Widower furious at BA as Vuitton bag damaged

Dismayed Peter Donaldson with the Louis Vuitton bag. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
Dismayed Peter Donaldson with the Louis Vuitton bag. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
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A DESIGNER label bag belonging to the late wife of a property developer was left with “deep gouges” as if it had been attacked by a tiger after a flight from London.

Peter Donaldson was horrified when he saw the condition of the £1500 Louis Vuitton luggage after he had been unable to take it on an Edinburgh flight as hand baggage because of a security error.

Now he is frustrated after saying he has been ignored by British Airways and offered just £50 as a goodwill gesture over the time taken to deal with his claim, while Louis Vuitton staff admit the bag is “beyond repair”.

The damage happened last November, when Mr Donaldson, 42, of Liberton, was returning on BA from a business trip to America with his new partner, chef Anna Boyd, 42. He was forced to check the precious piece of luggage after a security bag fitted by US Customs came unstuck.

Mr Donaldson protested that he did not wish to let the luggage out of his sight due to its sentimental and monetary value. It belonged to his wife Elaine, who died of renal cancer in 2009.

Mr Donaldson said: “I always use the Louis Vuitton bag that belonged to my late wife for carry-on luggage. When we flew from Philadelphia to London a member of staff sealed an unopened bottle of champagne in a security bag so I could keep it in my hand luggage. However, when we arrived in London it appeared that the security bag had been improperly sealed, and I was told I would have to check the Louis Vuitton bag for the flight to Edinburgh. I was assured BA handles important luggage everyday.”

But he was horrified when the heirloom was returned with “deep gouges” down the side and across the label of the bag.

“It looked like a tiger had scratched it. It had clearly been caught in some kind of machinery.”

When Mr Donaldson contacted BA customer service on November 28 he was assured the bag would be collected for assessment within ten days. But three months later he claims to have been “ignored” by the company – an assertion BA disputed.

“Initially, I put it down to the Christmas rush. I took the bag into the Louis Vuitton shop, where they confirmed the value and the fact that it was beyond repair.”

When he tried to give the assessment to BA, however, he was told they did not accept those given by third parties.

“I just seem to be being ignored. The last communication I had was in January, when I got an e-mail offering me a £50 voucher to apologise for the delay. I e-mailed back saying I didn’t want a voucher, I wanted them to do something about the bag.”

BA claim that Mr Donaldson was also contacted by phone in January to arrange an assessment of the bag, something Mr Donaldson strenuously denies.

A spokesman for BA said: “We apologise to Mr Donaldson for any damage to his baggage and any distress this may have caused. We have offered the customer help on several occasions and we are awaiting his response. Our offer to help remains open and we hope that we can help to get this matter resolved as quickly as possible.”