The end of a trip is always a sad time, but it feels nice to get home. As I was standing in the “Foreigner” line for immigrations to China ( I like the Hong Kong “Visitors” line better) , I was just imagining how nice it would be to scrub my grubby self off in my tiny shower back in my pad. Alas , this was not to be.
Waiting at the baggage carousel , and waiting , and waiting , I was at last discouraged when the final remaining passenger scooped up his bag and left.
Going over to the lost baggage claims desk , I was welcomed back to China with its amazing (lack of) customer service. Sometimes service in the land of 1.3 billion is lacking. The attitude becomes that of “there are 1,299,999,999 other people available , get lost”.
Upon handing the worker behind the counter my baggage claim slip , the first thing I was informed was “China Eastern is not responsible for your loss and we will not give you any compensation”. Wow. Right off the bat , I was hit with that little gem. No desire to help , only to cover their tracks.
Back in Hanoi , I had a Hong Kong Airlines flight to Hong Kong , an overnight in Hong Kong , and a following day Hong Kong Airlines flight operated by China Eastern to Shanghai. In Hanoi , at check-in, the worker asked me if I wanted my bag to go to Hong Kong , and then I would collect it and have to re-check it the next day or if I wanted the bag to go straight to Shanghai. The latter was optimal , saving me time , and freeing myself from lugging the bag around Hong Kong.
After explaining the situation to the China Eastern lost baggage claims, they told me that this was “impossible” , that the bag had to be picked up in Hong Kong by myself. Upon asking her to call Hong Kong Airlines and check if the bag was in their system , she told me they didn’t have the phone number. She was clearly not willing to look the number up or help in any manner.
Trekking back home from the airport , I was in a bad mood. You see, all my personal hygiene things were in the bag. Hot shower with shampoo and soap = no go. (And I spent almost all my cash on the trip , I needed food money)
Five years ago when I was headed to Germany from the U.S , I had a hectic shuffling about involving delayed flights , missed connections, and lost luggage. In Germany , Lufthansa , which was the airline I was switched to , gave me 50 Euros , a fresh change of clothes , all the essential toiletrries I would need, and delivery of my bag the next day with no hassle, and they weren’t even the ones who misplaced my luggage! Now that is customer service.
It took us the next day of calling China Eastern and harrassing them to get my bag. China Eastern was having no part of bearing the responsibilty , and no part in helping me to get my bag. I didn’t ask for compensation , only my things. ( Which included my pair of shoes). They kept saying to call Hong Kong Airlines , yelled at my girlfriend , refused to have any responsibility, and even hung up on her.
We called Hong Kong Airlines , they profusely apologized , said China Eastern is crazy for their behavior , said since China Eastern was handling the flight and since it was the last connecting flight China Eastern was indeed resonsible for getting me my bag. They promised to take care of things and help us out.
Fast forward a bit and China Eastern calls us and tells us to come all the way back to Pudong Airport to pick the bag up. My girlfriend says hell no , China Eastern says they won’t spend a penny on us , and fighting ensues. Eventually we get them to say they will deliver. The delivery guy calls us and asks us if it’s okay to bring the bag tomorrow since he has NO MONEY to get transport into the city. What kind of joke is this? We tell him he works for a delivery company and he should get some money. ( We believe he just didn’t want to come since it was nearly 8pm)
At least we got the bag back , and in 24 hours but come on! Customer service fail. Pity for China Eastern as their pilots and stewardess are great (we even got Haagan Daazs ice-cream!)
Alright enough moaning and complaining. Next updates will be all about the trip + photos!