I was traveling on Alaskar Airlines in February 2015 from Portland to San Jose,
I arrived to board my flight and I was told that I would need to put my hand luggage in to the aeroplane hold rather than in the cabin as hand luggage.
Before I agreed for my bag to be put in the aeroplane hold I asked the member of staff if they could ensure that my bag would be handled delicately and that the baggage handlers knew that this piece of luggage was supposed to be hand luggage. The bag I was carrying was not a secure suitcase and it didn't have the sustainability to be handled un-carefully. I was reassured that the bag would be looked after.
When I arrived at my destination and collected my bag from the carousel, low and behold there was damage to bag.
I decided to file a complaint to the airline not because I wanted compensation for the bag (even though it was a Louis Vuitton which cost me circa £2,210 or $3,000) but because despite my concern which I spoke to the member of staff about the handling of the luggage it doesn't seem to have made any difference to the way my baggage was handled and I strongly feel that internal processes need to be better established to avoid this happening to me and other passengers in the future.
I wanted to have acknowledgement from the company that they needed to adapt their processes. I personally do not believe that in any instance you can ensure that a baggage handler who is used to dealing with excessive amounts of luggage should then be expected to delicately look after hand luggage. Ie how will the handler know which is which? And how and why will they be motivated to treat the luggage with care?
I emailed Alaskar customer services with my complaint and have been transferred through the ranks to numerous people (I don't think I have received two emails from the same person, which in my view is awful customer service) none of whom have responded in a suitable fashion. They have not acknowledged or come back to me to highlight any change of process they will adapt despite me asking numerous times. The airline has given me no confidence they have taken my comments and concerns on-board. They have simply offered a $50 reimbursement for my troubles even though I have not asked or mentioned that I would like reimbursement.
Therefore, I will not be using the airline again in the future because I fear that if this simple process can not be made better then they must have a series of faults in their processes and systems throughout the company.