American Airlines says they are currently investigating claims made by a PGA golfer who insists the airline lost his clubs, causing him to miss an U.S. Open qualifier.
Early Monday morning, Michael Buttacavoli — a member of the PGA Tour Latinoamérica — told American Airlines that he was forced to withdraw from a qualifier scheduled that day at the Jupiter Hills Club in Tequesta, Fla., after they misplaced his golf clubs.
However, according to a statement issued by the airline, the pro golfer’s clubs arrived on time with his flight-- and they were never claimed from the baggage area.
Buttacavoli first contacted American Airlines via Twitter at 5:55 p.m., shortly after his flight from Ecuador arrived in Miami at 4:41 a.m.
“Thank u @AmericanAir. 1 golf bag w/ priority tags on plane & the only bag u can't find. Unfortunately have to WD from @usopengolf sectionals,” Buttacavoli tweeted at the airline at 5:55 a.m. on Monday morning.
American was quick to respond, offering to help find Buttacavoli’s bags just two minutes after his original tweet.
Still, the 29-year-old golfer insisted that American was too late, as he had already withdrawn from the qualifier, which was scheduled to begin at 7:24 a.m. He then chastised the airline for not doing their job “in the first place.”
Buttacavoli and American went back and forth a few more times: American apologized, Buttacavoli basically rejected the apology, American promised to direct-message him once they located his missing bag but Buttacavoli ultimately explained that he needed to leave for the Dominican Republic on Tuesday.
“Still waiting on that DM,” Buttacavoli tweeted at the airline a little after 11 a.m. “Have another flight booked to POP tmrw for my next event. Hoping not to swallow my expenses for 2 events in 1 week.”
American’s public tweets to Buttacavoli ended there, although Buttacavoli continued to field questions from fellow golfers as to why he couldn’t just borrow a set of clubs and rush to the course.
“Searched for my bag + filed missing bag report,” explained Buttacavoli. “Wouldn't have made it by then. I leave tmrw to DR for next event and need clubs.”
According to a Twitter post later that evening, Buttacavoli was reunited with his clubs by the early evening, but American has since issued a statement on the matter that appears to contradict Buttacavoli’s original claims that the airline lost his property.
“We have looked into the claims by Mr. Buttacavoli,” a representative for American Airlines told Fox News. “His red-eye flight arrived on-time at 4:41 a.m. ET, Monday, June 5. Our scan data shows that both of his checked bags were on his flight. Both bags came off within the CBP area, since this was an international arrival.
"The golf bags were not claimed by the passenger.”
American further confirmed they delivered Buttacavoli’s clubs to him and reached out to him directly regarding the matter.
Buttacavoli was scheduled to compete against 42 other golfers for one of three spots in the U.S. Open at Erin Hills, in Erin, Wis.