'Airline lost my luggage for 8 weeks - but £35 item proved it was metres away'

A horrified woman had to track down her missing luggage herself after blundering airline staff allegedly lost it – only for her luggage tracker to show it was in ‘Lost and Found’ at the airport

Sarah Waite, 25, travelled from Los Angeles, California, to Athens, Greece, with a layover in Paris, France.

She says she was left devastated to learn that £1,000 ($1,200) worth of items had gone missing from the suitcase after the airline “lost” her luggage for TWO MONTHS

She claims she only discovered her luggage had been lost after landing in the Greek capital but was assured it would arrive later.






Sarah Waite has been in a dispute with Air France after they said her luggage had been "lost"
Sarah Waite has been in a dispute with Air France after they said her luggage had been “lost
(
Sarah Waite / SWNS)






Sarah was travelling from Los Angeles to Athens
Sarah was travelling from Los Angeles to Athens
(
Sarah Waite / SWNS)

A week later, Sarah received a notification from her £35 ($45) AirTag saying her luggage had left Paris and was finally in Athens.

When she went to pick it up, Sarah claims Air France staff told her they didn’t have it despite the AirTag showing its location at the airport.

And when she was finally able to retrieve it, she discovered it was a storage room at the airport, only metres away from her

Sarah claims her suitcase had been damaged and £1,000 ($1,200) worth of items were missing, including shoes and makeup.

Sarah, who is originally from Los Angeles, described the whole experience as “horrible and traumatising.”

It was the trip of a lifetime for Sarah, who travelled to Athens to pursue her dream of learning modern and ancient Greek literature.

So her dream trip wasn’t off to good a start when she landed in Athens with no luggage.






Sarah's luggage was discovered in a storage room at the airport, only metres away from her, thanks to the help of an Air Tag
Sarah’s luggage was discovered in a storage room at the airport, only metres away from her, thanks to the help of an Air Tag
(
Sarah Waite / SWNS)

She said: “I went to claim my luggage and almost all of the passengers were informed that it was arriving later.

“We all had to make a claim at the Air France desk at 2 am local time.

“There were probably about 60 people that stayed to file the claim, me being one of them.”

In the hope to speed things up, Sarah filed a claim online while waiting in the physical queue.

At 5 am in the morning, three hours after landing, Sarah finally left Athens International Airport – without her luggage.

Sarah had an AirTag inside her luggage so she could see that the item was in Paris, where she had had her layover.

She said: “Luckily I had an AirTag inside my luggage so I could see that the Air France was not lying and it really was still in the Paris AirPort.”

Sarah kept in touch with airline staff over the next few days but found the communication difficult.

She said “I kept in contact with Air France about my claim and they were not communicative at all, leaving me on hold for long periods, not connecting me with someone who spoke English.”

A week later, on May 20, Sarah’s AirTag sent her a notification informing that her luggage had left Paris Charles de Gaulle and was finally in Athens.

She decided to make her way to the airport but when she arrived, she was unable to reclaim her luggage.

Sarah said: “I went to the help desk and then finally to the lost and found with lots of effort and back-and-forth argumentation about my claim number.

“It was not there and there was nothing I could do even though my AirTag said it was there.”

As she found herself without luggage, Sarah, who suffers from Graves Disease, had to buy a number of items including her thyroid medications.

Graves Disease is an autoimmune disorder that can cause hyperthyroidism or overactive thyroid.

She said: “I lost hope but I continued my communication with the airline every day, sending them receipts of the items I had to purchase.”

Two months later, on July 20, Sarah was still able to track her AirTag, so she made a final attempt and travelled to the airport again.

When she arrived, Sarah went to the airline desk and confronted the staff.

She said “The people helping me were very rude, yelling at me when I expressed frustration, telling me there is nothing they can do even though they work at the airport and can take me to the AirTag location.

“They even threatened to call the police on me because I started video recording the situation.”

A video shows the interaction between herself and the staff where an argument breaks out under frustrating circumstances.

According to Sarah, the staff eventually agreed to take her to the lost and found where she was finally able to retrieve her luggage.

When she was reunited with her luggage, Sarah claimed that it was clear her suitcase had been damaged and items lost.

She explained: “I got my bag, but again with extreme frustration.

“I went to the help desk and got permission to access the lost and found.

“I went to the lost and found and then the other lost and found but my bag was not there.

“I finally broke down and cried in front of the entire staff and that is when someone said, ‘Oh we called you, okay stay here.’

She added: “It took extreme emotional expression to get the people to understand who I was and that I was contacted, even though I was telling everyone who helped me out that my name is Sarah Waite and I was called because my bags were found.

“A young man took me to the customs area where my AirTag was tagged and I got my bag.

“My luggage was completely ripped open, shoes were gone, makeup gone, bags are missing and the original lock on the zippers is not on it.

“I am devastated still, but at least my medication, which is in a liquid form, if you have Graves disease then you know, is viable.”

Air France has not responded to a request for comment when approached by SWNS.

Article source: https://airlines.einnews.com/article/647976862/lcSV-Y7fUtcrw3AA?ref=rss&ecode=vaZAu9rk30b8KC5H

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