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Flair Airlines passenger outraged after waiting months for compensation cheque for lost luggage

WATCH: A B.C. woman turned to Consumer Matters after she says she got no relief from Flair Airlines after her daughter's luggage was lost. Anne Drewa reports.

A Flair Airlines passenger says she will never fly with the Kelowna-based carrier again after the length of time it took to receive compensation for her lost bag.

“I’ll pay more to not fly with them,” Jen Bhangal said. “I would just avoid Flair at all costs.”

The B.C. resident flew from Toronto to Vancouver on Dec. 17, 2018 , but her suitcase never arrived. Bhangal says she immediately filled out a property irregularity report – the first step in processing her claim.

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Meantime, her mother, Iqbal Malhi, says she tried desperately to get answers from the airline about her daughter’s lost bag. She says she even drove to Vancouver International Airport to speak with a Flair Airlines representative in person, but says she couldn’t get answers.

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“I had no idea how many times I called them,” Malhi said. “I was getting nowhere. The wait time is two hours on the phone. I’ve been emailing them. I tried searching on the internet who could I contact.”

On Jan. 22, Flair Airlines officially declared Bhangal’s luggage lost. She was told via email the airline was processing her compensation cheque in the amount of $1,500 – the maximum reimbursement available specified in the airline’s tariff.

Flair also confirmed the cheque would reach Bhangal in two to four weeks. But after five weeks, the cheque never arrived.

READ MORE: ‘We all got abandoned’: B.C. family among hundreds stranded without their luggage in India

“Try to follow up again. Nobody could answer me. The baggage support claim people – they couldn’t give me any details,” Malhi said.

Frustrated, Malhi filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau, but the complaint was eventually declared “unresolved.”  The Better Business Bureau has given Flair Airlines an “F” rating, telling Consumer Matters the airline has received a total of 143 complaints – 68 of those complaints since January 2019.

With still no sign of the compensation cheque after 14 weeks, Malhi contacted Consumer Matters.  After Global BC got involved, Bhangal received her $1,500 cheque within days.

READ MORE: Lost luggage: Here’s what happens to your baggage after check-in

In an email, Flair Airlines told Consumer Matters:

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“The unfortunate delay was a result of an internal miscommunication and was completely unintentional. We are a young airline and learning from such mistakes, striving to delight our customers.”

Consumer Matters also asked Flair Airlines about its baggage tracking system and what type of technology is in place. A spokesperson for the company told us Flair Airlines uses third-party ground handlers and relies on airport baggage systems. It also says it brought in SITA’s World Tracer, a global bag-tracing and matching system, on April 29.

Global BC requested an on-camera interview with Flair Airlines, but we were told no one would be available at this time.

 

 

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