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Oct 7, 2018
Thank you for reading my case. This happened last December. My son and I were traveling from Cleveland, OH to Panama City, Panama via Miami on American Airlines. We were going away for 10 days. The first leg of our flight was delayed, thereby causing us to miss our connection. We were given seats on Copa Airlines out of Miami to PTY. It wasn't until my son and I were on the plane that I realized that one of our bag receipts was for a person who was going to Grand Cayman. So as soon as we arrived in Miami, I spoke with representatives at American who looked up our locator number and said that both bags are on the plane and we will see them in Panama. There are lots of other things that happened in between arrival in Miami and departure to Panama City with various people at both American Airlines and Copa Airlines, but I want to get to the point of my complaints. Needless to say, we arrived at PTY, and the other bag was not on the flight. I filed a lost bag claim with Copa, and then the fun really began. Again, there are many details in between. I called or had representatives at the resort and hotel we stayed in, calling American and Copa for me. I also tried calling with my cell phone, which did not work, and the hotel phones which also I was not successful in reaching anyone who could really find out what happened to the bag. I messaged American on twitter direct mail and have all of those messages saved - I kept mentioning that I think the bag went to Grand Cayman and no one listened to me. I ended up purchasing Skype, so I could call the American's baggage services and customer relations in the US. CSR did not make notes, and I had to repeat the story over to a new person. At last, on Friday December 22, I received a voice mail from American's baggage office in Grand Cayman, saying that they HAD THE BAG!!! Well DUH - I kept telling them that the bag went there. (My cell number was on the attached tag). And asked that I call them back to determine where the bag should go. Of course, every time I called them, no one answered. I messaged American through DM on twitter. Their response: They don't see the bag as being in Grand Cayman. I left 5 messages on voice mail at GC no one called me back. Then on December 23 I get a message that the bag is located and is on the way to Panama, even after I told them that if the bag is found, return it to Cleveland. So when does the bag show up? The NIGHT BEFORE WE ARE TO DEPART TO GO BACK TO THE STATES. It is delivered by Copa to our hotel. We had the bag FOR A TOTAL OF FIVE (5) HOURS before we had to get up and go to the airport to take our trip home. And there was more personnel nonsense from American employees on the way back, too, but that can be addressed at another time.

I spent an average of 2 hours a day of my vacation trying to resolve the situation. I sent my story and all the documentation to American's baggage customer service after this event, and they refused to behave in any way as a company who cares about their customers. They kept saying it was Copa Airline's issue, and to make a claim with them. They did not care about how it was the ticket agent in Cleveland, who started this chain of events. It was not a fun vacation. It was horrible. I did file a claim with Copa and will be receiving $315.00. I did not even get the full $50 a day for the 3 days. Plus a pair of boots was stolen out of the bag. I am asking for $1054.00 from American, which comes down to $100.00 a day for the missing bag, which includes the time it took from my vacation to do THEIR JOBS, plus $34.00 for the phone calls I had to make from the hotel phone, and finally, $20.00 for having to purchase Skype in order to reach the US and American Baggage services. I am being very, very generous here. I have documentation (screen shots) from the direct messages between me and American Airlines, which creates the time line of the events.

I have been flying since I was 6 years old - throughout the US, Europe, the Caribbean, Mexico, and Asia. I have NEVER experienced such a horrible experience as I did with American Airlines. I understand there are rules and regulations, but really? This was not the usual lost baggage scenario. Enough with the "that's the international contract carriage" law. I don't care. What is right, and correct, and in the customer's best interest is quite obvious.
Mar 17, 2015
I am so sorry this happened to you. You should be entitled to something from AA for the lost baggage. I am not sure it is going to be $100 a day, I think the range is more between $25-50 a day for lost luggage. Did you pay for minutes from Skype, this is normally a free app that you only have to pay for certain phone calls. I do think you should be reimbursed for the phone calls.

I would use the company contacts and start writing to AA, one person at a time, waiting a week in between each. Be polite, keep it short, and remember that the person you are writing to did not personally cause your problem. Good luck. I do think you are due a bit more compensation.
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Sep 19, 2015
Well this a massive screw up — have to say I am not surprised as many of these check in agents are not employees of the airline but the ground handling company and they run from one line to another.

And they check in agent should be verifying ID against the ticket and bag tags, so that is a failure.

When it comes to asking for reimbursement, only ask for what you spent in money -- they will demand receipts for the purchases, Ask for reimbursement for the telephone bills. And you have to disclose what you got from Copa.

As Tanya said the reimbursement amount is not 100 per day for however many days. It can be up to $100 per day for the first few days and then less per day after that. I do not think AA has an official policy, but you certainly do need to have receipts and you have to disclose what Copa gave you.

Now I do think AA should do something over their mistake but they do not pay for people's time and it is hard to get cash out except as a direct reimbursement. Would you accept vouchers or miles?


Jan 22, 2015
On the rare occasion that I check a bag, I ALWAYS look at the tag to make sure that the bag is going to my destination. One time I saw the bag was tagged incorrectly and was able to correct the mistake before I left the counter


Verified Member
Oct 2, 2014
@Frances-57 Normally the airlines are only going to refund you what you are "out of pocket" during a baggage delay so the cost of phone calls, reasonable amounts for replacement items, etc. It sound like that's what they did here. They almost never pay for your time. Regardless of the circumstances behind it especially when its an international flight and there's a treaty that spells out their obligations.

You can attempt to use our company contacts to obtain a goodwill gesture but keep in mind that its a goodwill gesture. It will probably be in the form of vouchers or miles. Given the very large error their ground staff made, you might be able to get one if you're reasonable in your request (16 first class flights to Europe isn't going to happen. A $500 voucher maybe).

Good Luck


Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
San Francisco
This is just awful, Frances, a vacationer's nightmare. And it goes on everywhere, every day. Connecting with another airline makes it far worse. With all the radio/bar codes,you'd think they would know your bag was in Grand Cayman. Use our company contacts to write a polite letter of complaint and ask for the compensation you want. Good luck and please let us know the outcome.

ADVOCATE ADVICE Always look at your bag tags before the luggage disappears at checkin. All you can do to combat a gross error like this is "make do". Travellers should always carry a complete outfit and shoes in a carryon, and another in each other's bag. And that goes for direct flights as well as connections. That way you don't have to waste your precious vacation time ... you have three outfits and can get on with the important stuff with just a few necessities purchased at your destination.
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