Thiele, 66, of Stratford told The Guardian Monday that she was disgusted with the company’s initial compensation offer of $100 after two suitcases went missing during a shuttle from the Halifax Airport to Charlottetown on July 1.
She felt the company owed it to its customers to deal with each case of lost luggage on an individual basis and not simply impose a blanket policy for lost luggage.
Maritime Bus appears to have come on board.
Wenda Pitre, vice-president of human resources and customer experience, told The Guardian Tuesday Maritime Bus would cover the full replacement cost of Thiele’s losses, which Thiele estimates at roughly $3,500.
“In this particular case, this was the right thing to do,’’ says Pitre.
“I felt this woman was legitimate. She suffered a loss at our hands.’’
Thiele says she is “absolutely satisfied and happy’’ with the compensation.
However, she is quick to add the timing of the generous compensation – 17 days after her luggage was lost but less than one day after the media became involved – does not seem coincidental.
“The media always influences decisions such as this,’’ she says.
“That’s why I went public.’’
Pitre says Maritime Bus will review its compensation policy for lost luggage.
“This is a lesson,’’ she says. “Certainly there are areas we can tighten up on our policies and procedure.’’
Pitre adds Thiele’s situation is not a common occurrence. Lost bags usually show up within a day or two.
An extensive investigation concluded the luggage was likely stolen.
“As public carriers, we certainly acted as we should have,’’ says Pitre.
“We are not a big, bad bus company. We are about making the customers happy.’’
Well, Thiele is certainly a happy customer – one who plans to use Maritime Bus in the future.
For now, she is eager to start her shopping spree to replace her lost items.
The retired teacher, who loves to travel, was returning from a cruise around Great Britain when the shuttle bus mishap occurred.
Next up is a trip to Nashville in October with a couple of Thiele’s old school friends.
Here is a short list of luggage claim limits:
Air Canada – $1,500 for domestic flights, $2,000 for international flights.
VIA Rail – On trains offering checked luggage service, such as The Ocean between Halifax and Montreal, limit is $750. No compensation is possible for luggage sorted in passenger cabin.
MegaBus – Serving Montreal-Toronto, in particular, offers maximum liability of $100.
Greyhound – Serving Montreal-Ottawa and all points westward offers free coverage up to $250 with option to purchase insurance for coverage up to $1,000.
Source: Brett Tabor, travel counsellor