Air Berlin / changed gate and lost luggage

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On July 10th, I checked into Zurich International Airport at approximately 12:20. I had gotten my boarding pass, checked my bag, gone through security and proceeded to my gate, B35, for my departing flight at 2:55. While sitting at my gate for 2 hours, I thought it was strange that boarding had not begun yet but I had not been notified of any delays or gate changes. Not more than 10 seconds after I had stood up, I was greated by a gentleman from AirBerlin asking if I was Ms. Quinn, I said yes and he told me that I had missed my flight. I was then told that the gate had been changed and they had been paging me. How is it possible that while I was only FOUR gates down, I had not heard a single page and the Airberlin employee could so easily identify me? I was then told that I needed to essentially exit the airport and go to ticketing to change my flight. Upon arrival to ticketing, I was told that I had "missed my flight" and needed to purchase an entirely new one. How does a person checked in more than two hours beforehand who had been sitting at the gate be considered as "missing the flight". After much back and forth with ticketing, the cheapest ticket was one that flew over night to Morocco then JFK for 745 swiss francs, but let's not forget the 60 swiss franc charge and the international exchange rate. So after adding 12 plus hours to my travel time and subtracting that much money from my account, I land in JFK and can not locate my bag. The greatest part about the entire ordeal is that although I did not have time to board the plane. they sure had enough time to take my baggage off of the plane. I did not know that the airline could remove a person's luggage from a flight. Especially when the bag was tagged to go to New York with a personal address. After arriving in JFK, I went from terminal to terminal trying to locate someone from AirBerlin because I was told I could only deal with a representative from the company but JFK does not have representatives unless there is a flight. So after traveling for 30 hours, I needed to wait FOUR more to speak with an employee to locate my bag. When I finally met with someone, she told me that my bag was still in Switzerland and should arrive today (7/11) or tomorrow and would be delivered to my house. Today is July 14th, and I still have no luggage. After calling lost and found yesterday, I was told that my bag has JUST left Zurich and would arrive that day. They needed to wait for it to be delivered to their terminal and THEN they would send it out with no clarification of when it would arrive. I have missed job opportunities and daily life waiting for a SUITCASE. Throughout this entire ordeal, I have called endless phone numbers that either disconnected or had full voicemail boxes. I have tried calling 1800 numbers, hotlines, anything to help locate my bag or to voice a complaint. I travel for work and up until this experience, traveling was one of my passions but now I am horrified at the thought of having to get on another plane. Not only was the way this situation was handled poorly done, but here was no service willing to offer assistance or answers. I have never dealt with an airline so greedy and careless. I will never book myself or anyone in my company on this airline again and highly recommend anyone to fly with other airlines. All I've wanted was the respect to be heard and my stuff to be taken care of but that seemed to be too much to ask of AirBerlin.

Jul 14, 2016

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