From: CustomerDiscuss.Com (Visit NOW)
CustomerDiscuss.Com and GhanaCelebrities.Com’s senior writer-Kwame Hagan traveled on South Africa Airways from Accra on Saturday—and he got to his destination with almost all his valuables missing from his checked-in luggage.
It’s indisputable that when a passenger checks-in his bags at the airport, the bags are in the hands and care of the airline he’s travelling with—even if the ground staff who handle these bags are independent contractors.
In most cases, bags are handled by staff belonging to a checked-in airline and whether this is the case or not, any lost or damage item becomes the full responsibility of the booked airline.
In Kwame’s case, not only did ‘workers’ of South African Airways steal his two pairs of suits (Kenneth Cole and Pierre Cardin), Tom Ford Private Blend fragrance and other valuables, the customer service he received and the sort of insane rhetoric that was sent his way when he reported the incident to South Africa Airways reasonably indicates that, they don’t really care about the plight of their passengers once they’ve taken their money or South African Airways is somehow benefiting from the on-going theft.
Kwame Hagan’s experience is extremely unfortunate, unacceptable and together with the many other complaints already on the web about this same South Africa Airlines and passenger items thievery—his conclusions are plausible and I for one, will never want to experience such a service on the back of property stealing, so I will always make an effort to avoid them.
After reading Kwame’s experience below, you would surely want to avoid South Africa Airways too…
It is now evident that South African Airways, the national flag carrier and largest airline of South Africa, is the hub of real thieves who steal from its passengers without shame; and if you unfortunately become a victim of their habitual robbery, be prepared to be treated with gross disdain like a criminal.
I flew from Accra to Johannesburg on South African Airways Flight SA53. Before leaving home, I made sure I had packed all the things that mattered to me, including two 2-piece suits that I would use for a program.
By 9pm, I had arrived at the Kotoka International Airport to conclude my check-in and departure formalities. At the South African Airways counter, I checked-in my two bags. The lady at the counter asked me to add my other luggage to the checked ones since I had more baggage allowance but I refused because I did not want to flout Article 9.3.4 of South African Airways’ General Conditions of Carriage which states that “You must not include in Checked Baggage, fragile or perishable items, artwork, money, jewellery, precious metals, computers, personal electronic devices, cellular telephones, cameras, audio and video equipment, negotiable papers, securities or other valuables, business documents, passports and other identification documents or samples.” As if I knew what was going to happen, I decided to use that bag as my cabin baggage since that one contained several valuables.
My experience with South African Airways in terms of flying was smooth but when it comes to baggage handling by the baggage handling crew, my ordeal is no different from several passengers I’ve heard and read from within this short period of time and I wonder how the airline expects to increase its customer base with this kind of shitty service.
Stolen Items by South African Airways
From Johannesburg O.R Tambo International Airport, I had to fly to Kenneth Kaunda Airport, Lusaka, with South African Airways Flight SA62. At exactly 12:25 PM, I arrived in Lusaka where I registered with the airport immigration, picked up my bags from the baggage carousel, and went straight to the airport representative who took me to my hotel.
All these while, my trip had be full of fun – from the in-flight entertainment to the entertaining chats I had with some of the South African Airways ground staff who requested CDs from me because they thought I was a musician since I had several CDs in my carry-on baggage.
Reality dawned on me when I got to my hotel room. I realized my bag had been tampered with when I decided to change outfit. The pattern I used to zip my bag had been changed. Thoughtlessly, the baggage handlers who opened my bag failed to properly close the different compartments of the bag they unlawfully opened, thereby leaving room for me to suspect that something fishy had gone on.
I quickly opened the bag to check if all my personal belongings were intact. To my utter dismay, my black Pierre Cardin suit, with its trouser, had been stolen. Not only that, the baggage handling crew had also stolen my Tom Ford Private Blend fragrance – Tuscan Leather – and left the case in the bag. The act, I believe, happened in the full glare of their supervisors. As to how they got to know there was a fragrance beneath my clothes in the bag, only God knows. This give details to how deep they dug into my bag and how long the handling crew have been doing this.
Back to the issue of my suit, my fold-over garment bag which contained two white long sleeve shirts and two pairs of suits (Kenneth Cole and Pierre Cardin) was folded and put on top of my clothes in the bag. When the thieves (South African Airways) opened my checked baggage, they went a step further to open my fold-over garment bag and made away with one of the pair of suits, leaving the other suit and other flying ties behind. Perhaps they hate wearing suits with ties.
From the many accounts I’ve read online, this is not the first time a passenger on board South African Airways has experienced and reported an issue of this nature but it seems the operators of the airline do not give a hoot about the complaints of the passengers – implying that the airline condones such act. Or could it be that, that’s another source of revenue generation for the airline – stealing from passengers and possibly selling the stolen items?
Even though the baggage handlers might be independent of the airline, South African Airways ought to be accountable because as a passenger, my contract is with South African Airways and not any other service provider.
In Lusaka, I contacted the South African Airways office and lodged a complaint. The lady I spoke to asked me to contact their department at the airport. I immediately did but the lady seemed totally unconcerned (even the hotel I booked was, and is still concerned) – maybe she will indirectly benefit from the proceeds of my stolen items. Conceivably, South African Airways has no regard for its customers after taken their monies. I assume the airline does not know the number of customers they push away with such bad attitudes – from stealing from its passengers to poor customer service.
Eventually, the lady told me point blank that they cannot ascertain the truth in what I’m saying since I had already taken the bag to the hotel. The question is, who travels and opens all his bags at the arrivals? I mean who does that.
She then asked me to bring my bag to the airport for them to weigh and see if the actual weight of the bag during check-in had dropped, then they would realize something had be taken out of it, but on the condition that I had not opened and taken anything out of the bag.
That’s really absurd and stupid. Do I possess some kind of marine magic to know my items had been stolen from my bag without first opening it? Of course, I would only realize that after opening it; so what mind game was that South African Airways rep trying to play with me? If not puzzle, it must have been chess.
I’m totally disappointed in South African Airways. There is no way I am going to fly with them again and certainly would tell my family and friends who travel a lot to avoid them as well. To anyone who is fortunate enough to be reading this, count yourself lucky and never fly with South African Airways ever in your life before you become a victim of its daylight robbery and ill-treatment of passengers.
To avoid such experience, always AVOID South African Airways and look for an alternative. Try to keep your distance as far as you can from them before you become a victim. There have been too many victims already so do not add up to the numbers.
It is always said that, a word to the wise is enough; and had I known is always at last so do not wait till you become a victim of South African Airways’ robbery.
Response from South African Airways to ‘CustomerDiscuss.Com’ team
We are waiting to see if they will have anything reasonable to say to this…
Customer service in Ghana and most parts of Africa is the crappiest we’ve ever come across; as if Ghanaians or Africans use mango leaves to pay for services. The broadband never works, the electricity is never on, the water never flows—and the waitress can keep you waiting for your food until hunger kills your buds.
The real pain is, you have no alternative to turn to—because, like a gang of fools, they are all the same.
Almost every service and product delivering company in Africa has it butt in the faces of customers, farting uncontrollably because the customer cannot really do anything. Mostly, if you quietly complain, they do nothing and if you are unlucky, they tell you to go f**k off.
Consumers have no voice, not even individual voices—let alone a collective one to force any sort of change.
So we’ve started this website-CustomerDiscuss.Com, supported by GhanaCelebrities.Com and other platforms, dedicated to corporate and public Africa, especially Ghana—-it’s time we shame some of these companies, tear down their lousy services, help them to lose customers and force them to do what’s right.
If you have a complaint about your telecom company, internet provider, a restaurant, your bank or even your church, shoot an email to us via; [email protected] or call/whatsapp 00447961817712.
When you go to a restaurant and you are served in a broken plate or on a dirty table, just take some photos and send them to us with the needed details.
Together, we can get these people to be accountable and importantly, do what’s expected of them.
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