Stratford woman says bus company tried to shortchange her over lost luggage
A Stratford woman dismisses as “ludicrous’’ the amount of compensation a bus company first offered after her luggage was lost.
Lynne Thiele, 66, estimates she had clothes, jewelry, including two thick gold earrings, and other items with a replacement value of close to $3,000 in two suitcases that have gone missing.
Thiele took a shuttle through Maritime Bus from the Halifax Airport to Charlottetown on July 1 following a 12-day cruise around Great Britain.
She saw her luggage loaded into cargo on the bus in Halifax.
She also saw her luggage transported to cargo on the bus she transferred to in Aulac, N.B.
The bus stopped in BordenCarleton, P.E.I., at about 8:30 p.m., letting off a handful of passengers.
Thiele stayed on the bus and did not notice her two suitcases being removed, which she now believes must have happened.
“I have no proof that it’s a theft, but obviously someone took it from Borden,’’ she says.
When she arrived in Charlottetown as the last remaining passenger on the shuttle bus, she and the bus driver stared into the empty cargo space.
“Neither of us could believe it was empty,’’ she says.
“I was thinking someone will bring (the two suitcases) back to me tomorrow. This is Prince Edward Island. Nobody wants my dresses.’’
However, more than two weeks later, there is no sign of her luggage.
The retired teacher is unimpressed with Maritime Bus offering only $100 in compensation plus a refund of her $60 bus fare.
She feels the company “owes it to their customers’’ to deal with each case of lost luggage on an individual basis and not simply have a blanket policy for lost luggage.
Thiele, who loves to travel, says she saved a long time for her recent trip that cost close to $6,000.
Losing $3,000 worth of possessions on top of the expensive travel bill is an unpleasant extra hit.
She has also turned to her home insurance, which is looking into her claim, to provide some relief.
Still, Thiele puts the lost luggage into perspective, noting in particular that a friend recently lost a loved one.
“It’s a loss of material things, and that’s not the most important thing in life,’’ she says.
However, a call Monday to Maritime Bus from The Guardian appears to be lining Thiele up for far more significant compensation.
Wenda Pitre, vice-president of human resources and customer experience, says Maritime Bus has a policy of offering $100 per bag for lost luggage.
However, she says the company has concluded after an exhaustive investigation that Thiele’s luggage was stolen.
“We will make things right,’’ she says.
Pitre plans to meet with Thiele today to discuss compensation.
It is worth noting the improved compensation offer is coming 17 days after Thiele lost her luggage, but less than a day after the media got involved.
“It’s a loss of material things, and that’s not the most important thing in life.” Lynne Thiele
Lynne Thiele of Stratford says she lost close to $3,000 in clothes, jewelry and other personal items when two pieces of luggage went missing during a bus shuttle from Halifax to Charlottetown.