#965448 by Fuzzy14
23 Jul 2022, 17:40
2 adults and a few teens on the final leg of a much delayed Florida holiday, with only some of the bags that we started with. The first case turned up 6 days later (we had to drive to the airport to collect), on day 8 the second case was delivered to the wrong address (we had to drive to collect) and the final case was meant to be waiting for us at Tampa, turned out it was still at Heathrow, and we were flying home via Gatwick.

Flight inbound from Tampa arrived on time and we left the airside only to immediately re-join the security queue to get back in. It’s an utter joke that this still happens at UK airports. A lady from the same plane as us who’d purchased expensive perfume in Tampa had it all confiscated because she didn’t know to ask for the sealed bag. It’s previously happened to me (with wine.)

Flight scheduled departure was 1035, even though the Tampa flight was on time, by the time we’d got off, walked the warren of Gatwick, came out, went back in, it was 1000 and time to head straight to the gate. Thankfully there was an airbridge waiting for us and not a bus. Even still, at 1015 we were the last ones to board according to the gate staff. We sat down and waited, and waited and sat a little more. The cockpit door was open and the ground handlers were in and out but not a single announcement to say why we hadn’t departed on time. Finally door was closed and on our way at 1115. Flight was full.

Only onboard service as a bottle of water and a packet of pretzels. Nothing else to report on the flight, soon we were coming down and did two loops over Lanark and another circle over Cumbernauld. I replayed the flight later on Flightradar24 and could see no reason for the circling, maybe an airport issue?

Flight landed 30 minutes late and we eagerly waited to see if our cases had made it this time. 3 out of 3 turned up!!! (that’s our 2 actual cases and the temporary purchased canvas bag that couldn’t be locked). Got a taxi home then went out to fetch the cat from the cattery. She wasn’t happy. She's not the only one.

Day 18 I updated the tracing website to say deliver my bags to my home address. Sent a DM to British Airways. No reply.
Day 19 tracing website still not updated. Nothing from BA
Day 20 tracing website still not updated, finally a reply from BA! Asking if I’m still missing a bag. I told them yes, it’s at Heathrow. Gave them the details. No further replies.
Day 21 tracing website still not updated however somebody from Heathrow phoned to say they have my yellow case! (we’ve been here before…) However unfortunately they can’t find the other two cases. That’ll be the ones they already delivered to me? He says they have so many cases for Glasgow they have hired a truck and we’ll have it in 2-3 days. No apology from him other than they’ve had issues thanks for your understanding.
Day 22 a text message! A message saying it will be delivered tomorrow (22 July). I’ve had 4 of these before so still not holding my breath. I tweet a copy of the text message and British Airways reply to it. I’ve tweeted them 16 times urgently asking them for information and I was ignored every time. This is the one they reply to.
Day 23 the missing case turns up. Miracles do happen, they just take a little longer.

FYI, the other family I mentioned on the outbound flight received their son’s pram, car seat and disability wheelchair after 21 days. They also had the same communication issues. Look, we get it, covid and things are tough etc, we were expecting something we were ready. However 6/8/23 days without a case is not acceptable and ignoring customers, loyal frequent fliers, is unforgivable
#965461 by David
24 Jul 2022, 08:00
Wow, what a brutal series of reports. I feel so sorry for you and your family after waiting all this time for a holiday and it turns into this. Hopefully while you were in Florida you were able to enjoy your time away in between your case hunting.

I hope BA pitches up with some decent compensation but given the current situation, it will probably take an age as well.

It really puts you off booking something in the near future when you read the many similar stories.

#965463 by Murraymint
24 Jul 2022, 13:51
What a nightmare! It’s bad enough when you lose luggage for yourself but when the whole family is affected I can only imagine the hassle you had to go through. I don’t mind a wander round Walmart but it’s a different story when you’re kitting everyone out on the first day. I hope you could enjoy your time at the parks after that.

I’ve just ordered some AirTags as I’ll be transiting LHR in October on my way to BOS.
#965466 by mitchja
24 Jul 2022, 15:15
I agree, what a complete and utter nightmare!!

AirTags (other brands of tracking devices are probably available) are you one my best travel purchases to date. I stick one in each checked bag along with my carry-on. You can see exactly where in the system your luggage is and exactly when it's loaded onto the A/C.

Batteries (CR2032's) are very cheap and easy to replace as mine have just started running out now as I purchased a pack of 4 AirTags when they first launched early last year.
#965467 by Hev60
24 Jul 2022, 17:22
Oh Fuzzy what a horrible series of problems solely created by the incompetence of BA. Next time you go to Florida, no doubt you’ll first in the queue for the VS flight into Tampa. I hope you are adequately compensated but to be honest no amount of cash can really ever make up for that stress you and the family endured.

I flew BA into MCO at the end of April. I thought our painful long 18hour door to hotel journey was awful (delay and trouble being allocated a working gate at Orlando meant endless hours on the tarmac) However we was lucky to be BA’s Club Suite on the 350, so it made all the sitting around on the aircraft easier to cope with.

I agree with you 100% about Tampa Airport. We flew home from there with AmAirlines. Getting into the airport was a breeze, dropping car off at the new garage facility and then transit to the terminal was faultless. We’ve already nabbed two G’s in and out of Tampa for March 2023. I’m done with the theme parks (nothing felt the same there this year) but I love the gulf coast.

Your experiences were totally unacceptable and it was such a shame after the family have been eagerly waiting over 2years for your holiday.
#965474 by Fuzzy14
24 Jul 2022, 20:40
Thanks for the replies, I'm not trying to scare you just. a cautionary tale that what you see on the news is actually happening. Pack appropriately! I'm pursuing BA for EU261 even though the initial flight was 2 hours late, because they held us in the airport for another 2 hours afterwards. I've also got receipts worth $750 for clothing, chargers and toiletries for the 5 of us. It should have been more but we had washing facilities so they've got off lightly.

Hev60 wrote:Oh Fuzzy what a horrible series of problems solely created by the incompetence of BA. Next time you go to Florida, no doubt you’ll first in the queue for the VS flight into Tampa. .
I have already priced them up, they are entirely reasonable :D . Tampa Airport is brilliant and I'm so disappointed the secret is out but also happy I'm no longer tied to using BA.

Hev60 wrote:Your experiences were totally unacceptable and it was such a shame after the family have been eagerly waiting over 2years for your holiday.

There's similar issues at a few airports. I got an email apology from the KLM CEO just in case they had lost one of my bags (they have not.) The only emails I've received from BA is to try and sell me an Amex card. It could have all been bearable had they replied to me.

At the age of 45 I have now retired myself from Space Mountain and Mission: Space but will be visiting the parks for many years to come. I've commented that it felt 95%, occasionally a ride would have 2 cars running instead of 3, not all the loading areas were used, nothing was really running at full capacity (I'm going to guess as a result of no student exchange this year). But we're still pleased we went.
#965477 by VS075
25 Jul 2022, 09:19
Thanks for the TRs and I'm sorry to read about your issues with the luggage. Not what you want when there's so many of you going on what should have been a memorable holiday after several years going without due to COVID. I hope you still had a good time nonetheless.

In my TR from BGI last month, I too observed rows of lost/abandoned suitcases in the baggage reclaim area at LHR T3. Reflecting on our time and reading more and more of these issues still occurring, I'm just thankful we didn't experience any luggage issues and I'm still amazed to this day how quiet T3 security was when we passed through on our outbound flight.

I hope you're successful with your EU261 claim and that BA refund you fully for all the clothes and other items you had to buy. I don't think I'd have taken the BA Amex e-mail well either if I was in your shoes!
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