I got hit by an excessive baggage fee by American Airlines on Monday.
Flew Honolulu to Belfast.
Checked in 1 box 95 x 72 x 20cms, 17kg.
Charged $150 but http://www.americanairlines.co.uk/i18n/agency/travelExperience/baggageAllowance.jsp?locale=en_GB says
- One non-motorised touring or racing bike.
- Handlebars must be fixed sideways and pedals removed or pedals and handlebars must be enclosed in plastic foam or similiar material.
- Restriction for travel to/from/through Zurich (Switzerland): Due to limitations of the X-ray machines in Zurich (ZRH), bicycle boxes cannot be larger than the dimensions of the X-ray machines, which are 31 inches wide by 39 inches high by 157 inches long and cannot weigh more than 70 lbs.
**- One bicycle will be accepted in place of one checked bag within the baggage allowance regardless of the actual dimensions of the bicycle. **
- Carry-on: No
- Checked: Yes
So, the website says Free I get charged $150.
So I email American Airlines the website link and all the flight information. They reply with the following...excerpt, the full is below...
Moreover, we depend on our agents to assess the items and collect the applicable charge. We do not countermand our airport agents' decisions regarding excess or overweight baggage. Accordingly, we must respectfully decline to refund the baggage charge you paid.
They also include a completely different website link stating the bike charge is $100 not $150
I have once again emailed and asked why 1. the website says free regardless of size and 2. why the other page says $100 and not the $150 I was charged.
Any ideas of who I can copy this too? OFT? Trading Standards?
Thank you for contacting Customer Relations.
I can appreciate your dismay at having to pay an additional charge for transporting a bicycle as checked baggage. Thank you for this opportunity to address your inquiry.
While all sports equipment counts towards your bag allowance, there is an additional charge for some sports items that exceed our size and weight restrictions (bicycles, surfboards, hang gliders, and javelins, for example). While it may not be readily apparent, there are additional costs associated with handling these items. For example, such items generally cannot be placed on standard baggage conveyor systems and may have to be transported by other means to and from bag rooms and aircraft. In addition, the cubic space required to secure such items in aircraft cargo compartments is space that may displace other cargo and reduce our revenue. To recover some of these costs, we believe it is reasonable to charge those customers who choose to travel with these items. For more information, please click on the following link:
Moreover, we depend on our agents to assess the items and collect the applicable charge. We do not countermand our airport agents' decisions regarding excess or overweight baggage. Accordingly, we must respectfully decline to refund the baggage charge you paid. I am sorry.
Again, thank you for allowing me to explain why we charged to check your bicycle. Please travel with us soon. We look forward to welcoming you onboard again in the near future.