Help! Lost Luggage on Carribean Flight

Old Aug 16th, 2009, 04:45 AM
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Help! Lost Luggage on Carribean Flight

Hi! Can anyone give us suggestions on how to resolve this? My daughter and new son-in-law just spent their honeymoon in Grenada. Their flight back (LIAT Airlines) stopped in Trinidad, where their flight switched to Continental Airlines to head back to Newark, NJ. Their luggage and that of about 10 other people never made it onboard the flight originating in Grenada (and it was the last flight of the day), so we assume it was put on the next flight to Trinidad. (Interestingly, my daughter said there was plenty of time to get the luggage on board, but it just sat there in the airport.) The problem is that the luggage was only checked as far as Trinidad because they were switching carriers at that point. LIAT and Continental are not code share partners. Does anyone have any ideas about have to get their luggage back to the US? Are there any laws regarding this? Any ideas about who to contact to find the luggage? They do have trip insurance, but there is sentimental value of the items they took with them on their honeymoon and they would prefer to have the luggage back rather than file a claim...We would appreciate any help from any of you seasoned travelers!
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Old Aug 16th, 2009, 06:20 AM
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Since you say "the luggage was only checked as far as Trinidad because they were switching carriers" and your daughter and S-I-L were travelling on LIAT you will have to contact that airline directly since they had control of the baggage. You can find contact information on LIAT's website (

I doubt Continental can help you because the luggage was never placed in their custody.

I'm not sure what liability LIAT has for international baGGAge (you should be able to find out on their website) but more than likely you'll find they are not responsible for very much. Misplaced luggage is nothing new with local "Aribbean" carriers - lots of people think LIAT stands for "Luggage In Any Terminal".
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Old Aug 16th, 2009, 02:37 PM
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Since they were separate tix, LIAT's responsibility was to get the luggage to Trinidad.

Unless a poster knows a way to get around this - someone may have to go to Trinidad to retrieve the bags.

(can anyone say "travel carry-on only"? )
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Old Aug 16th, 2009, 04:27 PM
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For future reference, airlines do NOT need to have a code share agreement in order for bags to be checked all the way through.

They do have to have an interline baggage agreement.

From what you tell us it sounds like liat and Continental do not have a baggage agreement - assuming of course your daughter asked at check in to have her bags tagged all the way through to Newark & was told no.
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Old Aug 24th, 2009, 03:32 PM
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I've lost my luggage before and the airlines didn't compensate me. It wasn't a big deal-All I lost was a couple suits and ties. However, I did lose a nice piece of TravelPro luggage. I went out and bought a cheap Samsonite from and it works about as well as my other suitcase. I would probably pursue this if you really care about what was inside the baggage. Good Luck!
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Old Aug 26th, 2009, 04:44 AM
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Try contacting a passenger protection organisation or even the FAA (useful if the carrier flies into the USA).

Trouble is that even the big carriers don't really care about baggage and hand the problem off to third parties. Much of the 'unclaimed' 'lost baggage' is sold off in bulk to companies in the US who open it and sell off the contents (legally).
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Old Aug 27th, 2009, 01:51 AM
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Just an an update....After much detective work, my daughter received her luggage in the US about a week after they returned, with everything intact. Her husband's is still out there somewhere after almost two weeks. Thanks for all your suggestions!
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Old Aug 27th, 2009, 05:00 AM
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Don't give up yet. This was years ago: I had a lost bag come home to me about a month after it got lost! And that wasn't even an international flt!! It was all domestic. Somehow, the baggage routing tag was never put on my bag, or it got ripped off of it. The airline (UA) found a sliver of an old stick-on tag that had TWA on it. The bag got delivered to TWA, who then sent me a postcard saying they had my bag, and what did I want them to do with it. I told them to hand it over to UA, and it then got returned to me, still locked (this was when you could still lock your bags). So.... don't lose hope just yet!!
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Old Aug 28th, 2009, 07:15 AM
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Could you tell us a little more so that others can learn how to retrieve their luggage from an intermediate stop when traveling internationally on two tickets on two carriers without luggage checked through?

Did she get LIAT Airlines to ship the bag to her even though they were only obligated to deliver to Trinidad?
Did she get Continental Airlines to obtain the bag in Trinidad and ship to her even though they had no responsibility?
Did it matter if LIAT and CO had an agreement?
Please share.
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Old Aug 28th, 2009, 06:23 PM
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Another update....The second bag has arrived! Kay2, here is how they got the bags back: My son-in-law called LIAT airlines EVERY DAY to check on them and I guess they realized he wasn't going to give up. LIAT eventually shipped them as cargo on American Airlines (at their expense). Technically, I suppose that LIAT wasn't obligated to send them further than Trinidad, but on the other hand it would not have been an issue if they had actually placed the luggage on their flight in the first place. (The newlyweds were at the airport well ahead of the flight time and certainly with enough time for the bags to get on the flight. My daughter said the employees were not in any hurry to do anything at that airport.) AA was able to ship only to certain airports, but one happened to be near where my son-in-law was traveling on another trip so he was able to pick them up at that airport. Continental was not involved in any way in getting the luggage back. Surprisingly, no items were missing from the luggage! So, I guess the trick is to be persistent and, as J62 suggested, make sure your luggage is checked all the way through to your final destination, even if you're switching airlines! And, by the way, my daughter had placed her full itinerary and home address inside the luggage, so maybe that helped, too.
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