Southwest Airlines — baggage claim
Southwest Airlines lost not 1 but 2 of our checked bags out of 4 (my bag and my mother- in- law's bag) with 4 paid passengers with a checked bag for each passenger. I recently flew to CA in Oct to attend my brother's wedding. I checked in at the Oakland Airport 4-5 hours prior to my flight departure time. Upon arriving back to Dallas on Oct 26 late evening, two of my checked bags never came. I went in to Southwest baggage claim office to ask and I was told to wait for my bags to show up. I told the lady at the baggage claim counter that I had valuable items in my checked bags including designer bags and clothing worth thousands as it was for a wedding trip. However, the lady wrote down sanitary bags in my missing bags as the contents. I could see that Southwest is trying to minimize the value of the contents in the lost bags.
Then, I asked the lady if Southwest would reimburse the cost of items I needed to purchase to sleep the night in Dallas while I was waiting for my bags to arrive, she said Southwest does not reimburse the cost unless I have to wait more than 24 hours. So, I had to request to talk to the supervisor to get the reimbursement to purchase pajamas and other sanitary stuffs I needed for the night. Then, the supervisor assures me that I will be reimbursed for $50 for each paid passenger for that night I had to stay in Dallas. Then, the next morning, my bags never showed up and I had to drive back to Oklahoma where I live.
After arriving in Oklahoma, I kept calling Southwest everyday to ask them if they find out anything about my bags. And all they answered was they're still checking on them and trying to locate them. The WORST thing about Southwest is that unlike other airlines, they do not have tracking system for the checked bags until the bags arrive at the carousel at the airport and nobody claims the bags. After waited for 5 days with no cosmetics to go on with my daily routine, I talked to the same supervisor at the Dallas Love Field airport, the supervisor told me to go ahead and purchase the cosmetics I needed to go on with my days. But a reimbursement or payment was never offered to purchase new items that they lost. I asked the same supervisor to see if he could check the surveillance near the carousel of the night I arrived to know whether somebody might have stolen my bags, he just simply shushed me off by saying those cameras are actually not monitoring.
Then, on the 6th day after waiting and hoping for my bags to show up, I finally was ready to report the lost bag filing on Southwest website. When I checked the site, it is shown that my incident was recorded on the next day after I flew on the site and I was unable to file a claim because of that. So, basically, Southwest added one extra day until I can fill out a detail form with missing items to file a claim to get the lost items to be reimbursed.
Then, when Southwest site finally allows me to upload my claims, I was having another trouble with the site. Without showing what the file size allowance should be, I was unable to upload the forms that I filled out for more than 20 times. I contacted Southwest multiple times during my trying attempts and no successful answers were received. Finally, I figured out that I had to upload no more than 4 pages per upload when I had to include some copies of the receipts as well.
Some of the items in the lost bags include Louis Vuitton bag, Gucci bag, Michael Kors Bag, Yves Saint Laurent bag, many pairs of designer shoes, an expensive wool long coat that I purchased from a trip to Europe which Southwest would not give me a round trip ticket to go to Europe to repurchase and replace, many cosmetics items that add up to thousands of dollars as well. We never know how much the cosmetics cost as we keep buying one by one until we lose them all and the costs add up to thousands.
After uploading the item detail list and a week and gone by and finally, somebody on Southwest replied on my upload files on Southwest baggage claim site saying I will need to refill the form of the item detail pages that reflect all the dates of the items purchases to be shown. Who remembers the date of every single item they purchase? So, basically, Southwest is dragging the time and trying to make your life miserable so that you would give up on claiming the reimbursement back for the bags that they lost.
So, I had to refill the itemized detail forms of the missing items in the bag with the dates of purchase and resubmitted the forms. It has been 3 days after I resubmitted the forms and there was no response whatsoever from Southwest.
I hope my experience would help other customers who are considering of taking advantage of Southwest Airlines free checked bags to see if it is worth losing your bag and go through the HORRIBLE service Southwest provides after they lose your bags.
Today, after waited for one month and 14 days with multiple phone calls, emails, vice messages left on the direct machine of the baggage claim personal work no return call received, I received a letter attachment from Southwest on their baggage claim site saying that my claim for my 2 lost bags were denied because of the unreasonable amount.
Did I ask to lose my bags when I traveled? Of course not. But when it is their fault for losing the bags, they should at least offer some type of compensation. So, I filed a complaint work DOT and hoping to get it resolved. After I filed a DOT claim, I informed southwest and southwest stated that it will take another 30 days for me to get any response. And Southwest claimed that because I filed a claim with DOT, they will be providing the documents to DOT on my behalf even though my claim was already closed. They were shamelessly telling me as if they were doing me a favor when it was their fault for losing my bags in the first place.