A passenger who lost his luggage on a Jetstar flight says the budget airline told him that there was a "seven-day turnaround" for getting bags back.
It follows tales of baggage woes from dozens of passengers of various airlines, in response to a report by the Herald of an Auckland woman's six-day battle with Jetstar for the return of a bag via overseas cities she did not visit after her flight back from Hong Kong.
Bank worker Daniel Tate, said he was one of eight passengers who arrived in Auckland on Thursday night on a Jetstar flight without their bags.
Mr Tate, who flew from Honolulu via Sydney, said the Qantas subsidiary told him yesterday its standard turnaround time for returning lost luggage to their owners was seven days.
"Jetstar at this stage have no idea where my bag is and have advised that their service standard is a seven-day turnaround," he told the Weekend Herald .
Although that was an inconvenience for him, he felt sorrier for two young Australian men — one in jandals and a T-shirt — and an Asian family with three young children all left at Auckland Airport without their luggage or a destination for it.
Mr Tate said Jetstar told him after they arrived in Auckland at 11.30pm on Thursday that everyone would have their bags returned to them yesterday.
"But when I rang them up today, they said they had no idea — they said their standard turnaround time is seven days — don't call us, we'll call you."
When asked about the turnaround rule, a Jetstar spokesman said passengers must wait seven days before making compensation claims for their missing items, and Jetstar would keep trying to find them.
The airline's goal was to get lost bags back to their owners as fast as possible. The airline carried millions of bags each year on its Asia-Pacific network and the percentage delayed or lost was very small, he said, without supplying figures.
But another reader said that although his parents-in-law got back from Honolulu on Thursday last week from an extended overseas trip, their bags brimming with presents for family and friends took until Monday to arrive.
A third, Cheng Ong, said she flew from Auckland to Singapore two weeks ago and on arrival found her borrowed luggage bag damaged.
Despite a promise by airline staff there that she would be compensated, and "countless" follow-up inquiries from her, she heard nothing more until after returning to Auckland on Thursday and alerting the Herald to her plight in a message copied to Jetstar.
"This [Friday] morning they have now offered to pay for the new bag. It's frustrating they will only react out of possible bad publicity."
Ms Ong contacted the Herald after reading its report of an Auckland woman whose bag was lost during a trip home from a wedding in Hong Kong last week, and returned to her only late on Wednesday, after the newspaper's inquiries with Jetstar.
The woman said the bag, containing new prescription glasses and contacts lenses, was approved as carry-on luggage by check-in staff but when she went to board her aircraft she was told it was overweight and had to be sent home separately.
It arrived back, damaged, and Jetstar is inviting her to lodge a compensation claim.