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Thread: South African Airways Beware

  1. #1

    Unhappy South African Airways Beware

    I returned this year from Jo'burg to LHR on SAA to find my aluminium rifle case pierced, dented and the handle broken off and missing. At the SAA claims desk there were four of us with damaged baggage. I was asked the value of the case and I guessed 250. I bought a replacement, a Pelican 1750, and provided them with a copy of the invoice for 299.86. After protracted emails I received this explanation for why they will not pay for their damaging my property:

    The amount of 250.00 was the value given in your file reference LHRSA10195, the value given in your receipt dated 23 March 2016 (299.86) does not reflect the value of the case that was damaged. We took the amount of 250.00 and we took depreciation at 10% per year (5 years old) , which gave us the total of 147.62 as per the offer we made you

    We handle claims in line with the Montreal Convention and as per our conditions of carriage 16.3.12:

    16.3.12. In the course of normal handling, your baggage may show evidence of use. We are not liable for conditions that result from normal wear and tear such as minor cuts, scratches, scuffs, dents and soiled baggage. We are not liable for protruding parts such as wheels, feet straps, handles including telescoping / pull handles, hangers, hooks, loose flaps, pockets or other attached items.

    It appears they routinely smash up your property then refuse to pay for it ! This was a case containing a rifle and meant to be handled by personal baggage handlers not just chucked on the conveyors and into trolleys. I could have flown Virgin for 50 less. I will be next trip !

  2. #2
    Assholes! I had similar from Delta on my return from the States. My rifle case was dented, scraped and had obviously been thrown about by some retard with more tattoos than IQ points. I won't fly Delta again
    A Man should be wise, but never too wise. He who does not know his fate in advance is free of care

  3. #3
    Rupert had the same problem with Air France 7 years ago three of us had damaged cases on an Air France flight, my Swarovski scope and aluminium gun case was damaged, a mates binns were damaged. We lined up with other passengers also with damaged suitcases and items within them. We ensured they saw the damage to the items, and the footprints on the flight cases. My mate accepted a 150 playout after 6 months, I refused 300. It took 2 years and loads of letters before they caved in, and paid for a new scope, and a Pelican gun case. I always now fly with Virgin, as their flight staff are always professional and attentive. Planes are clean, food is good, Branson is on the ball with what he does. deerwarden

  4. #4
    The problem with damaged firearm stuff is that some of it is baggage handlers and they are (as I understand it) employed by the airport not the airport so I can understand some of the things they say. I accept that thwy should be a bit better about paying out for damage but I do see both sides of the problem.


  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Kalahari View Post
    The problem with damaged firearm stuff is that some of it is baggage handlers and they are (as I understand it) employed by the airport not the airport so I can understand some of the things they say. I accept that thwy should be a bit better about paying out for damage but I do see both sides of the problem.

    It shouldn't matter who the baggage handlers work for.
    The contract is with the airline to fly you and your bagggage from A to B.
    The baggage is checked in via the airline checkin desk and they take responsibility from that point.
    You have no dealings or transactions with anyone else.

  6. #6
    I rather thought that was covered by my comment about paying out. However I still feel they have problems because of antis behind the scenes. If we make too much of an unreasonable fuss there will be fewer and fewer airlines that fly firearms, which might just be a problem for all of us. Perhaps we should be naming and shaming the airports and complaining to them as well.


  7. #7
    John - nice to hear from you again, please give my best to Guy if you are going out to Wild Horizon Safaris again soon. I think Virgin's food is not up to much but I don't fly to eat ! Their flight times mean a later arrival than SAA or BA at JNB if you have an onward journey that day.
    David - take your point about airlines taking sports equipment (I think Ryanair don't) as rifles are termed but my point was that three others had damaged suitcases, one was beyond use for her onward flight to New York that day AND they hide behind Montreal Convention saying they are not liable for smashing your suitcase handles off.
    Gorilla baggage handlers need to be tamed !

  8. #8
    I agree about the Gorillas, just wondering if an attack on the airport as well might have more effect. The fact that three airlines had done it might point the finger more at the airport. Particularly if all the flights started or terminated in th esame one.


  9. #9
    There was a small group of baggage Handlers at LGW that were rabid anti shooting and hunting and these would maliciously damage guns and cases and things came to a head when they broke the stock of a SxS dangerous game rifle bound for Africa. The damage was discovered in South Africa at customs the rifle case had been opened and the rifle jumped on until the stock broke. BA claimed it was nothing to do with them and said tuff luck. The shooter and owner did not agree argued and BA then said they would have it repaired the owner said the only people working on it were the makers which was one of the big London firms possibly Holland & Holland.

    BA refused so he contacted his legal people and sued and it not only cost BA the cost of repair but the costs of the now tainted safari and the hire of a suitable replacement rifle for it. BA changed the way they transfered rifles from customs to the planes due to this. Ron one of the club members worked for BA at North Terminal at LGW and was involved in sorting this out at LGW. BA got the Police involved as this was criminal damage and a group of baggage handlers were arrested as they were also involved in theft. It made quite the stir in the local news at the time I remember.

    I have only flown a few times but on a trip through Malaga my new case was damaged by the handlers not enough to be no longer usable but enough to be very annoying and it's useful life was severly shortened the airlines were most unhelpful then as well. So this is nothing new.

  10. #10
    i have a peli case and its covered with banjo stickers.

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