Lufthansa affiliate - Lost luggage fiasco - I need advice

My mom recently returned from a trip to France and the airline (Brussels Air & Eurowings) lost her luggage. She filled out paperwork at the SLC airport when she arrived, but they didn’t give her a “reference number”. She drove home thinking the luggage would arrive soon thereafter. It’s been over ten days and still no luggage. Every time she calls or emails Brussels, Eurowings, etc. they won’t give her any information because she doesn’t have a reference number.

She lives hundreds of miles away from the airport, so coming in-person isn’t exactly practical. I went to the SLC airport and met several Eurowings representatives. They all said they don’t have access to the luggage database so they gave me a phone number for the manager that supposedly does have access. The manager hasn’t responded with the reference number and I have no idea where to go from here.

Anyone know what the best action to take might be to get her luggage back (or at least get compensated)? Thanks in advance!

That is terrible!! I traveled for work a great deal for many years and had a couple of luggage losses, that were always a bit of trouble, but ultimately was fairly compensated.

I don’t know if you have an attorney friend who could communicate with the manager on legal letterhead, but otherwise, the only way that I’ve ever been able to solve problems like this is with patient, personal, persistence. And by patient, I DO NOT mean extending patience to the organization or their non-responsive employees.

Organizations often adopt a tact of frustrating claimants just enough to see if they will simply “go away”. If they discover the claimant will return, they eventually handle it.

I’d try repeating your visit to the Eurowings representatives, explaining the situation and asking for their advice, as well as getting the address of the office if possible of the manager who is avoiding you, or someone in his organization who is available locally. Show up at the office letting them know you’ll wait to see a representative for as long as it takes, and will not leave the office without the reference number and contact information including address of the person who can process the claim. Don’t become angry, or overly push, but very firm, direct and determined. in all your interactions with people in the organization, when road blocks appear, appeal to their humanity asking what they would do in your situation. (This is all very difficult if no one is available locally.)

If you cannot get anyone locally who can help, another option is to look at the company website, or speak with the company customer support organization, and find out whether the company has a customer grievance department. If they do, communicate with them in detail via email, asking for their assistance in managing the claim. These organizations are sometimes more help, but not always.

It is unfortunately a lot of trouble, but the squeaky wheel gets the grease, sometimes.

I hope it works out!

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My wife works on baggage claims for another airline, and since we share the same home office (while working for different companies) I overhear a lot and I’m kind of an expert on baggage claims. The baggage office at airports will only deal with baggage claims for the first 5 days. Then they’ll turn them over to a department like my wife’s that assists to either locate the lost baggage or settle a claim. Usually on international flights the airlines have to cover more items that aren’t covered on domestic flights so your mom has that going for her. If they haven’t been able to give her a reference number at the airport then if it were me I’d use their online portal to file a claim. Self Service UI . I’m sure that way she’ll be able to get a reference number and will be able to get her claim assigned to a baggage specialist. If they ever ask why she didn’t file at the airport you can let them know that she did, but since they aren’t responsive you went the online route. Most of the communication that my wife has with customers is through her airline’s online portal, she does make and take calls as well, but specifics related to the missing luggage, items of value, claim offers, etc is all done on their online portal. One more thing, make sure the claim is filed with the last carrier she flew with. Sometimes if customers fly more than one airline they make the mistake of filing the claim with the first airline, even if it was the first airline that lost the bags it’s the responsibility of the final carrier to resolve the claim. The airlines have a system they all use to cooperate with each other to track down lost luggage.


Thanks! THis is really helpful!

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Thanks, @UteManChris. I appreciate it!
Utefans is the best!

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Oof - that Eurowings website won’t allow claims past seven days. My mom has phoned, emailed, and tried to file online, but wasn’t able to get anywhere with any reps. When I went to the airport last Saturday, the reps showed me the paperwork that my mom filled out when she first arrived in SLC on Aug 17th, so proof exists that she reported it immediately… But it looks like the window to file an additional report online has closed.

You need to get someone from their main baggage department on the phone. My wife’s airline lists their central baggage number where it’s easily found on their website, but looking at Eurowings’ site, I’m not seeing anywhere how you can reach out to them directly. If you have the number for their SLC Airport baggage department get in touch with them and get them to transfer you to their main baggage department, or at least get that direct number. I’d recommend calling their SLC Airport baggage office after one of their flights has landed. With a company like that that doesn’t have lots of flights in and out of SLC, that’s the best chance of finding someone actually in their office, and potentially the best time to reach their manager on duty.

Oh, and if you want to do some research on baggage claims for international flights, look up the Montreal Convention.

Good luck!


Wow, @UteManChris where were you when I needed you? Just kidding…this all sounds like spectacular (industry specific) advice.
My wife and I recently retired, but had each worked at home part time for several years, and mostly fulltime since the pandemic. We had two small offices, with doors facing each other across a hall, which were mostly open for circulation. I learned more about banking and financial software, while she learned about software development and healthcare. It often resulted in dinner time conversations that were wayyyyy toooo work related.

Cross training … :slight_smile:

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Something I have found helpful when I have gotten the runaround with a company is to find out if they have a social media presence…twitter, instagram, facebook, etc. Nothing seems to get their attention faster than being called out publicly for the lack of responsiveness - in a professional manner of course! :slight_smile:


Thank you all for your advice! After almost three weeks, Delta (of all airlines) called my mom and told her they had it. Eurowings was no help throughout the process. My mom flew Brussels air and then Eurowings, but I think Brussels just gave it to Delta since SLC is a Delta hub. Happy ending after all!


Good to hear about the happy ending.

Good news. Hopefully there is still some comp involved. It’s in her rights.