KLM checkedin suitcase missing and later destroyed by airline due to "perishable" content

55 posts in this topic

I flew through Amsterdam to Munich on Sunday 26.05.2019 with 2 check-in luggage. When i got to the Munich airport, 1 of my check-in luggage was missing. I then reported to the airport authorities and they said they will trace my luggage and revert.

 

2 days afterwards, i got a call that the suitcase has been spotted in Amsterdam and it will be delivered to me. Unfortunately, a wrong suitcase was delivered even though my suitcase had all necessary tags and details which i provided when lodging the complain.

 

Few days later, i called again only for them to tell me that the suitcase has been destroyed because it contained perishable items.

 

Do they have any rights to destroy my luggage? What are my options? Any support or information will be appreciated.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am not a lawyer but... customs do indeed have very extensive rights. It would most likely be a futile and pointless exercise trying to fight their decision to destroy your luggage. As it no longer exists I wonder how you would prove the value of its contents and thus demand compensation. If you have a receipt for the actual suitcase itself and a photo of same and it was worth much you could try writing to them directly for the value of the suitcase without its contents. I take it the suitcase was uninsured?

3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do you have travel insurance? Normally covers baggage as well.  If you do,call them up and tell them what happened.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Though I would imagine insurance companies would exclude compensation if you inadvisdly had something so obnoxious and rotting in your suitcase that the airline decided to have it destroyed.  As asked previously, what was in the suitcase that was perishable?

 

Edit: Ribs? :wacko: 

 

Edit:  Please not bushmeat from Ghana

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm curious too, what "perishable" items were in his suitcase?  According to KLM website, products of animal origin are strictly prohibited, that includes ribs and bushmeat from Ghana. :rolleyes:

 

He said his bags were tagged, I'm wondering if they could have some how contacted Mr. Rib regarding this situation...ring...ring...ring...  

 

KLM: "Good day Sir, this is KLM customer care calling, while offloading your checked luggage, we noticed what appeared to be a  stench of dead animal products and a large red stain permeating the outside of your baggage and leaking what appeared to be blood. It was imperative to investigate your luggage.  We opened your luggage and to our chagrin we found rotting bushmeat and a small rack of ribs that had turned an iridescent green loaded with maggots. Unfortunately,  the best way for us to deal with this situation was to dispose of your entire luggage. In the future, please kindly refer to our website for all prohibited items. Sir, at KLM we pride ourselves on providing outstanding customer service. Hence, our corporate motto is "journeys of inspiration", perhaps you misunderstood our motto to be "journeys of refrigeration"."

 

Mr. Rib: "I didn't do nuttin'. Someone must've snuck bushmeat and ribs in my luggage. Why did you destroy my expensive luggage because someone put bushmeat and ribs in my bag your motto is not "journeys of desperation? Are you playing a "game" with me, opps sorry no pun intended."

 

3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, optimista said:

I am not a lawyer but... customs do indeed have very extensive rights. It would most likely be a futile and pointless exercise trying to fight their decision to destroy your luggage. As it no longer exists I wonder how you would prove the value of its contents and thus demand compensation. If you have a receipt for the actual suitcase itself and a photo of same and it was worth much you could try writing to them directly for the value of the suitcase without its contents. I take it the suitcase was uninsured?

 

 

Airlines have limited liability for baggage according to the Montreal convention and a maximum payout of 1,131 SDR (approx. 1400 Euros).

Any more will have to be claimed via insurance.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why would carrying perishable foods give the airline any right to destroy a suitcase ? Removing it, yes (that's pretty much standard practice for storing any lost luggage anywhere), but destroy the whole luggage and not just the offending item ? That sounds like bullshit. Get whatever they told you *in writing* and take it from there.

 

 

 

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, Marianne013 said:

Why would carrying perishable foods give the airline any right to destroy a suitcase ? Removing it, yes (that's pretty much standard practice for storing any lost luggage anywhere), but destroy the whole luggage and not just the offending item ? That sounds like bullshit. Get whatever they told you *in writing* and take it from there.

 

 

 

 

If anything perishable leaked and such perishable item was contraband, the entire encasement, whether luggage or not, cleanable or not, can be destroyed to spare any risk to livestock, human life, plant life, and eco-system. Simply put, if you packed something that later becomes hazmat for whatever reason, the entire case is destroyed.

6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, Marianne013 said:

Why would carrying perishable foods give the airline any right to destroy a suitcase ? Removing it, yes (that's pretty much standard practice for storing any lost luggage anywhere), but destroy the whole luggage and not just the offending item ? That sounds like bullshit. Get whatever they told you *in writing* and take it from there.

 

If you pack some frozen fish or meat and your luggage is lost and it thaws and starts leaking and stinking, the airline can not just remove the damaged item, it'll still stink and leak. Besides who is paying them to go through your stuff? If they send a bill you can say they should have thrown it away and if you pay the bill to get the rest of your luggage back you could complain they didn't just throw out the contraband food, they also stole your expensive clothes and jewelry. It's safer for the airline to toss the entire suitcase and I am sure it's in their small print that they can.

3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This started with the airline having lost the luggage. The airline has a duty to try and get it back to you. So paying someone to process this luggage is well within the airline's responsibilities.

I'm aware of the "abandoned luggage might be destroyed" scenario, but that is not the case here. That luggage was accepted by the airline for carriage.

 

Please show me any European airline's policy that alludes to destroying luggage wrt perishable items. I tried looking for it and I can't find any.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, Marianne013 said:

That luggage was accepted by the airline for carriage.

 

Since the regulated phytosanitary export controls are insufficient in Ghana, there is no reason to assume that the acceptance of luggage within commercial air flight from Ghana would meet any accepted EU standard.

 

Secondarily, smuggling, which is what one is doing when one packs meat or produce in a suitcase from a third-party country, is illegal and renders any obligation of the airline moot since that baggage then becomes the jurisdiction of customs enforcement. Customs has no obligation to smugglers to conserve baggage or any other items.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, we   still do not  know what was  in the suitcase, but let's assume there was meat in the luggage...

 

You are not allowed to import meat from non EU-countries into the EU! You used KLM as a mule for an illegal activity! 

 

What is KLM supposed to do with a smelly suitcase with illegal content that they even cannot get through customs in a legal way?

 

It could also be that it was  actually customs who destroyed it due to the meat.

 

The OP presumably commited illegal activities, why should customs or  KLM  be nice in that case?

 

 

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I still haven't seen any regulations of KLM and/or customs in Amsterdam that allude to destroying luggage wrt perishable items.

Can you *please* link them ?

In my experience if customs finds any kind of contraband they fine and/or charge you. There have been some incidences on this board of people importing 'cheap' electronics etc from the US and then being amazed when they had to pay. So if the OP was smuggling, why he doesn't seem to have been fined  or charged ? (Of course if he has been, that would change the situation completely.)

 

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, first of all, the OP has not come back to tell us what was in the case, but they did say that they flew into Munich and it was in Munich where they were first aware of the missing luggage. So, I think we can rule out Amsterdam. Otherwise, you can look to  Regulation (EC) No. 206/2009 for guidance on this. I provided a link to the consumer page of the German gov't. You'll have to go hunt down the relevant information. It might be here. But, as I said, we are all just guessing that the baggage contained contraband and the contraband was meat. The OP would be well-advised to just let it go. The maximum fine for the import of non-declared animal products is €1 million.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, franklan said:

You are not allowed to import meat from non EU-countries into the EU!

Now I got curious... can you legally transport meat on a plane suitcase within the EU?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, MikeMelga said:

Now I got curious... can you legally transport meat on a plane suitcase within the EU?

 

Yes, see my links above.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's quite disingenuous to assume the case contained bush meat because it was coming from Ghana. Not surprised he hasn't bothered to answer. TT does it again.

 

On the other hand Mr. Rib could just be a troll winding us all up.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, optimista said:

It's quite disingenuous to assume

No, it's not.

 

When a suitcase gets destroyed due to perishable items (that's what the OP wrote), meat (or plants that may have insects in/on them) is a pretty good guess. Especially when the poster beats around the bush what the perishable item is!

 

What do you think it was? A leaking can of diet sprite?  

3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now