Manhattan Beach

Manhattan Beach Couple's Lost Luggage Nightmare

Airlines will soon be governed by new rules regulating how they handle lost or delayed luggage

World travelers Mike Gaines and Margaret Guglielmo live out of their suitcases. When the Manhattan Beach couple flew to Spain last May, they checked their bags with Iberia Airlines. But when they landed, Gaine's suitcase didn't.

Iberia said the bag would be delivered to their hotel, but it never showed up.

"We were in Europe for almost a month and I never got a bag," Gaines said.

Tama Holve of Willett Travel says airlines will soon be governed by new rules regulating how airlines handle lost or delayed luggage. Airlines will have to refund your baggage fees on domestic flights if they can't be located in 12 hours. For international flights, the time limit is 15 hours.

"It's actually forcing the airlines, the carriers, to refund in full any baggage fees that have been paid to the carrier," Holve said.

That's in addition to airlines refunding customers for any essential items they had to buy while their luggage was missing.

"You can go out and purchase those things and then submit them to the carrier for refund," Holve said.

Gaines and Guglielmo say they hadn't heard from Iberia Airlines in weeks. But when the I-Team inquired about their luggage, Iberia Airlines promised delivery in days.

"The plane that they told me it would be on landed, came. I didn't hear anything," Guglielmo said.

The suitcase was still nowhere to be found

"Finally after 49 days, it was delivered to our door," Guglielmo said.

Iberia Airlines cut them a check for $1,590, which the airline noted is the "maximum legally established" that can be paid under international laws.

"It took follow up, upon follow up, upon follow up," Gaines said.

Guglielmo says persistence and documentation like keeping copies of boarding passes and luggage tags were essential to getting their bag home. What's lost now is the confidence these frequent travelers had in Iberia.

"I don't think i would ever want to fly Iberia again," Guglielmo said.

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