A reader of this blog wrote in despair a couple of days ago from the States. Her husband was in Brazil, he had arrived in the country right in the middle of the chaotic situation Brazilian airports are facing at the moment. He had taken a GOL connecting flight from Rio to São Paulo and his luggage was nowhere to be seen. His luggage contained all his belongings. GOL staff were not helping at all and all attempts to contact the company on the phone were fruitless. What could he possibly do?
At times like this I feel really powerless. I do not work for the tourism & travel industry so the most I can do is try and give some basic and sensible advice, knowing perfectly well my words might not go a very long way, given the shambles Brazilian airports have become.
In any case, should you find yourself in a similar situation, this is my advice:
- do not leave the airport. Once you do that, your chances of contacting the airline on the phone are slim. Right now, getting through to somebody on the telephone is just something that is not going to happen. The whole system has collapsed.
- at the airport, try to talk to someone from the airline and get a document in writing stating your luggage hasn’t turned up.
- go to the ANAC office at the airport and file a complaint. ANAC is the Brazilian’s government regulatory body supposedly responsible for defending passenger’s rights.
None of this actions will guarantee you will get your luggage back. But being away from the airport is even more unlikely to yield any results.
I’m glad to report our reader’s luggage finally turned up.