Friday, February 13, 2009

Come fly with me...

Arriving to Spain in August was a bit of a mess. My flight out of Detroit left an hour late, meaning I missed my connecting NYC flight to Dublin and thus my Dublin-Santiago flight. Due to the messed up schedule and the fault of Delta in all this I was rebooked on new flights: NYC-Paris-Madrid with Delta's partner Air France. I was relieved to finally be on my way to Spain, although still unsure of exactly how I was going to get from Madrid to Santiago. The flights were smooth, until arriving in Madrid, I went to the baggage claim, and of course I was the person whose bags had not arrived. Air France gave me a tooth brush and an extra large t-shirt to get by until my bags arrived. But the mala hostia passed quickly when D surprised me by picking me up at the Madrid airport...a 6 hour drive from Santiago..and even without bags, we happily headed off into the sunset, finally together again after a year apart.
As the days passed, I began to need things, and as I've noted before I was lucky to arrive in Spain during rebajas and bought a few new things for cheap, but in the weeks to follow I had to spend much more than I was expecting on all the bare necesities. I placed complaints with Delta and Air France. Delta washed their hands of the situation, saying the moment they switched me to Air France it was out of their control. Air France told me they weren't sure where my bags were. I later recieved a call from the Dublin airport saying my bags were there. Air France called the next day saying they didn't know where my bags were. In the end, weeks later my suitcase arrived destroyed, but with most of the contents ok.
Air Fance told me to buy a new suitcase and send them the reciepts for my expenses which I did with the help the Office of Consumer Affairs in Galicia. Finally in December after two months with no word I recieved a call from Air France approving the reimbursment of the money I had spent saying all they needed was the international code to send the money to my account. I sent the fax with the number, and waited and waited and waited, and sent another fax, and finally today I recieved an e-mail from Air France saying they are depositing the money into the account soon(not sure exactly how long soon will be, but at least it's coming)!!!
Sooo...the moral of the story is don't schedule flights with only 1 hour layovers, don't ever give up on getting what you deserve from an airline or any other company that screws you over, keep all your reciepts, and as much as the Spanish government and bureacracy has caused me headaches in the past few months in the end they do take care of business.

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