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Delayed and Damaged Luggage: a Cautionary Tale

Delayed and Damaged Luggage: a Cautionary Tale

Feb 16th, 2007, 12:38 PM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 101
Indygirl2,so sorry to here about your luggage experience. I would have been just as upset as you. Some people on this site,instead of being helpful,can be so rude.I'm taking my third trip to Italy in May,bringing only a carry-on,only because we're doing a lot of train travel. I usually check-in a large suitcase,a very expensive one...I'm not doing "cheap"luggage for a trip to Europe. So,yes I would be extremely mad if they lost or damaged my luggage,and I would be sure they paid for it. Sorry it happened to you,and ignore the insensitive remarks here.
Genie is offline  
Feb 16th, 2007, 12:48 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 236
>> But I do know now never to check my tiaras and pearl chokers -- I shall have Winifred carry them back to Coach. <<
What's that all about? I thought it was really uncalled for.

I really cannot understand how this forum works, a person posts his or her view, some agree, some disagree, then someone starts making rude comments, the OP tries to defend his/her opinion, then more rude comments roll forth- until the whole thread is full of anger and rolls of tissue thrown at each other.

The OP obviously is just relating her experience. I, for one, appreciate tales like this. They prepare you for the worst, and remind you about things which sometimes may just slip your mind.

And IndyGirl, I will remind myself next time too. I am exactly like you, I check all my necessities (toiletries, extra T-shirts, etc) into my luggage, leaving only valuables and documents on me, so I wouldn't have to carry a heavy bag everytime I board a plane. Thanks for the warning.
Aleckii is offline  
Feb 16th, 2007, 12:55 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 91,367
You do have my sympathy, believe me. It sounds awful. And your list of things to do to be better prepared is very helpful.

Some people never get a suitcase back when it goes missing. So I only meant that's good that you did get your stuff unharmed two days later.
suze is offline  
Feb 16th, 2007, 12:57 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,952
Indygirl - Next time do carryon only. I travel with a 22" bag and a tote that fits under the seat in front of me. That way I don't have to go through all the aggravation you did. On my return flights I always check in my baggage because I feel I am making room for someone just starting their trip, not ending it. If my luggage is misplaced on the way back I can deal with it. Of course I would like to travel with a larger suitcase and have more clothes to choose from but I have managed fine so far. I will be going to Italy and Paris and will be gone 16 days. I am not above doing some hand washing in my hotel room or having a few things laundered.
Madison is offline  
Feb 16th, 2007, 12:58 PM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 374
Uugghh, don't you hate posting something informative only to have a bunch of people stop just short of calling you an idiot?

I appreciate your post and can only imagine how frustrated I would be. And unfortunately, although I'm usually calm in these types of situations, the few times I've lost my temper actually seemed to get results.

Thanks for taking the time to post--I'll remember you the next time I travel, and plan accordingly.

Now, go have drink! Cheers!
lucygirl is offline  
Feb 16th, 2007, 01:54 PM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 5,150
I appreciate the fact that some of you might choose to pack differently than Indygirl or use a less expensive suitcase or whatever, but all that aside, if you just take this kind of unacceptable service in stride, if you don't take a 'hissy fit', if you just say 'oh well, my suitcase only cost $50 and I only had t-shirts in it', aren't you just condoning continued bad service by the airline?
hdm is offline  
Feb 16th, 2007, 01:56 PM
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A bit of a philosophical question (imo), but actually no I do not believe me getting upset and pitching a fit will improve airline service in the future.
suze is offline  
Feb 16th, 2007, 01:58 PM
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"..your suitcase was damaged beyond repair, and your possessions delayed by one day. That hardly seems as big of a deal proportionately as how upset you are..."

I think the frustration and upset comes much more from the mis-treatment by the customer "service" professionals than it does from the actual problems.
Travelnut is offline  
Feb 16th, 2007, 02:07 PM
Join Date: May 2004
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I don't disagree with what you're saying on the small scale but a continuing stream of complaints from customers to people at a higher level than customer service sometimes (if rarely) opens eyes. How did we get to a point where the airlines think this kind of customer service is acceptable, anyway?

And whether or not it makes a difference, letting them get away with it is still condoning that bad service.

hdm is offline  
Feb 16th, 2007, 02:16 PM
Join Date: Feb 2007
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Too bad we all love to travel so much, otherwise we could start a boycott demanding better service and food on airplanes
bubblywine is offline  
Feb 16th, 2007, 02:16 PM
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well, my point of view is that *I* don't want to be upset, any more than is absolutely necessary. maybe it's selfish. that's why if i found myself in a similar situation i would probably take the path of least resistance, rather than tangle with the airlines getting me all upset, and taking up my time and attention the first precious two days in paris. you may think that is cowardly on my part... but my main goal more than getting reimbursed, finding my suitcase, whatever would be not to let myself get so upset. it's not right or wrong, just how i operate in life. this kind of confrontation makes me extremely anxious and would not be worth it. i'd rather fix things on my own as best as i can. and wait until i got home to try and sort it out.

please understand, i am NOT criticizing or blaming Indygirl2, just saying people handle things differently.

suze is offline  
Feb 16th, 2007, 02:34 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 276

I can totally relate and empathize. I flew AA to Geneva one Christmas (connecting through CDG on Air France). My husband (then boyfriend's) roll-aboard (previously in good condition), came with the top ripped off, and reattached with some kind of bubble wrap. To make matters worse, my luggage was missing. AA/Air France's advice? "Sit and wait for the next flight; the planes are overweight with skiers, your luggage will come on the next plane." 4 flights and 6 hours later, still no bag. As I was leaving for Zermatt/Italy in the morning, I could not follow-up in person at the airport the next day.

2 weeks and many, many phone calls later, still no luggage was delivered to me; both airlines blamed each other for the loss. Long story short: I got my luggage back the night before I returned to NYC (deliverd to my Paris hotel). To top it off, AA lost my luggage again the next day on the return flight home! (Who cares now, vacation is over, right? Well, try sitting at JFK for 3 hours after a trans-Atlantic flight while AA tries to sort it out.)

Take heart that you got your belongings during your trip. I've reconciled that experience as one of my better learning experiences - I can and do fit everything plus the kitchen sink in a carry-on. However, maybe I am less bitter about that particular trip since the engagement ring I got in Venice 3 nights after losing my luggage made up for a lot!

Just remember - "It's all part of the adventure!"

Best of luck next time,
Chels is offline  
Feb 16th, 2007, 02:59 PM
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Fidel, I think we all agree in one thing...we all like travelling

Indygirl2, sorry for your trouble ! Sadly, it happens more and more nowadays due the bigger amount of people who travels so it's better to be prepared !! Glad you have all your belongings back.
kenderina is offline  
Feb 16th, 2007, 03:03 PM
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Just a note to say I am sorry you went thru all that crap. Glad YOU are home in one piece!
sallyjane3 is offline  
Feb 16th, 2007, 03:11 PM
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I have thrown the hissy fit, and I've apologized to the staff person immediately afterwards as well. If it's not their fault, and they are just the face of the company. But I understand the frustration, which is, as one poster has said, more about the attitude to the problem than the problem itself. If Indygirl2's description is accurate, the AA people treated her poorly, and that is more offensive than the way they treated her bag.
fnarf999 is offline  
Feb 16th, 2007, 03:21 PM
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Friends from California traveled on United to NY to visit us. Flight from Philly to Islip canceled. They took the train and then a bus and got to us. Of course, their luggage was in Denver. Didn't come for three days. All the phone calls just like yours. But...good news...K-Mart sells very nice, very cheap bras and had a sale on men's collared t-shirts. So we all got a little good out of it. They did not get their $50.00 for months. I feel your pain!
Elainee is offline  
Feb 16th, 2007, 04:22 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 205
I don't post much, but I've been here since 2000. You take a chance when you post at Fodors, a chance of getting your pride wounded. Unless you are one of the regulars with all the answers, you are raw meat.

This is a subject of concern to all of us. Sure, if you are to be in Europe 3 weeks, it wouldn't be as big of a deal. And my trip insurance does reimburse for lost or damaged luggage.

But this has been on my mind. I have almost always carried on when going to Europe. I think I will again. Get my quart baggy and figure how much liquid I am allowed - I haven't read the fine print yet. I have to think about it.

I will be gone 2 weeks, first in London 2 nights, then on a walking trip in Italy. Would Air Canada deliver delayed luggage to Milan at the right time? And I'm taking a BA flight to Milan. What about when I get to Stresa?

Oh well, we are lucky we have problems like these compared to what goes on in this world.

Still, as someone said, you pay over $700.00 to have your bag lost and then shredded, and all the hassle that includes?

My luggage was lost for two days coming home from Mexico with AA last December - and once with BA coming home. I wouldn't like the hassle if it were lost coming TO my destination.

But it would be so much easier to check it in. Do I take the chance? I have before, but hearing tales like Indygirl2 make me pause.
Giselle is offline  
Feb 16th, 2007, 06:12 PM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 5,150
>>I try to put myself into the rep's shoes and imagine the constant crush of people coming at them all day and night, each believing their concern is the only one or the most important<<

Absolutely. And if the airlines gave better service there might be less of a constant crush of people demanding that their problems be solved. Or if the airlines insist on continuing to give poor service, the least they can do is hire more reps to handle the irate masses.

I understand why you might choose not to ruin your vacation by being upset and creating a fuss over your lost luggage. But what about if they lost it on the way home -- that luggage that now contained maybe your special gifts for people, or that lovely treat you bought for yourself, or your trip diary. Or even just your regular clothes. Would you not create a fuss even then?

You know, just coincidentally as I was driving home from the airport tonight after dropping my SO off, I heard an article on the radio about the Passengers' Bill of Rights and the JetBlue incidents. I'm guessing there were a few hissy fits thrown by those passengers and now something is being done about it. At least we can hope so.
hdm is offline  
Feb 16th, 2007, 06:54 PM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 550
I've been trying to travel carry-on, especially to Europe, for some years now. Often I'm picking up a car at the airport and heading immediately to a place where there isn't going to be a way for my bag to catch up with me for days. I've been inconvenienced numerous times but never had quite as bad an experience as Indygirl. (I check on the return since delay is less a problem - but permanent loss is always a problem, so I pack a folding duffle in my carry-on for valuable or important stuff. Of course, that's room for still less clothing since I have to carry the extra bag in my already meager space.) Can't do it carry-on in winter as easily, though, and I do the same as another poster, mix my husband's and my clothes in two bags in case one gets lost.

But I've read a lot of rants and flames on this very forum (and other places) about people carrying on all the big bags, how inconsiderate they are, how the poster just takes on a purse pack of Kleenex and a magazine and does just fine, blah, blah. So you're not going to win, folks. No matter what you do, somebody who is a great authority on travel behavior will be sure to tell you how you SHOULD do things. Often I think anonymous electronic communications are responsible for further lowering the standards of civility in the world. People feel free to say things in ways they would never do face-to-face or if others knew who they were. A variety of opinions and honest disagreements are fine - gives the posters a variety of opinions on which to base a decision sometimes. And people learn from it all. But some of what goes on here is beyond unhelpful. Too bad, really. Not unlike the way some people behave in cars, when you think of it.

I'm glad to see that there are so many people so totally in control of their reactions and emotions out there. Makes things easier for the service people of the world to cope when they only have to deal with Indygirl, Lucygirl, me and maybe a few others behaving somewhat unpleasantly when we've had enough. (The cold, cold voice and careful enunciation of each word is one of my favorites.) Those in-control people who roll with everything can also take comfort in knowing that they're right and those who throw hissy fits are wrong. (Of course, they're never going to know the joy of letting out the frustration they never feel - and maybe backing someone down once in awhile. Kinda like finally sneezing.)

I agree that accepting as par the lousy service followed by the lousy attitudes of the employees that are supposed to be assisting you (customer service?)doesn't help solve any problems. Much of the time I feel like complaining is just pissing in the ocean. But the rest of the time I think maybe it's pissing in a lake (not Lake Superior) and it could have some effect if enough people do it. So now I'm going to go edit the draft of a letter to Delta that's been on my computer for 2 mo. I need to explain to them how a moderate bad of their making (not weather or acts of God) on 6 of my last 8 flights with them make, in my mind, a big VERY, VERY bad.
polly229 is offline  
Feb 16th, 2007, 08:50 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 11,134
Kate, your last paragraph in the original post explains it all, thanks for sharing your tale with us. I for one appreciate it. Some trips I can handle stress better than other trips, I can come to fits or I can roll with the punches, it depends.

I have written here before that it is a great feeling to see my luggage come down the slide right to me after landing. Sometimes it doesn't work out and it is a P.I.T.A.

Glad you had fun over all though!
SeaUrchin is offline  

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