Clothes ripped to shreds and covered in black grease and toothpaste.
That’s what American Airlines passenger Kristen Horabin said she found Sunday when she went to claim her suitcase at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, according to ABC Dallas affiliate WFAA-TV.
“The suitcase was shredded,” Horabin told the station. “Most of the clothes that were left were shredded, and what was left was covered in black grease and toothpaste. There was a lot of toothpaste. It must have exploded on whatever impact there was.”
Horabin and her husband, who live in Texas, had returned from a weekend trip to Tampa, Florida, WFAA reported. Her husband’s checked bags arrived undamaged, but Horabin’s battered belongings arrived on the baggage carousel in a plastic bin.
“I’d say about 50 percent of my belongings were gone,” Horabin said, adding that no one from the airline offered an explanation.
“I guess what I find so appalling is that, after it happened, someone gathered up what was left of my bag and my belongings and put them in the bin and sent it on its way,” she said. “The bag just popped up on the carousel with my destroyed belongings, or half of my destroyed belongings, heaped on top.”
An airline employee told her to file a claim, which she did immediately, Horabin said.
Within 24 hours of reporting it, Horabin told WFAA, American Airlines apologized and told her it was sending her a $3,500 check for the damages, as well as a $300 travel voucher.
A statement from American Airlines obtained by WFAA reads: “We apologize for the damage that occurred to Ms. Horabin’s bag; we know how difficult it is to arrive at your final destination and a find a bag extremely damaged,” American Airlines said in a statement obtained by WFAA.
“In 2017, American transported more than 160 million checked bags. While it is extremely rare to receive a report of a broken and/or damaged bag such as this one, our team will always work with our customers directly to resolves these claims.”
Horabin said she hopes that that if this ever happens again, the airline will do more than send a heavily damaged bag through the carousel with no explanation.
“Send someone up to say, you know, something happened to your personal effects and we’re sorry,” she told WFAA. “And I really honestly would have walked away and counted it as an unfortunate accident. I hope in the future that happens for other passengers.”