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Delayed Luggage
Old 03-10-2014, 09:52 AM   #1
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Delayed Luggage

Our luggage was delayed and delivered to Fort Lauderdale on a later flight after we had set sail on a cruise. It was tough going for a few days until we hit land to do some needed shopping. Besides being reimbursed for most of our needed purchases is there any other monetary resources I should attempt to collect from the airline?
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Old 03-13-2014, 05:37 PM   #2
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Actual expenses incurred (clothing, toiletries, etc.) is probably the best you can hope to recover. These are even pretty severely limited. Good luck.

Reminder to all: Keep essentials/valuables (meds, electronics, change of unmentionables, etc.) with you rather than checked.
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Old 03-13-2014, 08:20 PM   #3
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There was an interesting article in the WSJ yesterday about the hassles involved with claiming losses from delayed luggage. Some people actually had to ship back their old clothes before they would get reimbursed. It reminded me why I never fly on Spirit Airlines.

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/...rit%2Bairlines
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Old 03-13-2014, 08:54 PM   #4
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I hope that this doesn't ever happen to me while on vacation. I do not like shopping and would hate to have to spend my vacation time, shopping for clothes. I would need to ask for pain and suffering, since I would have less time to do the sightseeing that I wanted and paid to do.
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Old 03-13-2014, 10:43 PM   #5
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I once flew to Europe for about 10 days with my boyfriend, and my suitcase never arrived. United sent it to Costa Rica (!), where it remained until after I had returned home. While I was in Europe, I couldn't find out anything about my suitcase, nor would United tell me what their reimbursement policy was. Further complicating things was the fact that we were bumped from a nonstop flight to Italy, to a flight to Frankfurt connecting to an Alitalia flight to Italy.

Eventually I learned that in the event of lost or delayed luggage, you had to file your claim with the airline which was supposed to deliver your luggage to you. This was according to an agreement all of the airlines had with one another. So in my circumstances, Alitalia became the airline I had to file with even though it was 100% the fault of United and my ticket was originally 100% on United. Even Alitalia agreed that this was the lost luggage claim procedure. At the time, I was dreading having to deal with Alitalia, but it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. At that time (1999), Alitalia's policy was to reimburse expenses at 100%, but United's policy was only 50% reimbursement. Alitalia was prompt, too. Had I known I'd be reimbursed at 100%, I would have bought a lot more clothes.

A few days after I got back home, I got a phone call from a United employee at a local airport. They didn't know that my suitcase had been reported missing! (I had already learned that it had been located at the San Jose, Costa Rica airport, but then, amazingly, it was lost again my United!) A United employee called me from the airport because she saw my phone number on my name tag. The suitcase was delivered to me about 2 hours later. Everything was inside just as I had packed it.
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Old 03-13-2014, 10:55 PM   #6
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United has a bad reputation for losing (and breaking) luggage:



I once travelled on United (with connections via the US) from Canada to Ireland during the holiday season and my suitcase went to Amsterdam, where it sat for two days in a huge luggage backlog.

Air Canada is just as bad. I think there are two reasons behind this.
1. Air Canada does a lucrative freight business. Freight gets priority over passenger luggage. If the plane reaches its weight limit before your suitcase is on, too bad.
2. Container freight. I once had a one hour connection in Toronto and my arrival and departure gates were next door to each other. Air Canada failed to transfer my luggage from the first to the second plane. I believe this was because it was in a container that went off to baggage handling.

I have had many tight connections with Westjet, and they have never yet lost my luggage. That's because they have human beings waiting for the arrival of each plane who prioritize the luggage of passengers with tight connections. Their process is just better.
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Old 03-14-2014, 12:50 AM   #7
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On a flight from London to Rome and onward to Florence, Alitalia decided that my luggage would stay in Rome (even though my connection was well over 2 hours). They apologized profusely and promised to deliver it on the first flight out the next day. It didn't come. They forgot. For 3 days. The concierge at the hotel checked with them several times daily...the checks turned in to harassment. The suitcase finally arrived at 10pm the night before my 6am departure the next day.

When I told my Italian colleagues about the delayed luggage, they asked "what airline". I of course told them Alitalia. They just shrugged and said "when you fly Alitalia, you never check your luggage..."

I've had delayed luggage on JAL, British, United, Korean, and Asiana. Each time the luggage was on the next flight, and delivered to my hotel or doorstep. In JAL's case, a rep was standing at the door of the plane when I disembarked to apologize and help me with whatever I needed. For service, they are the best, and they took good care of me when there was a screw up (in fairness, they were my main airline, and I often logged 3-400,000 miles a year with them).

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Old 03-14-2014, 01:26 AM   #8
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United lost DW's luggage last year on our trip to Europe. Because our United flight was diverted to Chicago due to an inflight mechanical issue, we finished the trip on Lufthansa rather than on United. When we found out, upon arrival, that DW's suitcase was missing, we filed a claim with Lufthansa. Soon United and Lufthansa were blaming each other for the loss and no one could tell us where the suitcase was. It looked hopeless but then the suitcase showed up 3 days later. Apparently it had stayed behind in Chicago.

But the diversion episode was instructive. We got stuck in Chicago overnight. We asked for and obtained hotel and food vouchers. As the United representative stated, though, they are not required to volunteer information regarding possible compensation for your trouble. You have to ask. So keep bugging them.
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Old 03-14-2014, 07:53 AM   #9
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Lost luggage stories are fun to read about "AFTER" the fact. Give you some update. On 3/1 day of arrival at Fort Lauderdale, Southwest customer rep at baggae claim did accept out delayed luggage claim and advised our 4 pieces of luggage (2 couples) would be delivered to the ship prior to sailing. 3 of the 4 arrived. The service rep did state we would be reimbursed for expenses up to $100 per day for 5 days total $500. We provided itemized receipts for $300 on 3/9 and received a draft for the $300 at baggage claim. Of course this check was cut after the service rep on 3/9 stated the luggage delay was our fault because we checked the luggage late on 3/1 and she was not going to reimburse us even though on 3/1/ the service rep told us we would be rebused if the luggage did not arrive on the ship. Also the one piece of luggage was at baggage claim. We had nonitemized receipts from stores in St Thomas totaling $135. The major expense being a swimsuit for the DW that was $60 and took almost 4 hours of store shopping to find. I think Southwest should provide some pain and suffering money to me for having to tag along. Stores in St. thomas do not provide itemized receipts only recipts showing the total spent. We have faxed the receipts to Southwest and are waiting for reimbursement. Thanks for the luggage stories.
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Old 03-14-2014, 12:16 PM   #10
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My worst lost luggage experience was back in 1989 when I flew from New York to Dallas to visit my cousin for the weekend. The awful chain of events began here in NY when the local taxi service never sent a cab to my apartment to pick me up. I then had to drive to the airport which was not very far away but it was pouring rain out which snarled traffic during the Thursday evening PM rush hour near JFK Airport.

I thought I was going to miss my flight but it was a victim of the bad weather, too. It was a flight coming in from Belgium but it had not arrived yet and would not pull up to the gate for at least an hour after I got there, exhausted and with soaked feet. After I got some dry socks from my suitcase which I had no time to check in earlier, I checked the bag at the gate.

Despite my plane not having arrived at the gate, they never put my bag on the plane so when I arrived in Dallas a few hours later, it wasn't at the baggage carousel. I filled out a form and followed up with calls the next day but the airline (American) dod not seem to know where the bag was. One rep told me it went to Boston, another told me it went to the Cayman Islands.

At about 3 AM on Saturday morning, more than 24 hours after I arrived in Dallas, and barely more than 48 hours before I had to leave Dallas to return home, we get a call from an AA guy who was nearby and wanted to make sure we were awake to receive my suitcase. We were now. The suitcase was fine although a cassette tape was slightly damaged.

On the flip side, my bad luck on that flight totally reversed on the trip back home Monday. At JFK, my bag was one of the first ones off the plane, and when I got outside a parking lot shuttle bus had just arrived to take me to my car. No traffic on the Belt Parkway (another miracle). From the time I got off the plane, I was home in my apartment in 30 minutes with my suitcase!
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Old 03-14-2014, 01:57 PM   #11
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My worst lost luggage experience wasn't even the one I described above where my suitcase flew to Costa Rica whereas I was flying to Europe. Rather, it was the time I was flying to Europe to go on a bicycle camping trip, and my bike & sleeping bag (which were packed together in a box) were never seen again. Several other passengers on my flight had checked luggage stolen, as well. The theft problem was most likely at Frankfurt airport, I later learned.

So, I began what was planned as a 4-week bicycle camping trip with no bike and no sleeping bag. I was fortunate in that I was meeting a German friend of mine at the beginning of the trip. He had an old bike which we refurbished for me to ride, and the 2 of us took off on what was a great trip (with no camping), mostly in SW France. At the end of the trip, my plan was to bike from Strasbourg, France, back to the Frankfurt airport, then ship my friend's bike back to his hometown on the German railroad. We took a train from Perpignan, France (near the Spanish border) to Alsace. Amazingly, the French railroads lost for 4 days the bike I had borrowed and I was stranded in Strasbourg waiting for it. I couldn't believe I had lost 2 bikes on one trip! At least the 2nd bike was finally found and delivered to me. I did a much shorter ride than planned in Germany before sending it back to him from Frankfurt. Miraculously, it promptly arrived.

BTW, at the time of this incident, compensation for lost luggage on international flights was less than on domestic US flights. The maximum compensation per piece of luggage at that time was only $400 on international flights, whereas my bike & sleeping bag together were worth over $1,200. I got some additional compensation from a homeowners insurance policy, but overall, I was the big loser. The lost luggage compensation limit on international flights is much higher now.
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Old 03-15-2014, 11:57 AM   #12
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I have become convinced that baggage handlers at Miami International Airport (MIA) intentionally delay all SCUBA equipment, or anything that might be SCUBA gear, for their own personal amusement. I no longer even plan to dive for the first day or two of a trip.
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Old 03-18-2014, 07:10 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by memejipakid View Post
Our luggage was delayed and delivered to Fort Lauderdale on a later flight after we had set sail on a cruise. It was tough going for a few days until we hit land to do some needed shopping. Besides being reimbursed for most of our needed purchases is there any other monetary resources I should attempt to collect from the airline?
This happened to us and after many emails/phone calls DH got 10k frequent flier miles from AA (in addition to expense reimbersment). We have an AAdvantage card to bank miles for international flights every few years. I know 10k isn't much but it's something....

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