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Alitalia lost our luggage yesterday

We flew from LAX to JFK on Wednesday and enjoyed an overnight stay at the TWA Hotel with their amazing refurbished 60s era terminal. (We thought about RS’s trips with his parents as we looked at the vintage luggage displays.) Thursday afternoon we boarded our Alitalia flight to Rome, then a connecting flight to Linate / Milan. Other than insomnia that all went well. However frustration grew as we watched everyone else claim their checked luggage. BOTH our bags are missing, over two days now. Communication with Alitalia is nearly impossible.
Anyone have experience or advice with such matters? This was our fifth time to Italy and we have never lost a checked bag….

Posted by
28 posts

Sorry, not a great way to start a vacation. You might try twitter? I've seen them respond to requests and ask customers to direct message them with the PIR number and name. Good luck - hope you get your gear soon!

Posted by
6828 posts

Was it a short connection in Rome? I worked once doing lost baggage claims for an airline and a short connection was a common cause.

Posted by
5640 posts

Do you have lost/delayed luggage insurance on the credit card you used to buy the tickets ? Could help cover the cost of toiletries and fresh underwear while you wait.

Posted by
7532 posts

Assuming you immediately made a claim and gave all your contact information, it should show up eventually. We have flown to France about forty times and have had luggage delayed about three times. This year one piece took four days.
If it doesn't arrive, follow plan b. For now, keep all receipts for replacement items and call them back

Posted by
2054 posts

chilidonna, I feel your pain! Living in Rome, we flew Alitalia often... and they lost our luggage twice over the years. On one occasion, we were flying from ATL, on a vacation to Italy. We landed in Milan -- and no bags. We were not alone. More than 1/3 of the checked baggage had not made the flight. Three hours of waiting in line to file a claim! Fortunately, we had photos of our luggage, product names & descriptions, and numerous name tags on each piece. I thought our bags would catch up with us in a day or so and listed all the hotels - over the next 10 days - we would be staying at.

As we headed south towards the Amalfi, our first query at each hotel was, " Has our luggage arrived?" Unfortunately, it never appeared. I tried all the options: phone, Twitter, email, WhatsApp, and even a FAX using an APP on my phone. No response at all. On the phone, I'd be put on hold for incredible lengths of time. It was quite frustrating.

After seven days of traveling through Italy, buying clothes and supplies as we went, we arrived at the Renaissance Naples Hotel Mediterraneo. The desk clerk asked us, "Where's your luggage?" and we replied, "We hoped it would be here!" As an Elite Marriott, I figured we'd get an upgrade, but he took pity on our haggard experience and dropped us in their version of the Presidential Suite. (It was pretty impressive - but still no luggage).

The concierge - having talked to the desk clerk - contacted me and asked if he could help. Long story short - he was incredible. He tracked our luggage down (7 days later it was now at the FCO airport), connected with a contact at Alitalia, had it put on a plane to Naples, and then the hotel team drove out to the airport and pick it up. We came back from a coffee break and just inside the door to our suite were our two bags. It was like Christmas!

I profusely thanked and tipped the concierge EXCESSIVELY as he saved the last 4 days of our trip. More importantly, he went far above and beyond. Through it all, there was NEVER any acknowledgment from Alitalia to my queries. (Frankly, I doubt they even knew I got my bags - there was never any compensation to us despite numerous follow-up letters).

I guess my suggestion would be: Don't wait on Alitalia to solve this problem - look at all options available!

Posted by
6395 posts

Ron, what a tale! Way to go by the Renaissance staff! Definitely above and beyond.

Posted by
7532 posts

There's the word from Ron! If you don't have it soon, you should follow Ron's advice.
On top of it, you are dealing with a company that will no longer exist in one month.

Posted by
128 posts

Some years ago all SEVEN of our bags were lost at Heathrow Airport. We were getting on a cruise ship in Barcelona. That ship took off, and we had NO LUGGAGE. This was a Mediterranean cruise, and our young kids were with us. I bough $1000 worth of Disney apparel, bathing suits, makeup, etc. Disney let us borrow formal wear for free. The staff in the gift shop let us borrow curling irons, and they found us deodorant, toothpaste and other essentials. They upgraded our amenities and gave us priority seating for shows. They were really incredible.

Half of our luggage found us in Naples 5 days later. Two more bags were waiting for us at home, and the final bag arrived TWO MONTHS later. Our travel insurance paid for the essentials we had to buy. British Air gave us $600 per bag when they determined the four bags were lost forever. We won the award on the cruise for "most money spent at the gift shop."

It was like being homeless on a cruise ship. About 50 families on the boat had also lost their luggage. You could identify us by our shoes (no one had spares) and our Disney T-shirts. Now it's a great story-- not so great in real time though.

Posted by
6565 posts

My wife and I are leaving in a few days for Berlin. We once had to wait 2 days for our luggage and our electronic car key to arrive at an Atlanta Airport hotel. We've since been afraid of checked luggage problems.

I'll be towing her 21" carry on bag and my 21" carry on is a backpack. She'll be riding her folding electric scooter in lieu of a wheelchair that will be left on the jetway.

It'll be the second time she's been mobility challenged and visiting Europe. But our luggage will be with us.

Posted by
21 posts

Thank you all for harrowing, hilarious and heartwarming lost luggage stories. I am thrilled to report that we got our bags, not much thanks to Alitalia though. The concierge at our hotel in Milan tried to help out (in Italian) on the computer. But what got things going was my note to my cousin in Napoli. He passed on all our info including photos of our luggage to his friend who used to work at Alitalia. I don't know what she did, but the next day we got a phone call that our bags were at Linate Airport. We decided to take a cab to retrieve them rather than trust a delivery service. There we found our bags among many many dozens. All our luggage tags were intact including our old fashioned ones with our names and cell phone numbers that no one had thought to call?!?? Thankfully during those few days I had only purchased a t-shirt and quick dry pants and my husband some sandals. So Lady Vet keeps the title of most money spent! Anyway we are very wary for our flight to NY on October 8. That's just a week before Alitalia's demise. I think we will ask strangers to help us put our bags over our seats (we are in our mid 70s, ugh) and avoid checking them. I don't want to spend the NY part of our trip shopping for replacement clothing... thanks again!

Posted by
4845 posts

It’s great to hear that things have gone better than worst-case scenario. Doing carry-on rather than checked bags does help avoid what you’ve already gone through - as long as the contents of your bag don’t run afoul of security restrictions, and the bags are small enough. Hope things go smoothly from this point forward.

You won’t be flying Alitalia much anymore - whether that’s your choice or it was made for you. Enjoy the rest of the trip - new “souvenir” T-shirt and pants included.

Posted by
6395 posts

Soooooo glad you got your bags. Hooray for Neopolitan cousins !!!

Posted by
463 posts

What a great reminder to always pack an extra outfit in whatever bag you carry on, along with those critical items (like car keys).

Posted by
2024 posts

So happy you retrieved your bags. Good suggestion to carry an extra outfit in your carry on bag for the times you can’t travel light. And yes, someone will help you lift your bag into the overhead. My husband always offers to help, and in our last flight there was an elderly couple and numerous people asked if they needed help. You definitely don’t want to have to shop in NY.

Posted by
21 posts

You are all so right about being more careful with choices for our carry on bags. I forgot to mention above that my husband and I had both left our phone charge cords in our checked bags and had to buy new ones right away in Milan! So that’s one more item to add to the check list along with keys, medications, toiletries, light change of clothes, etc. We did have with us our tickets (purchased ahead as RS teaches) to see the Last Supper and the Duomo. And I had all my city sections torn from RS Italy Guidebook.
I think we will have a long talk with my cousin before we fly back to the US on Alitalia on October 8. If that flight plan falls apart….?$?$$$!?

Posted by
1750 posts

it probably would have been a good idea to find an actual Alitalia ticket office and raise some heck. or a friendly local travel agent. then again, the company has probably let most of the employees go, and the remaining ones are even less motivated than usual.

Posted by
628 posts

There are many wise and thorough carry-on lists -- all over the web -- to help one survive comfortably for a day or two if checked baggage is delayed or totally lost. Should be standard practice these days.

EDITORIALLY (and speaking to no one in particular, just sayin'): It is a small transition from toting a prepped carry-on to carry-on-only.

Posted by
1642 posts

Back in the day, the old joke was Alitalia was notorious for misplacing or misdirecting passenger luggage.

I suppose they have kept up their "reputation."

Posted by
153 posts

My husband and I usually carry-on, but when we do have checked luggage as well, we divide our clothes equally between two suitcases for the outbound trip. Then, after we arrive, we “regroup” to our own suitcase. We learned this the hard way after my husband’s luggage was lost in in SFO for five days in transit to several weeks in Mexico.