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Hello I need help to clarify a few questions regarding filing a claim against Alitalia. I am in the process of filing a court claim against Alitalia because they delayed our luggage on a trip my wife and I did in July to attend a friend's wedding in Italy. Alitalia delayed our luggage by more than 36 hours. All our formal wedding clothes and shoes were in that bag and so we had nothing for the two wedding events. Alitalia call center told us to go and buy replacement clothes and they'll reimburse us. we specifically asked if there was an upper limit and they told us (and told the hotel we were staying at) that there was no limit. We spent the whole trip running from store to store to find suitable clothes for the two events instead of relaxing and enjoying our holiday! it was a nightmare. Also many stores close on Saturday afternoon, so we ended up having to go to the big brands for the shoes! so when we returned to London we filed a claim with Alitalia to reimburse us all the additional cost incurred as well as reimburse us the cost of the airline ticket, hotel and car we booked since our holiday was ruined. they initially refused to pay us anything, then they offered us 140 euros, then increased it to 200 euros after a long talk on the phone. When I informed them that I will be making a court claim, they increased their offer to 400 EUR, which is still far below the total claim amount. I'm in the process of filing the court claim online where it says I have to write "A short statement (maximum 1080 characters) of what you are claiming for and why." and I also have the option to send "detailed particulars direct to the defendant." The questions I have are: 1) what document do I need to send to the court or to Alitalia? 2) are there any legal forms I need to fill? 3) Do I need a solicitor or can I do it on my own? and what are the likelihood that I can win the case? thanks a lot!
http://www.dot.gov/affairs/2012/dot1112.html DOT Fines Alitalia for Violating International Baggage Liability Rule The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) today assessed a civil penalty of $80,000 against Alitalia, an airline based in Italy, for violating an international treaty by limiting reimbursement to passengers whose baggage was lost or delayed on Alitalia flights to and from the United States. “Consumers have a right to be treated fairly when they fly, and are entitled to appropriate compensation when their bags are lost or delayed,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “We will continue to take enforcement action when airline baggage rules are violated.” Following complaints filed with DOT by consumers, the Department’s Aviation Enforcement Office investigated Alitalia’s baggage policy. It found that for a number of flights to and from the United States, Alitalia was limiting reimbursements to between $50 and $75 per day of delay regardless of the amount of the expenses claimed by passengers or whether they provided original receipts documenting their expenses. Alitalia’s policy violated a provision of the Montreal Convention, an international agreement setting rules for international air travel. The agreement says that carriers may not limit their liability for loss or damage to checked baggage to less than approximately $1,700 per person, an amount that fluctuates based on currency conversion rates. The consent order is available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov, docket DOT-OST 2012-0002.