A Detroit woman claims a $5,700 Rolex watch plus thousands of dollars worth of designer clothing from Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Gallery Dept was stolen from her luggage after Spirit Airlines lost her bag in transit at Philadelphia International Airport in April.
Tykeisha Campbell says Spirit found the bag a day later and arranged for a courier to deliver it to her home address but when it showed up the locks had clearly been tampered with, and more than half of the contents were missing.
In total, Tykeisha calculates that more than $14,000 of designer clothing has gone astray while in the care of Spirit Airlines.
Tykeisha has provided itemized receipts of everything that has gone missing, including a black Louis Vuitton NéoNoé bag worth $1,780, a $660 Marni shirt, a $500 Gallery Dept trucker cap, and a pair of $1,150 Gucci trousers.
Also in the bag was a $5,700 Rolex watch and a gold bangle worth $1,500.
Tykeisha filed a lawsuit in Michigan under local statutes accusing Spirit of breach of contract and negligence, but the airline has arranged for the court action to be moved to a federal district court where lawyers will argue the airline is only liable for damages under the Montreal Convention.
If successful, Spirit could significantly reduce its compensation bill.
The Montreal Convention is an internationally recognized treaty that gives passengers specific rights in the case of an accident, injury or when airlines damage or lose luggage.
The convention applies to international flights, and in Tykeisha’s case, her journey with Spirit started off in Montego Bay, Jamaica, with a connection in Philadelphia. As a result, Spirit’s lawyers argue that the Montreal Convention should apply to Tykeisha’s lawsuit.
As of January 2023, airline liability for lost or damaged luggage under the Montreal Convention is capped at 1,288 Special Drawing Rights (SDR) – a made-up asset which is pegged to five currencies.
1,288 Special Drawing Rights are currently only with around $1,694, meaning that even if Tykeisha wins her case, she could still be more than $12,000 out of pocket.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.