By Marty Griffin

Follow KDKA-TV: Facebook | Twitter

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — When you fly somewhere and check your luggage, most people probably have some fear of their luggage being lost.

But simply having her luggage disappear would have been an improvement to what happened to one woman.

For Shannon Woods, who now lives in Houston, the sight of her ripped apart, burned up luggage was startling.

“First thing I noticed was the smell. It smelled like burnt rubber,” said Woods. “Things were like fused together. Just digging through the bags, I saw holes in my coat, my shoes. There was soot on my hands from going through the items.”

So, Woods decided to send KDKA’s Get Marty a letter.

It read, in part: “It looked as if my suitcase was set on fire. Most of my belongings were unsalvageable. The supervisor offered me a measly $800. Marty, can you please help me?”

“The excuse they gave me was that the bag was dragged, but it didn’t look like my bag was dragged, it looked like it was set on fire,” said Woods in an interview.

We laid out a detailed plan of how to approach Southwest Airlines, the questions to ask, receipts for the value of lost items, a few weeks past, and then a letter came.

It read: “The condition of your suitcase when you arrived in Pittsburgh is truly regrettable. We deeply regret that your luggage was not properly protected. Please accept your settlement check in the amount of $1,150.27.”

That’s the full amount Woods asked for.

“After I made an itemized list of things that were destroyed, and where to purchase them from, and how much they cost, they sent me a letter saying they would reimburse me the cost,” said Woods of the airline.

By the way, Southwest is historically customer and media friendly. Once KDKA reached out, they sent a letter:

“We take great precautions to prevent baggage mishandlings so that every customer has a terrific experience on Southwest. Central Baggage Services will be extending the customer a travel credit as a gesture of goodwill.”

Woods is pleased she reached out after getting the $300 travel credit.

“I needed some help that I wasn’t getting. I figured, why not reach out to Marty. I was super surprised when I got a response back,” Woods said.

If you’d like Marty to help you solve your problem, email him at GetMarty@kdka.com.

More From CBS Pittsburgh

Get The All New CBS Local App
KDKA Weather App
CBS All Access

Watch & Listen LIVE