I lost a bag whilst going through security on a recent flight through Heathrow Airport in London, UK.
Since getting home I've been online to try and track the item and have discovered that their process, according to their website, is:
- Register for the online service,
- Find your item in their database,
- Submit a claim,
- Pay a fee to reclaim an item,
- Pay postage to have it sent to you.
I fully accept the paying for the postage to have it sent to me, and to a lesser extent I accept paying a fee for the storage and processing of my item, which takes extra resources (and hence extra costs) on their part.
But my query is about the way they have implemented this service charge which I am presuming I have to pay even if I turn up to collect my item in person and don't use their website (I doubt they would accept this). My question also hangs on the assumption that if I do not pay the fee requested to reclaim the item then they will refuse to return the item.
My question is, what prevents this policy, of keeping the item until I pay a fee, from conflicting with the UK laws such as Theft By Finding, Criminal Conversion or perhaps (tenuously I feel) Blackmail?
It feels to me like this should be breaking a law, perhaps one of the above or perhaps another, as (if my presumptions are correct) they are effectively showing the intention to deprive me permanently of my property. Why isn't this the case?