Couple embarks on cruise without any luggage; ABC11 Troubleshooter helps them get compensated

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Tuesday, May 14, 2024
NC Couple embarks on 12-day cruise without any luggage
NC Couple embarks on 12-day cruise without any luggage

HOLLY SPRINGS, N.C. (WTVD) -- A Holly Springs couple arrived in Rome for a twelve-day European cruise only to have to board with none of their luggage.

"What am I going to do? What am I going to wear?," said Mary Rizkalla. "I had tears in my eyes the whole time, but Sami said don't worry about it. You want the best experience."

Mary and Sami's troubles started when they arrived in Rome and realized the airline had lost their luggage. "When we arrived, we couldn't find our bags, Sami Rizkalla said. The couple says they immediately filed a lost bag claim with ITA Airways.

"As soon as we arrived at the airport we had to take the bus to the cruise line, we didn't have any place to buy or any time to buy," Sami said.

Once on the cruise, they tried to make the best of the situation. The couple bought some clothes and essentials, but it was still a struggle without their bags.

"After five days we received one bag, it was Mary's bag and I was praying it would be Mary's bag," Sami said.

While Mary finally got her bag, Sami's bag never arrived during the twelve-day cruise. The bag finally showed up when they got back to their Holly Springs home. The couple filed a claim with ITA Airways for their $1,200 worth of expenses due to not having their bags on the cruise.

Sami says that just made them more frustrated. "We did not hear anything. I kept calling after two months, three months, four months, and I didn't get anywhere. I almost lost confidence we'd get it until I saw your program," Sami told ABC11 Troubleshooter Diane Wilson.

Wilson got in touch with ITA Airways, and the airline didn't get back to Wilson, but did to the Rizkalla's. Sami said to Wilson, "In two days the airline responding they are willing to send us a check and I said it's a miracle." The couple got two checks which cover all of their expenses for not having their bags. Sami said to Wilson, "It made my day and confidence in what we see on the TV. Thank you very much."

The best advice is if you don't get your luggage, file a claim right away, and keep receipts of everything you buy so you can file a claim once you return from your trip.

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