Dear Mr Branson of Virgin Atlantic Airways. My flight started from New Delhi, India on December 29 1999 on Emirates to Dubai/ Then on to London Heathrow. From London to Los Angeles I travelled on Virgin Flight VS 23. From Los Angeles to San Francisco on American Eagle Flight 3008

     I was travelling with my six-year-old daughter. In Los Angeles I made a mistake and took someone else's suitcase, which looked exactly like mine and brought it home with me to San Diego.

     On December 30 1999 the lady whose suitcase I mistakenly took, called me to let me know of the mistake upon which I checked all of my suitcases and noticed the one suitcase that looked exactly like mine except for the lock. I told the lady that I had her suitcase and she gave me the telephone number to call Virgin, I had not noticed the mistake.

     I called Virgin at (310) 215 4342 and spoke with a woman who called herself Haydee, she apparently was aware of the mistake and as soon as I told her my name, she started to yell and scream as how Virgin makes announcements to check the tags (which I never once heard at the Airport, which could be because of the long tiring flight I had with my six year old daughter) and since I took the other passenger's suitcase that I was supposed to bring it back to Los Angeles Airport immediately and take my other suitcase back which the other passenger had turned in to the Virgin counter. I told Haydee that I could not come to Los Angeles right away or even for a few days as my husband is in the computer business and is extremely busy for the next week. Haydee started screaming louder, that she was ashamed that \I could not bring the other passenger's suitcase, upon which I told her to get her supervisor or manager with whom I could speak. She said that there was no one else and that I could only deal with her alone and that if I wanted my suitcase I would have to pay $246.00 to have it delivered to my house. I told her I would call someone else and hung up on her and her rudeness.

     I then called your 800-862-8621 number and spoke with a reservation staff member and she told me that their baggage office was closed until January 3, 2000.
But gave me the number 800-877-2537 to call and she also told me the number I had called for Los Angeles was the correct one. I told her about Haydee and how rude she was and that she would not let me speak with anyone else. She told me to call 800-877-2537 on Monday and also said that Virgin would send my suitcase after holding it for ten days but that I needed to speak with the baggage staff and that I should try the same number in Los Angeles again and insist to speak with the Manager. I called the Baggage Office again and Haydee answered and as soon as I gave my name and asked to speak with the manager, she blurted "Oh its you, the very rude one" and she put me on hold, then she called a gentleman by the name of Mr Jay Buchanan on the phone who introduced himself as the manager and told me that since it was my mistake it was my fault that I took another passengers suitcase and that I should bring it back right away or he would file a Police Report upon which I told him to go right ahead with it as I just made a mistake and did not do it on purpose and thatís why my suitcase got left behind which looked the same as the other passengers and at least this way it would be on  record that they had MY suitcase which I could claim when I had the time to come to Los Angeles, I explained to Mr Buchanan that my husband could not drive me for a week to LA as he is dealing with the Y2K problems. Jay Buchanan said it did not matter that he would send someone to pick up the other passenger's suitcase but would not send mine, as it was all my fault. I told him that the only way I was going to release the other passengers suitcase without mine being delivered was if Virgin issued me a receipt stating that they are holding my suitcase in a safe place until I can come to pick it up. Jay Buchanan said he could not do that and that I should pay $100.00 to have my suitcase delivered and the other passenger's suitcase picked up so I told him "How come Haydee told me it would cost $246.00 and now he is saying $100.00 " to which he did not reply, except to say that I would have to pay $100.00 (at this point I thought something was really strange as to the price, why would the staff of Virgin state two different prices?) I told Mr Buchanan that I was not going to pay any monies at all and that if he wanted the other passengers suitcase he would have to issue me a receipt or letter stating that he is holding my suitcase safely until I could come to pick it up in a week or that he could go ahead and report it to the police upon which Mr Buchanan put me on Hold for a while and then came back and told me that Virgin will hold my suitcase in a safe place and he would send a letter with the driver who would come to pick up the other passengers suitcase and that the letter would state that Virgin would keep my suitcase in a safe place until I could come and pick it up and there would be no time restriction as to when I could come to pick it up. I said that would be fine.

     On December 30 1999 Safe-Fast-Delivery came and picked up the other passengers suitcase at about 8.10pm and gave me a letter which states that Virgin is holding my bag for pickup with Tag Number EK346578. Today is January 4 2000; my husband is still busy with the Y2K process at work. He is working at all odd hours. My daughter homework and school reading books are in the suitcase held by Virgin along with a lot of necessities, which I really need. I cannot believe a company of Virgin's magnitude can do this to a passenger who made an error and that the baggage staff could be this rude. I was feeling very good about my experience with Virgin until this happened. I even brought the article printed in the New Delhi newspaper to show my friends here in the USA that Virgin was going to have a service to India in 2000 and I would still recommend Virgin to my friends as the service other than the baggage department was excellent. It just puzzles me as to the meanness and nastiness of the baggage department, I cannot believe someone can be this mean as to send the delivery person to pick up the other passengers suitcase but not deliver my suitcase. The delivery person was coming to my house anyway, what difference would it make to a company such as Virgin and its owner Richard Branson to have my suitcase delivered to me at the same time. I am truly amazed as to how mean and revengeful a company as Virgin can be to a passenger who made a MISTAKE by not delivering the suitcase at the same address as they pickup the other passengers suitcase. Just sheer nastiness.

     I felt that Virgin was partially at fault too for not checking the Tags to passengers claim checks given to the passenger at check-in. I would like to get a response in writing from Mr Richard Branson regarding the above. My suitcase is still with Virgin in Los Angeles as my husband has not had time to collect it My daughters school work is still in the bag.


The Above has been edited. Original can be read on Website-

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