An Aussie’s $3000 golf clubs were cracked by baggage handlers on a Qantas flight earlier this year, but the airline has refused to foot the bill – despite airport staff admitting the clubs had been run over by a car.
Melbourne local Patrick, 41, boarded a flight from Sydney to Brisbane in February this year for a holiday, checking in his thousand-dollar golf clubs as oversized baggage.
Upon arrival, however, the clubs weren’t unloaded with the rest of the luggage from his flight. After scouring the terminal, Patrick found them discarded in a corner and damaged.
“They’d clearly been driven over,” he told news.com.au. “There was a bend in the bottom third of the bag and a black rubber mark clearly made by a tyre.”
The burst seam of Patrick’s golf bag. Picture: Supplied.One of Patrick’s clubs, cracked and loose at the base. Picture: Supplied.
Patrick’s headache comes after an Aussie surf fanatic had his surfboards snapped in two by baggage handlers — also claiming the boards had been run over.
Staff on the ground were “great”, Patrick said, filing a damaged property report on his behalf and directing him to Qantas’s online claims process for reimbursement.
Patrick decided he would claim only for the two most severely damaged clubs, as well as their carry bag – amounting to about $1400.
Staff at Qantas HQ, however, decided not to pay.
“Thank you for contacting us again,” a Qantas staff member wrote to Patrick in their last correspondence late last month.
“What I can offer is a letter with any information you require so you can claim it through your personal insurance, as I am unable to offer you any financial settlement in this matter.”
An email to Patrick from Qantas insists the airline will use “all available defences” against his claim. Picture: Supplied.
Qantas, Patrick said, was attempting to “pin” the damage on him, implying he shouldn’t have been travelling with the clubs in the first place.
The email detailed Qantas’s checked baggage policy, which includes restrictions on travelling with fragile or perishable items, computers, and items with special value such as money or precious metals – but not golf clubs.
“If you carry items in contravention of these Conditions of Carriage, we will use all available defences against any claim in respect of any damage, loss or destruction of those items,” the email read. It did not state which condition of carriage the clubs contravened.
Patrick has since filed a formal complaint with the Airline Customer Advocate in an attempt to overturn Qantas’s decision. He believes the airline’s refusal to pay was part of a broader cost-cutting strategy.
Ground staff, however, acknowledged the clubs were likely run over by a baggage handler’s car. Picture: Supplied.
“It’s been a complete saga since the moment I left the airport,” Patrick said.
“I’ve spent six-plus hours on hold with customer services, on multiple occasions. They’re refusing to take any accountability through that process … Their service is poor despite the high prices, and they’re failing in a crucial part of that service – getting your belongings to your destination safely.”
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Qantas has been contacted for comment.
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