Lost luggage by Singapore Airlines

Sep 8th, 2005, 08:20 PM
  #1  
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Lost luggage by Singapore Airlines

This airline has a fine (and most undeserved, imho) reputation yet they do not give a hoot about losing passengers' luggage. We will never fly them again! 48 hours in the clothes we left Australia in!! Night temps of 30 degrees and days of 35 degrees C. We were really on the nose! and so are Singapore Airlines!! Cancelled trip plans, no clothes to fit us, nothing to change into. We ended up showering in our clothes and washing them whilst we wore them!! After 25 years of regular travel we have never been fobbed off so badly. And lost luggage is a regular occurrence, admitted to, by Singapore Airlines ground staff in Colombo.

Anyway Sri Lanka is all we hoped for, and more. Don't any of you fodorites come over here! You'll hate it! It's far too good to share!

All the best from smelly old Colombo. Will post when we get home. Beaches, food, scenery all fabulous! Duel pricing system stinks though! We are having fun and have extended our trip 2 more weeks. Bye for now.
Lyndie is offline  
Sep 11th, 2005, 05:17 PM
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Let's talk about lost luggage.If I got a dollar for every piece of luggage that has been lost since 1973, then I'd be a rich woman. I just expect mine to be lost whenever I check it in with ANY airline....so over two decades ago, I started packing about 99% of the things,in a 19-inch or 22-inch carry-on suitcase, that I need to survive at least a week trip for anywhere in the world. Back in the spring of 2005, three friends came with me to Paris. They checked EVERYTHING in on United Airlines.They just assumed their luggage would make it to our destination.I laughed.They are new at overseas travel. They never thought to pack an emergency carry-on bag/suitcase. We got to Paris a day late, due to fog in San Francisco, so the plane wasn't allowed to leave L.A. for hours, thus causing us to miss our San Francisco connection to Paris.So, we were put up in a hotel near San Francisco Airport. We left L.A. on a Friday and didn't get to Paris until Sunday. It was to be a 6-night trip. Well, we finally got to Paris, a day late, and my luggage arrived, but none of theirs did. I had everything I absolutely needed in my 19-inch carry-on suitcase just in case they had lost my luggage,too. My friends ended up in the SAME clothes that they had left L.A. in. Their clothes arrived in the late afternoon on Wednesday....if I recall correctly. We flew home on Friday. And they had worn high heel shoes/boots on the plane so they couldn't walk Paris until their suitcase arrived and they could unpack their comfortable shoes. Since I always pack packages of disposable, paper underwear,so I was able to spare a couple pairs. But, since we were not the same clothing size, I couldn't spare any clothes.Plus there weren't a lot of clothes to spare since I pack lightly. It is even easier to pack lighter in hot weather. I had packed wool clothes for the Paris trip although when we arrived, there had been a fluke in the weather, and it was BLAZING hot...although a few days before our arrival it had snowed.I go to Paris in the spring to avoid the heat. The only time I really worry about lost luggage is on my way home since I have usually aquired things from the trip that many times I have to check in due to size or just not enough space in the carry-on...like on the Ghana trip when Delta ...Dec 2004/Jan 2005 lost my luggage for 12 DAYS!I'd rather fight about lost luggage at home than overseas. So, the moral of this story is to always pack an emergency bag, pack disposable underwear...they come 5 pairs per package....magellans.com...and pack LIGHT. Sorry for your terrible experience.Hope the rest of your trip is fabulous. Looking forward to hearing about Sri Lanka. I've been wanting to go to Colombo. Happy Travels!
Guenmai is offline  
Sep 11th, 2005, 07:07 PM
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Lost luggaage - doesn't everyone have horror stories? Guenmai, your record with lost luggage sounds awful. If I had a dollar for every time my luggage was delayed since 1973, well, I'd be $6 richer...

TWA was the worst. They lost my luggage three out of four flights, and it took a couple of days to get it each time. After that I stopped flying TWA and then they went out of business - no doubt because I wasn't the only person whose luggage was lost! And Garuda lost my luggage between Singapore and Jakarta (they have a truly terrible record, I try to avoid them whenever I can). And United, who I fly with all the time (three quarters of a million miles since they started keeping track) has lost my luggage (actually only a couple of hour delay) exactly twice in all of those flights (and I check baggage every flight). I suppose after writing that I should knock on wood!

Lyndie, I'm really looking forward to your trip report on Sri Lanka. I hope everything is smooth sailing after that bumpy start.
Kathie is offline  
Sep 11th, 2005, 07:35 PM
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lyndie....lets face it....they looked at the two of you and knew you were from OZ and broke into gales of laughter at the thought of missing your luggage....i saw a woman in that old orange dress of yours on the TV today in new orleans....she is so glad to have it....thank you for allowing singapore airlines to donate your stuff to the relief support....

you could spend 5 Au dollars and buy yourself something new couldn't you??

i could not resist giving you the leg pull...enjoy the rest of the vacation and we will be anxious to read about it...
rhkkmk is offline  
Sep 11th, 2005, 10:36 PM
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Lyndie -

I feel your pain.

We've flown long haul flights on Singapore Airlines six times in the last year. Three of those times our luggage was "misplaced" for three days - once when flying Business Class, which perturbed us to no end.

One such trip found us in Switzerland in the dead of winter with short sleeves, having flown from Asia. The second and third found us better prepared, having packed a few extras in our carry on bags.

On every occasion our missing bags were the fault of Singapore Air and some mishap at their transit desk and baggage handling areas in Singapore. Each time we were given amenity bags at our destination and given some money to make emergency purchases.

Not long ago I wrote Singapore a detailed letter providing all the flight info, the dates of travel etc. They quickly responded, investigated the problems, accepted responsibility, and offered to send us a voucher in the amount of US $150 for duty free purchases on our next Singapore Air flight. The gesture was appreciated, but I'd much rather have my luggage turn up at it's destination.

I just flew Singapore from LAX to Singapore last week and survived the trip with no luggage mishaps. I hope the trend continues, as I'm traveling the same route next month.

Lost luggage is definitely an added frustration passengers don't need. If you haven't already done so I suggest you send Singapore Air a letter. If nothing else, it will make you feel a little better.

Despite the luggage problems, Singapore Airlines is still my favorite and I will continue to fly them at every opportunity.

Melnq8 is online now  
Sep 12th, 2005, 12:02 AM
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I always carry at least one change of clothes in my hand luggage just in case this should happen fortunately for me, so far it never has!!
gbjoce1 is offline  
Sep 12th, 2005, 01:52 AM
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My favorite lost luggage experience was 25 years ago -- my first trip to Europe, on business, arrived Florence no luggage. After an exasperating week of hanging out at the Alitalia office the airline representative shrugged as only an Italian can and said charmingly "Signora, love us for our art, our food, out culture -- forget our airlines!"

I took his advice, went shopping, caught the overnight train to Zurich and have ALWAYS handcarried a change of clothes (and swimsuit if applicable) ever since.
marmot is offline  
Sep 12th, 2005, 08:17 AM
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great story, marmot!
Kathie is offline  
Sep 12th, 2005, 11:45 AM
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Which airport did you check in ?
The baggage transit at Changi I have read is a mix of very high tech but they also retain a hands-on manual destination check, would be intertesting to note the places that people 'checked in' the baggage.
JamesA is offline  
Sep 12th, 2005, 12:13 PM
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With my Ghana trip situation, my bags made it fine from Ghana to Milano(Alitalia)...and the new part of the airport, in Ghana, wasn't even in full swing yet. Things were done by hand.I've never had luggage lost in Africa and things are done by hand a lot there. Then from Milano to Atlanta(Alitalia) the luggage made it fine. Then I picked up my bags in (high tech) Atlanta and walked them through customs and rechecked them on to L.A.(Delta) and that's where they were lost for 12 days...... Once...in the early 90s... I was on Sabena Airlines...L.A.-N.Y.-Brussels and the luggage got lost. I zipped over to visit my penpal...of over 25 years... and his wife and kids for two days for Easter and then on to Paris...by train... for the rest of the vacation. I'd visited them a couple times before, but hadn't seen them for a while. His brother is the head chef of a muti-starred Michelin restaurant and had prepared a whole Easter buffet for me at his house by the sea. Well,Sabena lost my luggage and I was the last person to exit the luggage area. My poor friend and his wife had been standing there for hours holding the video camera to get pictures of me exiting the customs area. So, we went back to their house and his wife called Sabena and told them that when they found my luggage, to just leave it in their backyard on the covered patio. They said no way. It had to be signed for. So, she then asked if they could hurry and get it to the house since we had over an hour drive to go to her brother-in-law's house for an Easter brunch. Well, they got very angry and said to her,"Do you think that's the only lost bag we have? We have A LOT of loss luggage". So, we ended up waiting all day and totally missed the Easter brunch.My friends then told me that everyone in Belgium knew what the letters in the word SABENA stood for...Such A Bad Experience Never Again!... Pan Am was also known for losing luggage.This was back in the late 80s. I had over 300,000 frequent flyer miles with them. I was off to an American friend's wedding in Denmark one summer...and was part of the wedding... and decided to stop off in PAris for a night. Then I had to change airlines...from Pan Am...to SAS the next day in order to fly on to Denmark. I had all of the wedding clothes packed in the suitcase. I had to check them in. I was also wearing a hat that had to be packed in the suitcase. Well, I got off the plane at Charles de Gaulle and no luggage. I was a basketcase since I was flying on to DK the next day and on a different airline and from a different terminal. So, I was assured that my luggage would be sent to the hotel in Paris. Well, it NEVER was. I was NEVER contacted by Pan Am Paris. So, the next day, I went back up to the airport early to look for my suitcase myself so that I wouldn't miss my SAS flight. Well, I went over to the custom's area and the exit door opened and I happened to peep in and noticed my suitcase sitting on the floor at baggage claim...totally unattended. I was so disgusted that I just walked through the door, picked up my suitcase and walked out. I tried telling someone that I had found my suitcase, but no one cared. Totally ignored me. I then had to catch a bus and run to the next terminal to catch my SAS flight. No one even stopped me when I picked up the suitcase and left with it. I could write a book of lost luggage stories! Happy Travels!
Guenmai is offline  
Sep 13th, 2005, 06:58 AM
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......
Guenmai is offline  
Sep 13th, 2005, 11:48 AM
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I'm all for smart packing tips, but PAPER, disposable underwear? Come on! How much rooms can an extra pair of undies take up? And, isn't most underwear pretty much disposabl ? Why not just buy some cheap clothes in country to get by and be done with it, or better yet buy trip insurance? We all have funny stories, but this made me laugh out loud.
iammurphy is offline  
Sep 13th, 2005, 12:11 PM
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You don't WASH disposable underwear. And if you're using two pairs of underwear a day on a 1-2 week vacation in the tropics, who wants to deal with washing underwear that doesn't dry out that fast due to the humidity.I got fed up with damp underwear. I know that when I'm personally in the tropics, I shower twice a day. I don't leave early in the morning and run around town all day in the heat...sweating to death... and then wear the same clothes to dinner in a nice restaurant when I go out in the evening. It's nice to have the very clean...not damp... disposible ones on hand.They've been around for over two decades and I take advantage of it in this type of situation!They're the same type that are used in hospitals.Happy Travels!
Guenmai is offline  
Sep 13th, 2005, 02:32 PM
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I'm with Guenmai on this one. I also shower twice a day in hot humid places and I refuse to hand wash anything while away--this is my vacation and I'm not doing any chores that I do at home (actually, I don't do laundry at home either, I send it out). But I'm also ultra picky about the underwear I wear so I have the hotel laundry do it for me. Yes, it's somewhat expensive but like I said, I'm on vacation!
laurieco is offline  
Sep 13th, 2005, 07:07 PM
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To...IAMMURPHY...I just reread your post...as far as buying cheap clothes in the country...first, I'm not one to run around looking for clothes on vacation when I have plenty of them at home....two... how many westerners fit properly into clothing that's made in Southeast Asia? The arms are too short...the proportions from neck to waist too short...and shoes don't fit me at all.That's why I usually have them custom-made in Southeast Asia.Although I love British India clothes,which are more western cut...and not inexpensive, this past summer the collection was too short and I ended up with only one tunic. I'm female and nearly 5'6" tall. Plus what am I going to do with these clothes you suggest when I leave the country? Also, I totally don't understand the comment about travel insurance. I take it that you're against it...Well, I'm not. Happy Travels!
Guenmai is offline  
Sep 13th, 2005, 07:17 PM
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Thanks guys for all your lost luggage comment! Lets be specific here. We travel very light but my partner has a beard and carries scissors to trim it. That's why we checked in our luggage. As for carrying a change of clothes, well after the reading material, the mp3, the spare spectacles, moisturiser, makeup etc. etc. I've never thought it necessary to carry more than I need.

We checked our bags in at Sydney via Singapore to Colombo. The stop over was around 45 mins so Sing air knew the transfer was tight. We would have preferred a 24 hour transit but they insisted on no stopover on this ticket. They stuffed up bigtime, as others have experienced.

As for buying clothes, we landed right in the middle of the biggest poya festival in Sri Lanka, the Kandy Esala Perahera with all shops shut!!!

Anyway, we are loving the Taj Exotica at Bentota, right on the beach, and available through expedia.com at fab rates. Have a delicious room overlokking the Indian Ocean. Lolling around, drinking like fishes & lounging like lizards. Just what we do best!

Many greetings and wish you all were here. What a blast we'd have, I'm certain!
Lyndie is offline  
Sep 13th, 2005, 07:19 PM
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It sounds wonderful, Lyndie! Enjoy!
Kathie is offline  
Sep 13th, 2005, 07:23 PM
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Lyndie, glad you're having a great time and didn't let the luggage snafu get you down. Having a sense of humor about these things is always good, though sometimes it can be difficult! We may be going to Sri Lanka next September, I want a great getaway for my 50th birthday trip, so take notes--I may be picking your brain.
laurieco is offline  
Sep 13th, 2005, 08:19 PM
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Even for Changi 45 minutes is a tight and rushed connection. Amazing how airlines are so concerned about having baggage on board "together" with the passenger except when 'they' don't load it!

We went thru this minimum connection issue just a few days ago, actualy the 'publsihed official' minimum connection at Changi is 1 hour, so if SQ booked you with a 45 minute one then on they are clearly at fault.

I know about that 'no stopover' clause SQ have on those tickets.
JamesA is offline  
Sep 26th, 2005, 09:09 PM
  #20  
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A quick update-Singapore Airlines & zuji.com deny responsibility for the ridiculous 45 minute transfer time they allow, to move luggage from Singapore inbound flights to connecting flights, for Sri Lanka.

Both these businesses have caused two prolific travellers whose air travel spend was US20,000 during the past 18 months, to look elsewhere, for our travel needs. Who cares? Not Singapore Airlines and not zuji.com.
Lyndie is offline  

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