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Roughly 10 days ago, I have travelled from Germany to China. Unfortunately, my checked suitcase was left behind.

My ticket is booked via Hainan Airlines (HU); the flight comprised three legs:

  • A domestic EuroWings (EW) flight from STR to BER.
  • The Hainan Airlines (HU) flight from BER to PEK.
  • A domestic Hainan Airlines (HU) flight from PEK.

My suitcase was checked through from STR to PEK. When the suitcase was not on the carousel in PEK, I filed a PIR (property irregularity report) right there in PEK's baggage claim.

After plenty of phone calls and e-mails, I could find out the suitcase was still in STR (the baggage label came off).

I informed HU about this finding. They told me they have no staff at STR and thus no way to contact the airport directly. They can only hope their request to send the suitcase placed on World Tracer1 will be fulfilled.

After any attempts to contact STR remotely failed, friends of mine in Germany travelled to STR to ask staff there to handle HU's request, which was confirmed by STR staff to happen at once.

The next day, the suitcase was shipped to MUC using a Lufthansa flight, from where it was supposed to fly to PEK on another Lufthansa flight. Unfortunately, the suitcase has been in MUC now for another two days without anything happening.

I know no-one in Munich who I could ask to drop by the airport to ask airport staff, and HU says they have no staff at MUC and thus no way to influence what happens to the suitcase.

Is there anything I could do to help HU deliver my checked baggage? I have read in various places that as my contractual partner, the airline is responsible for delivering delayed luggage, but if they have zero influence on what happens to that luggage at the point of origin or at other airports, how are they supposed to fulfil that responsibility?


1: Checking myself what is or is not on World Tracer is currently difficult for me.

1 Answer 1

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They told me they have no staff at STR and thus no way to contact the airport directly.

That seems somewhat disingenuous. If they sold you this as a single itinerary, than they have an interlining agreement with Eurowings and that agreement will in all likelihood spell out how to handle lost luggage. Your dropped your bags off at the Eurowings counter and hence Eurowings should have handled this in Stuttgart.

The next day, the suitcase was shipped to MUC

That's unfortunate. It would have made a lot more sense to send to an airport where Hainan is operating, i.e. Berlin, Paris, Brussels, etc.

Roughly 10 days ago,

This has been handled very poorly and given the level of incompetence in play, it doesn't seem likely to show up anytime soon.

I would start reading up on the "Montreal Convention" (see for example https://www.forbes.com/advisor/credit-cards/travel-rewards/montreal-convention-luggage/) and plan compensation strategy. By now you probably have bought everything you needed anyway. If there is no particular value for you to still receive the luggage and you are going back to STR in the near future, you can ask to have it returned to it's point of origin. If you they don't deliver it after XXX days you can claim full compensation for the bag (around $1700 US). XXX depends a bit on the airline but cannot exceed 21 days.

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  • Somewhat surprisingly, the suitcase has finally arrived now, with a delay of almost 12 days. As there was no direct monetary loss on my side, but considerable additional effort for all the phone calls and e-mails (not to mention asking friends to spend two hours to physically drop by STR airport), I will keep the option to ask HU for a retroactive discount.
    – F-H
    Aug 20, 2023 at 3:48

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