WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — Christina and Christopher Cook were excited when they were able to book a cheap round-trip flight to Cincinnati with Breeze Airways.
But that excitement quickly turned into frustration when the couple and their daughter returned home to discover their luggage had been damaged.
“They ripped the handle off of Christopher’s suitcase, they cracked my hard suitcase at one of the bottom wheels and they smashed one of the corners of our daughter’s suitcases,” Christina explained.
The Cooks immediately went to report the damage at T.F. Green International Airport, but couldn’t find a Breeze Airways representative at the baggage claim.
Christina attempted to reach out to the airline through social media the next morning to report the damage, since Breeze Airways doesn’t have a direct number to do so.
“[The airline] agreed to take a look at the damage once I sent them the picture through Facebook messenger, which I did,” Christina said.
But upon receiving the picture, a representative immediately replied and told Christina it was too late.
“[The representative] told us we only had an hour to report the damage,” she recalled. “There are no exceptions.”
Breeze Airways states that all damage claims must be filed within one hour of arriving at the airport in order to be considered for reimbursement.
In a statement to 12 News, a spokesperson said the family’s claim “…was not denied because of normal wear and tear, but because they did not reach out to Breeze until the day after arrival at T.F. Green International Airport.”
But the Cooks believe the policy is “unfair.”
“I don’t think it is unreasonable, approximately 12 hours later, to handle a claim when they damaged our bags so badly,” Christina said. “We are probably looking at $400 to replace our luggage.”
“It was infuriating, disappointing and upsetting,” she continued. “I honestly don’t ever want to fly with them again if they are going to treat our luggage this way.”
12 News checked other airlines’ policies for damaged luggage:
- Delta Air Lines: Passengers have 24 hours to report damage
- JetBlue: Passengers have four hours after arrival to report damage
- Southwest Airlines: Passengers have hours after arrival to report damage
- United Airlines: Passengers have seven days to report damage
Breeze Airways explained that their policy is in compliance with the U.S. Department of Transportation, which approves each airlines’ process for handling damage claims.