As if battling through one of the world’s busiest airports isn’t difficult enough – imagine finding your luggage burned, shredded and dumped in a garbage bag.
Ivy Ford had just touched down at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport and was patiently waiting for her luggage to make its way past on the baggage carousel.
One-by-one other passengers picked up their luggage, leaving just a few suitcases and an errant garbage bag left for collection.
“I see a garbage bag go past, still not thinking anything of it, I actually tap the garbage bag and say, ‘Wow this is really awful. Who would put somebody’s stuff in a garbage bag like this,” Ms Ford told abc7 News, oblivious to the fact that bin-liner was holding the remnants of her suitcase.
Ms Ford was eventually informed by Spirit Airlines staff that her belongings had been damaged – however they refused to explain how.
Opening the garbage bag, she found all of her possessions burned and ripped to pieces.
“I was more upset that nobody told me that you would allow me to get off the plane and discover it, versus coming to me and informing me as soon as we got off the plane,” she said.
Passenger’s ordeal continues
Ms Ford said the replacement process was yet another struggle, with the airline requesting receipts for anything worth more than $50.
Unable to produce receipts for all the items, she was presented with a reimbursement cheque for $400 following a lengthy exchange – $80 less than what she requested.
“I felt like my situation was so severe that I shouldn’t have to produce receipts for burned luggage, you should just replace them,” she explained.
She claims the airline even refused to recognise her Versace perfume as one of the damaged items, saying it was not eligible for reimbursement.
A Spirit Airlines spokesperson told abc7 News they “greatly apologise” for the damage caused to Ms Ford’s belongings. The spokesperson added they have since “fulfilled” Ms Ford’s request for reimbursement.
The airline has since given Ms Ford a further $50 travel voucher yet the traveller remains disgruntled claiming no one has taken responsibility for the mistake.