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03rd Aug 2023

Airline ‘lose’ woman’s luggage for two months despite £35 item showing it was at airport

Charlie Herbert

Airline 'lose' woman's luggage for two months despite £35 item showing it was at airport

She described the experience as ‘horrible and traumatizing’

A woman claims £1,000 worth of items went missing after the airline “lost” her luggage for two months – despite her AirTag showing them at the airport.

Sarah Waite, 25, had travelled from her home in Los Angeles to Athens, where she was going to learn modern and ancient Greek literature, a lifelong dream of hers.

But when she landed in the Greek capital, Sarah discovered her luggage had not made it onto the plane and would arrive later.

The journey had involved a layover in Paris, and her luggage had been left in the French capital.

A week later though, Sarah received a notification from her £35 AirTag, which was on her luggage, saying that the bags had left Paris and were finally in Athens.

But 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.

Sarah’s luggage had been left in Paris, where the layover was (SWNS)

The registered nurse spent two months without her luggage after the flight on May 14.

And when she was finally able to retrieve it, Sarah claims her suitcase had been damaged and £1,000 ($1,200) worth of items were missing, including shoes and makeup.

She described the whole experience as “horrible and traumatizing.”

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.”

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

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 stuff.

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 – an autoimmune disorder that can cause hyperthyroidism or overactive thyroid – had to buy a number of items including her medications.

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.”

Despite her pleas to staff, and her Airtag showing the luggage was just metres away at the airport, she went without her stuff for 2 months (SWNS)

Two months later, on July 20, Sarah was still able to track her AirTag, which continued to tell her the bags were at the airport.

So she travelled to the airport again to make a final attempt to recover her stuff, confronting staff at the airline desk.

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.

Sarah claims £1,000 worth of her stuff was missing when she finally got her hands back on her bags (SWNS)

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 for comments.

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