My wife and I travelled Mumbai- Abu Dhabi- London and Frankfurt- Mumbai sector by Etihad Airways vide reservation code JZVXKK. On our return leg i.e. Frankurt - Mumbai on 13 July 16, we checked-in 2 bags at Frankfurt. However on our arrival at Mumbai, none of the bags were received and PIR was registered vide BOMEY22461. After nearly 50 hours, 1 bag was received at our residence at Pune but the other bag has not been received till date. Repeated calls to Etihad Mumbai Helpline were of least help and we were told that I can claim for Lost Bag only when Etihad declares the Bag as “Lost”. Since Etihad website also stated that one must wait for 21 days before putting Lost Bag claim, I waited till 03 Aug when I finally sent an email attaching comprehensive Baggage Loss Claim under a detailed covering letter. Since Etihad Mumbai Helpline and my Travel Insurance Helpline had both telephonically advised that no action can be initiated till I receive intimation from Etihad confirming the loss of Bag – while attaching the comprehensive Baggage Claim Form, I added following lines in my email of 03 Aug :[/SIZE]
“Will appreciate if you will kindly acknowledge safe receipt of this email and documents therein. Please also let me know the timeframe by which I can expect the compensation for this loss. I also need a Certificate from Etihad confirming that my bag has been lost so that I can intimate to the Bajaj Allianz Insurance Company. “
Regrettably, Etihad Baggage Claim office at Etihad, instead of processing my claim, jumped on to the last line of the email and promptly sent a certificate (which I had never sought in the first place) to me vide email of 06 Aug. I immediately replied on 07 Aug and stated following:
Thank you very much for issuing the Certificate confirming the loss of my baggage. However, please note that I have sought the Certificate only for the purpose of informing the loss to my Insurance Company. I have neither made a claim on my Insurance Company nor do I have the intention of making a claim until the issue is decided by Etihad Airways.
Since then I have written to Etihad Baggage Claim Office at Abu Dhabi but they have declined to process my claim under a flimsy pretext of having issued a Certificate of Loss for claiming the same from Travel Insurance. I fail to understand why mere issue of a Certificate can absolve the Airline of its liability for loss of the Bag and how can they compel me to prefer a claim for limited liability of $ 250 to my Travel Insurance when the actual loss that is liable to Etihad is over $ 1000. Finally, my Travel Insurance will also take a stand that the liability of loss is entirely on Etihad and the Insurance can only step in to make up for the shortfall of compensation, if any.
It is apparent that Etihad is in the habit of making flimsy excuses so as to avoid compensation. I hope my post will act as a warning for those who plan to travel Etihad.