Here’s the response from British Airways to my complaint to them about my delayed baggage:
July 28, 2007
Dear Mr Kamens,
I am very sorry to hear about the problem you had with your luggage. Thank you for writing to us about it. I understand how frustrating and stressful it is when you haven’t got your belongings.
We are in the process of trying to make improvements to our baggage performance at Heathrow as we prepare for our move to Terminal 5. We have set up a senior team to oversee the progress we are making with baggage delivery and I want to assure you that it’s a top priority for British Airways.
However we know that during busy times our service to our customers may not always reflect the usual levels of customer service we pride ourselves on. I recognize this has been the case for you/you and your family [sic]. Therefore we would like to try to settle your particular claim now rather than to ask you to wait any longer or to ask you to send in receipts at this time to prove your loss.
In order to seek to bring this matter to a close now I am arranging to send you a check for $148 to cover all of your expenses. This will arrive shortly under seperate [sic] cover.
British Airways’ liability for loss, delay or damage to baggage is limited under the Montreal Convention. If the payment above does not cover the total cost of your expenses or your belongings then you may have further rights against us under the Montreal Convention (see ba.com for details) or against your travel insurance.
Once again please accept our apologies for the inconvenience. I hope this will not deter you from travelling [sic] with British Airways in the future and thank you for taking the time to contact us.
So, what’s wrong with the letter?
- Nothing about my complaint that one reason our baggage was delayed was because the shuttle between terminals delayed us by 15 minutes.
- Nothing about the trouble we had getting our bags once they finally arrived in Tel Aviv.
- Nothing about the trouble actually reaching a human being to inquire about our delayed baggage.
- Two misspellings.
- One failure to properly edit the form letter they obviously used to respond to me (“you/you and your family” obviously should have been changed to just “you and your family”).
- Over two weeks after the date on the letter, the promised check still hasn’t arrived.
On the bright side, they actually acknowledged that they need to improve their baggage handling.
In short, it’s better than the response I got from American Airlines, but it’s still inadequate.