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.
The American Express Platinum card has some of the best perks out there: cardholders enjoy the best domestic lounge access (Delta SkyClubs, Centurion Lounges, and Priority Pass), a $200 annual airline fee credit as well as up to $200 in Uber credits, and mid-tier elite status at SPG, Marriott, and Hilton. Combined with the 60,000 point welcome offer -- worth $1,140 based on TPG's valuations -- this card is a no-brainer for frequent travelers. Here are 5 reasons you should consider this card, as well as how you can figure out if the $550 annual fee makes sense for you.
- Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
- Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
- 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
- 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
- Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
- Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
- $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
- Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
- $550 annual fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees