‘Not too welcoming’: Fil-Am family’s luggage lost, damaged upon arrival in Manila

July 26, 2022 - 2:33 PM
Photos of damaged luggage from the Stanton family uploaded on July 18, 2022 (Facebook/Stanton Anne)

A family’s return to the Philippines was spoiled after their luggage was lost and damaged upon their arrival.

Last July 18, Fil-Am Anne Stanton shared this experience on Facebook.

“Our business and pleasure trip to the Philippines was not too welcoming upon arrival at the airport. We were supposed to surprise our family too but to our dismay, we got surprised instead,” she said.

Anne, her husband Richard and their son departed from Florida, United States with their nine bags.

After 35 hours of traveling, they finally landed in the Philippines. None of their bags, however, arrived with them.

Anne said that they tried to contact local airport authorities and representatives from Qatar Airways and American Airlines (where they took their flights) for their missing belongings.

“My husband decided to speak to the general manager and somehow was just asked to file a claim for luggage missing and told us to just wait until they will locate it,” Anne said.

It was only after two days when Qatar Airways representatives found some of their baggage.

The suitcases, however, were not in the same condition as they were before.

Anne accompanied her post with photos of their damaged things.

“The photos here are the actual pictures of our luggage,” she said.

Based on the photos, the suitcases were ripped open, have broken locks and some of the wheels were also damaged.

“The worst part was our bags were obviously opened and were definitely checked. Plus our brand new bags had broken wheels when they were returned to us. The TSA locks were opened and changed,” Anne said.

Anne also lamented that the other missing suitcase carry their gifts or pasalubongs to relatives.

“The worst part is the missing bag which until now cannot be found has the most expensive items inside of it costing us money around $5,000 to $7,000 intended as (Pasalubong) gifts and presents for my family and relatives,” she said.

Anne’s post circulated on Facebook. As of writing, it garnered 10,000 reactions, 74 comments and 9,500 shares.

Missing items

In an interview with Interaksyon on July 21, Anne said that they had several stolen items from the damaged bags.

Some of these are the following:

  • Imported pair of shoes
  • Perfumes
  • Vitamins
  • Chocolates
  • Expensive devices such as iPhones, iPads and smartwatches

In her post, Anne earlier wrote that even after a long trip, her family went to Mall of Asia to purchase personal items to make do as they wait for their missing suitcases.

She advised other travelers to wrap their bags tight and practice other measures to keep their belongings as safe and secure as possible.

“To all travelers out there, please pay attention to your luggage to secure them properly, like putting some wraps all over it to keep it secure,” Anne said.

Filing of case

When asked if they plan to file a case, Anne said that her husband wanted to do so.

She did not specify details about the case to be filed and against whom.

“My husband wants to file a case if there’s a public attorney who can help us,” Anne said.

“He claimed he wants to get compensated for everything that causes delay and damage and for the expenses we have spent in hotels, and when we bought personal items when our baggage didn’t arrive on time, and also the inconvenience of picking up luggage instead of delivering it to our hotel in Manila while we were still there,” she added.

When asked about the authorities they reached out to, Anne said that her husband talked to “random airport policemen” initially.

They then told him to contact the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines. However, they were not assisted on how to reach its office.

They then turned to Qatar Airways for help. It was at that point that they finally talked to a senior officer of the airline.

“She promised my husband that she would have an executive get in touch with us to arrange compensation or to locate luggage but there were no updates nor response to our call,” Anne said.

As of writing, no update was given yet if they had found their missing belongings.

Interaksyon also reached out to Qatar Airways to inquire about the incident. However, the airline has yet to respond to Interaksyon’s request for comment.

Anne said that this trip was supposed to be their “comeback” since their last visit in 2019.

After what happened, she still hoped that their missing bag will be returned to them before they return to the US on September 7.