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Posts Tagged ‘Iberia Airlines – customer care comes last’

The Iberia Fiasco and why you cannot trust large companies

This is an old one now but as I’ve just had an email from the CAA, long after I resolved the problem I thought I’d do one last update. This is about misplaced luggage, unbelievably atrocious customer handling and a longstanding conversation between myself and Iberia Airlines. At the time of writing it is July 2016 and In August last year I flew from Alicante through Madrid – to Boston USA.

Sadly my bag containing all my clothes, computer etc. never made it past Madrid. When I reached the USA I went to lot luggage and they gave me a form with a number on it to follow up. Sadly someone screwed up and my form ended up belonging to someone else. The story involves Iberia social media and the CAA who turned out to be ineffective and indeed were used as an excuse to slow things down – so a long story, hence the short-hide below. Pictures removed to protect the innocent.

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I arrived at Boston International Airport in America to find my bag was not there and to cut a long and painful story short, I ended up in the lost baggage department for AGES standing in a queue awaiting the one member of staff handling lost luggage at the time. When that got me no-where, I rang up Iberia Airlines and, not speaking much Spanish, got no-where on the phone from America to Spain so I started a dialogue on Iberia’s Facebook site – the people there were very helpful or so it seemed – but the people they communicated with clearly were and are not helpful because it took ELEVEN MONTHS to resolve (and there’s more).

Once I got into Boston itself (a trip to M.I.T.) I of course had to go buy minimal clothes etc. Just as well I did as my bag didn’t surface until the day before I left the USA!!  I put in a claim immediately and here is the entire sordid mess, still not resolved, I still have no cheque from them. I’ve put my comments in italic.

Read and weep because this could happen to you. My input in italics.

04/08/2015 17:35

As requested. My name is Peter Donald Scargill. My passport is xxxxxxx. The number lost luggage in Boston gave me is BOS IB xxxxxx but apparently this belongs to someone else. Between Alicante-Madrid-Boston on Sunday, Iberia lost my hard silver grey case. It has my heart pills, laptop, clothes. I am in Boston until Thursday and the trip is ruined and I am worried about the pills.

Could you please send us a copy of your PIR document?

What is a PIR document?

It’s the document that was given to you when you filed the baggage claim at the airport. Regards

I gave you the info from that and it is apparently wrong. It is yellow, refers to BOS IB xxxxx and tel 1800 772 4642. I rang and they said the reference belonged to someone else.

Please send us a copy of the document so we can forward it to the responsible department. Have you tried to give your bag tag number to our colleagues from the baggage service centre (1800 772 4642.)?

Flight xxxx from Alicante Sunday xx.xx then flight xxxx xx.xx from Madrid. Arrived Boston mid afternoon same day.

When I could not find luggage they told me to go to Iberia baggage/connections who then gave me that reference. They have my full details Inc Email pete@scargill.org

I tried to ring the number you suggest. They said the reference number was wrong and could not help. This is getting worse by the minute.

We understand, Peter. However, we need the PIR document (original file) to send to our colleagues. Do you have it? Please send us a copy here on Facebook. Regards

Will this do


Could you please also tell us your bag tag number?

I don’t have that it is at the hotel. I am at MIT in Boston presenting.

I won’t be at hotel until tonight (American time it is now 13.38 here)

I have my passport but that is it.

Boston airport surely have the tag number as they made a copy.

Ok, Peter. Then please give us that info as soon as you arrive at the hotel. Regards

I really need the case as soon as possible. Have not taken pills since Saturday night. My presentation is ruined without my equipment and I have already had to buy clothes. Your computers at Iberia Boston airport must have this information.

04/08/2015 20:37

Sorry, Peter. We need your bag tag number in order to check the status of your case with the responsible department. Regards

I will send this info tonight.. I just hope my health does not suffer. I don’t see the point of Iberia help desk taking this info at the airport if you cannot access it. I will contact you here with n a few hours.

Ok, Peter. We are expecting your contact. Best regards

04/08/2015 23:08

Here it is

I assume that is all you need.

05/08/2015 02:46

I leave Boston on Thursday.

Thanks for the information, Peter. We are going to consult It with the Baggage Service Center and we will let you know as soon as we have further information about your case. Kind regards.

05/08/2015 07:25

Hi Peter, according to our colleagues this PIR reference is not registered in your name, due to security reasons we can’t provide information about passengers to third parties. If the claim is yours, could you please verify the PIR number? Thanks and kind regards.

05/08/2015 11:49

I cannot believe this.. Your company issued this stuff and I have sent pics. Here again is the info.

I am now 4 days late on pills, have run out of clothes and have no equipment to work with, my shoes for the plain are worn out, all because Iberia lost my bag. Tomorrow I go back to Spain.

I need my bag!

Hi Peter, in this case we ask that you please contact the baggage service center directly for further assistance. Can you please provide us with your current location so we may give you an appropriate contact number? Kind regards.

I am in Boston.

I contacted Facebook because the centre at Boston airport gave up because the number was wrong. I hope you are not going to pass me to the same people. ..ie the number on that card I photographed.

Hi Peter, in this case we ask that you please contact our colleagues at the baggage service center here: 800 772 4642. Kind regards.

You have to be joking. That is the number who could not help as the reference was wrong and after all this you are passing back to them?

I am horrified… Absolutely horrified.

The reference number they gave me was wrong. The correct number is BOS IB xxxxx. I tried to follow this through but the Iberia operator dropped the line part way through. Now all operators are busy. Are you able to progress this now and get my baggage to me before I leave Boston tomorrow? The baggage may be in Madrid or Boston.

Alternatively I can throw the clothes away.. Iberia will need to compensate anyway.. And pick the bag up in Alicante as I return can you find out either way please.

I leave the accommodation here in Boston no later than 10am tomorrow.. My mobile is +44 xxxxxxx

Email is pete@scargill.org

Hi Peter, we’ve checked on the status of the search and your baggage is currently being delivered. Please contact our colleagues directly in case you don’t receive it by tonight before you leave Boston. Kind regards.

05/08/2015 14:27

Just to be sure… I am staying at the address below until 10am tomorrow. I will NOT be thereby until tonight but there is a reception and I will alert them that there may be a delivery. I am currently in workshops at MIT.

Simmons Hall Building W79 229-243 Vassar Street Cambridge, MA (617) 253-5107

That’s Boston USA of course

Hi Peter, thank you for sharing this information with us. If you do not receive your bag by the time you get back then feel free to contact us again. Regards.


Hi The case turned up just in time to leave, thanks. Do you know where to send receipts for clothing and toiletries? The sheet I got didn’t seem to cover that.


Thanks for the confirmation, Peter. You can request a reimbursement of up to 50€/day for any urgent items/articles which have had to be purchased due to your luggage being misplaced. In order to file a claim for compensation, you have to send to the PO Box Apartado de Correos 36.299, 28080, Madrid, Spain (or by fax to the (0034) 91 746 16 19) the following documents: – Contact details – Bank details – Copy of your passport – Boarding passes – Bag tags – Copy of the PIR file – Invoices Once our colleagues receive this data, they will review your claim and get back to you with an answer (this process might take up to 5 weeks). As we said before, we will keep looking for your luggage. Sorry for the inconveniences caused. Kind regards.


Just to let you know i requested the re-imbursement and up to now heard nothing. Not impressed.

Hi Peter, please allow the full 5 weeks to elapse before hearing back from our colleagues. Once they have received everything and have moved on to the next step of the reimbursement they will contact you directly. Kind regards.

Unbelievable – I had to pay immediately for clothes because Iberia messed up – and yet they keep passengers waiting, what, 2 months for re-imbursement – this is all that is wrong with large companies – I guess I’ll just have to wait.. Not happy. I’d hate to be old and poor.

Hi Peter, we’re sorry for any inconvenience. We assure you that our colleagues are working diligently on resolving this matter and will be contacting you as soon as they have an update to share. Kind regards.


So – 5 weeks allowed? I went on this trip on 2nd of August… it is now 22nd of September and not a word from Iberia about my 118 Euros claim, made necessary by Iberia losing my bag. Do I REALLY have to fight this on social media or will someone attend to this.. The BAG TAG IBxxxxxxx from Alicante through Boston to Madrid.


Hi Peter, Sorry for the delay. We’ll check the status of your claim with the responsible department and get back to you as soon as we have further information about your case. Kind regards


Hi Peter, our colleagues are reviewing the information in your file, you will be informed about the resolution as soon as they have an answer about your claim. Sorry for the inconvenience. Kind Regards


Any idea of timescales as this is now past the deadline?

Hi Peter, we’re sorry but unfortunately we can’t provide you with a specific date. Our colleagues will inform you directly as soon as your case is done to be reviewed. Kind regards.


I’ll give it another week then I guess I’ll have to see what social media pressure I can put on them – utterly callous and unacceptable to keep individuals waiting this long when the corporation has screwed up. Thanks – I appreciate this is not your doing but now I have to use whatever is available to me to ensure I get refunded.


and here we are nearly 2 weeks later – months after Iberia lost my bags – nothing. Despite your assurances that someone would be in touch – am am well over 100 euros out of pocket and Iberia airlines don’t care.

Our deepest apologies, Peter. Could you please tell us when haven you sent the reimbursement request? Our colleagues have up to 5 weeks to process the request. Kind regards

WELL over 5 weeks ago. If you look at the top of this conversation- I started talking to you on 4th of August – it is now 6th of October.

4th August I sent images of my papers to you so you could forward to colleagues. A few days later I sent the receipts etc off to Iberia.

So I will have sent the papers off on 6th or 7th of August and someone here reminded me that I should give them 5 weeks. I’ve now given them nearly 9 weeks.

Hi, Peter. Our conversation was about the location of your bag. Have you retrieved it? From what you told us, we understood that you already requested the reimbursement. If not, you can ask for the reimbursement of expenses of first necessity (hygiene products, clothes…) you had as a result of being without your luggage. You can ask for a maximum of 50 euros per day, for 7 days maximum (total you can ask for: 350 euros). To request this reimbursement, you need to send a fax to (0034) 91 746 16 19 or mail to the PO Box Apartado de Correos 36299, 28080, Madrid, Spain, the following: – Contact details – Bank details – Home address – Original invoices of those expenses – PIR file If you choose to send the fax, please write your PIR code in each one of the pages. We remain at your disposal. Kind regards.

I have already (near the start of August sent all my information, receipts, exactly as you asked for to the address you quoted. I have heard absolutely nothing from them. I am now getting quite annoyed that Iberia treat their customers like this.

Ok. In this case, we’ll check the status of your case and get back to you once we have an answer from the responsible department. Kind regards

Thank you.


And once again following this conversation, no-one has come back to me. You have in the preceding messages all the documentation you could possible need – Iberia owes me compensation and has now had 3 months to do something about it. Despite promises, nothing. I’m left with no option than to take this further.

Hello Peter, we’ll contact our colleagues again. As soon as we have any information, we’ll let you know. Regards.


Hello Peter, our colleagues confirm that your file is being processed now but they don’t have a date on when they’ll have an answer yet. We do understand that it’s been a long process and we apologize for the inconvenience. We hope you have a response within the next few weeks. Regards.

03 NOVEMBER 2015

I had a response to say this…

As requested, we hereby inform you that the Property Irregularity Report (P.I.R.), reference number BOSIBxxxxx in the name of Mr. SCARGILL, per concerning a baggage incident after flight IB xxxx from MAD to BOS, of the 2nd of august 2015, figures in our records. Having received and studied the claim corresponding to this irregularity report, Iberia has proceeded to pay compensation for the delayed delivery.

Of course no contact details, no amount, no time.

Hello, Peter. Sorry for the delay. The payment might take up to 4 weeks to arrive. Kind regards

17 NOVEMBER 2015

Still no sign of any payment. Someone is taking the mick now…

If you check up this message list you will see this all started around 5th of August. Does anyone in there really think this is acceptable?

Hello, Peter. Our most sincere apologies for taking this long to process your reimbursement request. Unfortunately, it might take up to 4-5 weeks for the payment arrival, counting from the day that you’ve sent your last document. We’re deeply sorry for the inconvenience. Kind regards

Saying that really isn’t good enough. I’ve contacted the CAA and will then go to the small claims court. It is NOVEMBER for heaven’s sake. You can’t possibly think this is acceptable – we’re talking about over 3 months. I appreciate this is not your fault – but it is important to have a written chain of events – this entire conversation from August to now has been sent to the Civil Aviation Authority as a first step. I’m sorry Iberia could not act responsibly before now. Thank you for your feedback.

We’re extremely sorry, Peter. If you sent the documentation and our colleagues didn’t ask for more documents, your payment is already being processed and you should receive it shortly. We understand your frustration and kindly ask you to please wait until the deadline expires. Kind regards

29 NOVEMBER 2015

Still nothing – do I take it this has to go to court or can you confirm that something is being done right now? I’ve never been treated so badly by an airline – look at the history of this – the flight was end of July and I’ve been messaging in here since then.

29 NOVEMBER 2015

Hi Peter, let us verify and we’ll contact you back as soon as we have news. Kind regards


11 DECEMBER 2015

Hi Peter, your reimbursement check was issued the 10/11/2015 , which means that you should receive it within 3 weeks. Kind regards

5 JANUARY 2015

I have still not received any cheque or notification of a cheque. I am disgusted at this treatment.

5 JANUARY 2015

Hi Peter, have your contact our colleagues at the luggage centre for an update in your case? Can you confirm us? Kind Regards

I would not know who to contact. If you check this message in November you confirmed this would be paid

This started mid year. It is a disgrace.

Hi Peter, you can contact the luggage centre on the number that appears on your claim sheet? If you indicate us the country you are in, we can provide you the contact. We also appreciate if you can send your comments in a single message without pressing ‘Enter’ every time you write a sentence, as our tool for managing social networks recognize them as different messages and find it more difficult to obtain all the information. Kind Regards

I am in England now and getting the distinct feeling that Iberia are playing games. Your message of November clearly stated this payment was underway

Hi Peter, we consult on November and our colleagues confirm us that payment was underway, nevertheless there could be some data missing or something that can delayed the payment. The contact number is (+44) 2 0 36 843 774 you can call if you wish so our colleagues on the department on charge may inform you about it. Kind Regards

7 JANUARY 2015

The number I rang said they paid in November – which they did not. The woman I spoke to said someone will get in touch with me. She could not tell me when. I said I had been waiting a long time for this – but she could not give me further information. I am keeping a printed record of this atrocious service.

Hi Peter, in that case our colleagues will contact you directly to inform you about your case. We are sorry for the delay, please wait a little bit so they can get in touch with you, if they don´t contact you within this week, write us back, so we can consult about it. Kind Regards

17 JANUARY 2015

Again – no-one has contacted me – nothing but promises – do I REALLY have to do this publically through Facebook and other channels or is Iberia going to pay me the compensation agreed in November in this message stream – for my misplaced luggage.

Hi Peter, We will review internally with our colleagues from the Baggage Service Center regarding file BOSIBxxxxx and we will get back to you as soon as they inform us. Sorry for the inconveniences caused. Regards.

17 JANUARY 2015

Hi Peter, Our colleagues confirmed us that they are pending confirmation from the administration department regarding the cancellation of the payment that was issued and that you didn’t receive. Once the administration department confirms, a new payment will be ordered and you will be informed directly. Sorry for the delay and the inconveniences caused. Regards.

22 JANUARY 2015

As I’ve still heard nothing could you please check they have my correct address.. xxxxxxxxxx

Hello, Peter. We’ll check with our colleagues and get back to you as soon as we have a confirmation. Kind regards

22 JANUARY 2016

Hello, Peter. Our colleagues will analyse your registration and send you an email if they need further information. Kind regards

On 2nd of February I received an email to say that Customer Care needed a fax with my details on – because of an "incident" regarding the check for compensation for losses during my flight on August 2, 2015. I sent a fax of – and of course being a fax (I used a service – who has faxes these days) I’ve had no confirmation – it is now 12th February – no email, no confirmation, no cheque.. The email they sent was a no-reply address. Can you please find out if they actually got the fax. Reference Exxxxxx-xxxxxxxxxx and the email was sent from Madrid. Fax to send info was +34 91 746 16 19

Hi Peter, We will contact our colleagues from the Baggage Service Center and we will let you know once they inform us about your file. Regards.

Hi Peter, Our colleagues inform us that your case is being managed by our Legal Department as it seems you proceeded to claim also through the British Civil Aviation Authority. Once the management is done, the Legal Department will let know this organism about the resolution of your case so they can inform you. Regards.

I asked the Civil Aviation authority for advice as I was getting no-where here. Is this really so big a deal – to pay back a customer for expenses incurred when Iberia misplaced a bag 6 months ago? I’m beginning to think I’m on candid camera here.

21 JANUARY 2016

Hi – we had this conversation over a week ago and I have STILL not heard anything.

Hi, Peter. We’re deeply sorry for the inconvenience. Unfortunately claims filed through the Civil Aviation must be analysed by our lawyers and take a little longer to be resolver. Apologies. Kind regards

Hi – we had this conversation over a week ago and I have STILL not heard anything.

Hi Peter, As this is a case managed by our Legal Department, once the management is done, the Legal Department will let know the resolution directly to the British Civil Aviation Authority, as your claim was issued through this organism, they are the ones that can inform you the answer. Kind regards.

My claim was NOT issued through them – I merely complained to them – I ad already put the claim in via yourselves as the most  cursory glance of this email will show – Iberia have the whole history going back to August in front of them and you will see that supposedly a cheque was sent off to me in November – then somehow lost.

This is just more delay tactics -  do I have to write to the aviation authority again?? – what is WRONG with Iberia?? – your company caused me great inconvenience by misplacing a bag for my entire trip with important stuff in it  – I put in a very straightforward and reasonable claim. Not only did Iberia lose the bag – but then gave me an incorrect claim ticket for it. We are now looking at nearly 7 months and endless conversations over this. I understand you are trying to help and I’m grateful for your input – but will you please send this link to your claims department and tell them I am about to send this off to every social media outlet I can possibly get my hands on as I am SO disgusted with the way I am being treated. Sorry to have to act like this – but I’m being left no choice here. I will NEVER EVER use Iberia again.

21 FEBRUARY 2016

Hi Peter, We’re deeply sorry for the inconveniences but in this case, when there is report of a Civil Aviation Authority the Legal Department gets in charge of the case, and as we tried to explain before, it must be analysed by our lawyers and can take a little longer to be resolved. We just double checked internally but there is no update yet. As soon as there is any resolution the legal department will send the answer to that organism. Kind regards.

1 MARCH 2016

It is now MARCH 2016 – we started all of this in AUGUST 2015. Is it REALLY worth the publicity? Can I please have the compensation that Iberia Airlines owes me.

Chat conversation end

I then received a phone call on 2nd March and a follow up email (but as usual, from a no-reply address – they REALLY do not want people contacting them – to offer me air-miles for my trouble and to assure me that payment was just around the corner. It is now a week later – still no sign of any payment.

APRIL 2016

ONLY because I wrote to the executives and would absolutely NOT let this go, finally in April 2016 I received a phone call to offer apologies and some air miles in compensation. The air miles happened fairly quickly and are not really worth much. The cheque arrived a couple of weeks later. No interest, no humble apology, just the amount claimed. By now I would have crushed a small company for treating me like this over such an extended time, but large companies like Iberia seem almost above the law.  So all’s well that ends well, but beware – it could happen to you.

13 JULY 2016

I received an email from the CAA and I quote “When we last contacted you we explained we were waiting for the airline to reply to us. We are sorry to say that we are still waiting for a reply despite our further reminders to them.”

The powerful CAA – and this is it- if Iberia choose not to get in touch – which clearly they have not, then it would seem the CAA can do bugger-all about it.  And of course, the airlines will be well aware of this – which is probably why they didn’t respond. I assume we’re paying in taxes for this organisation! They offered to contact me again by the end of August. I told them that would not be necessary!