This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Talk about a travel nightmare coming true. Merry Cannon, her husband and their two children, ages 1 and 5, were trying to fly from their home in Arkansas to Europe on American Airlines for her husband’s business trip. The group endured several travel obstacles: a canceled flight because of a cracked windshield, missed connecting flights and delays and luggage that the airline lost for five days.
The Cannons thought their complicated trip was over when they landed back in Arkansas and finally retrieved their luggage. Then one bag started to stink.
“When we returned home in Arkansas I immediately went to the American Airlines customer assistance desk to report how awful my bag smelt,” Merry Cannon told news.com.au. “I actually told them that it smelt like something had died. I, of course, didn’t think that was actually the case.”
Airline staff told Cannon that perhaps the smell was from the bag getting wet while it sat outside for days on the runway. “[The airline rep] thought it was mold, but even said it smelled far worse than that,” she said. The airline employee told her to wash her bag and clothes, and if the odor persisted, to file a claim with the airline.
“When we returned home, we took the bag to our back porch because the smell was so horrendous,” she said. “I began to wash the clothes. I washed one load three times in bleach, vinegar, OxiClean and Tide. I finally decided whatever was on them would not come clean. I placed all those clothes in (garbage) bags. I grabbed more clothes in hopes that maybe the bottom of the bag didn’t get wet, so they would come clean.”
Then, at the bottom of the bag, she found the source of the stench.
“When I grabbed the clothes is when I saw the rat,” she said. “I have never screamed and cried so much in my life. I ran inside and began scrubbing my hands and arms. I had touched the things in this bag because American Airlines told me to just wash everything.”
Cannon called American, and the airline expedited her claim. She then called her local health department, who told her “the biggest concern would be the plague,” she said. “That never even entered my mind.” The health department told her to burn the bag and everything inside immediately.
It isn’t clear at what point before or during the trip the rat entered her bag.
“We have apologized and are not aware of any similar issues of a rat making its way into a checked bag before,” American said in an email statement to TPG. “While we are unable to determine if the issue occurred in the United States or overseas, we did apologize to the customer, and they were compensated earlier this month.”
Cannon says it took the airline a week to finally offer her compensation for her bag and belongings. But, the airline eventually reimbursed her for roughly the maximum amount possible for a mishandled bag on an international trip.
“Finally they told me that they would give me $1,600, which is the maximum international payout,” she said. “My bag and its belongings totaled $3,217. To me that’s crazy that international has a payout that is about half as much as domestic.”
Cannon says she frequently travels with her husband on his business trips, but this was the worst thing she’s ever experienced. “The whole trip with American Airlines was a bit of a nightmare and the rat in the bag was, for lack of better words, the cherry on top!”
H/T: Fox News
Featured image by studioEAST/Getty Images.
LIMITED TIME OFFER. Aside from the 100,000 points welcome bonus (available until 8/8/18), Amex recently made huge improvements to the Business Platinum Card, including the fact that you will now earn 50% more points on purchases of $5,000 or more, earn 5x on flights and eligible hotels at Amextravel.com and cardholders will receive a $200 airline fee credit each year.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn up to 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points.
- Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 & an extra 50,000 points after you spend an additional $15,000 all on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer ends 8/8/18.†
- Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com.
- Get 50% more Membership Rewards® points. That's 1.5 points per dollar, on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more. You can get up to 1 million additional points per year.
- 35% Airline Bonus: Use Membership Rewards® Pay with Points for all or part of a flight with your selected qualifying airline, and you can get 35% of the points back, up to 500,000 bonus points per calendar year.
- You can also receive 35% points back on all First and Business class flights, with all airlines available through American Express Travel.
- You can enjoy access to The American Express Global Lounge Collection℠ offering access to the most lounges across the globe, when compared with other U.S. credit card offerings. As of 11/2017
- Terms Apply
- See Rates & Fees