lost my family’s checked luggage on a flight from Los Angeles to Jacksonville, Florida. It’s been four days, and we haven’t received an update from Breeze. Plus, there’s no way to get in touch with the airline. We’re missing two large suitcases and a car seat.
We would like to receive our lost luggage and be fully compensated for the clothes and necessities that we have had to purchase since losing our checked luggage. We would also like to be refunded the full amount of our airfare for this hardship.
— Benjamin Wallis, Los Angeles
ANSWER: I’m sorry that Breeze lost your luggage. Most airlines have sophisticated tracking systems that are supposed to ensure your luggage gets delivered to you at the end of your flight. And considering that you’re paying Breeze a fee for your luggage, you should expect your bags to show up on the carousel promptly after you land. But the system isn’t perfect. Airlines lose or misplace one or two bags every flight, and unfortunately, yours were the unlucky ones this time.
If an airline loses your luggage on a domestic flight, federal regulations require it to compensate you for “reasonable, verifiable and actual incidental expenses” you incur while your bags are delayed. The expenses are subject to the maximum liability limit of $3,800 per passenger. However, Breeze is under no obligation to refund you for your tickets.
Normally, I can’t help readers track down lost luggage, but your case gave me pause. You said you could not reach Breeze. That’s troubling. Breeze claims that it’s reachable by messaging, text and email. I also publish the names, numbers and email addresses of the Breeze customer service executives on my consumer advocacy site, Elliott.org. Breeze is also one of the most responsive airlines in the business. So, as I read your case, I thought to myself, “What could have possibly gone wrong?”
The answer is: Nothing. Breeze appears to have responded to your questions in a timely manner. But it did not provide any updates on your luggage, and it should have. In fairness to the airline, your luggage loss happened during one of the busiest weeks of summer, and the airline was probably straining under a heavy load of lost luggage complaints. That’s no excuse, but it probably explains the lack of information.
Next time you fly, I would recommend buying a tracking device like an AirTag. That way, you’ll always know where your bags are. (Better yet, don’t check in any bags.)
I contacted Breeze on your behalf. It found your bags and reunited them with you a week after your flight.
Christopher Elliott is the founder of Elliott Advocacy, a nonprofit organization that helps consumers solve their problems. Email him at [email protected] or get help by contacting him at elliottadvocacy.org/help/.
(c) 2023 Christopher Elliott
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.
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