HOLLY SPRINGS, NC (WTVD) --It was supposed to be a memorable trip to New York City, but Debra Hester remembers the trip for all of the wrong reasons.
She flew out of the RDU Airport in November on American Airlines and had a direct flight to the Big Apple. When the plane landed, Debra and her husband headed right to the American Airlines luggage carousal. She waited patiently for her luggage, but it never came. Debra went to an American Airlines counter and a rep told her not to worry.
"She said 'Well, we'll call you. It'll probably turn up. It could have gotten mixed up with somebody else's carousal,'" Hester recalled.
Debra tried to be patient, but she was stuck in New York City with just the clothes on her back as she packed everything in her checked luggage including her medications, clothes, toiletries, even her IPAD.
"I called every day that I was there, and they said 'We haven't found it,'" she said.
Debra was forced to buy everything new while on vacation in New York.
Once back in her Holly Springs home, Debra filed a claim with American Airlines.
"It said on the initial email that it would be four to six weeks to process the claim," she added.
Debra waited more than two months, but heard nothing back from American Airlines.
"I would call pretty much every day or every other day and would leave it on hold for 25 to 30 minutes before I would get frustrated and hang up because no one ever picked up," She said.
After five months and still no compensation, Debra got in touch with me.
"It's not right that somebody could have something that's lost like that and there's not even the courtesy for someone to respond, American Airlines to even respond in any manner," she said.
I got in touch with American Airlines and it didn't take long for Debra to get a check for $2,508 to cover the items in her lost suitcase.
"I honestly don't think that anything would have happened if I hadn't contacted you. I think it would have just been in a lost hole somewhere," she said.
The best advice is to keep documentation of everything. Also pay attention to what airlines will cover if they lose your luggage. In this case, Debra packed an IPAD, jewelry, and medications, but all of those are non-covered items. If you do want to bring those items on your trip, it's wise to pack those items in your carry-on luggage.
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