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Delayed and Damaged Luggage: a Cautionary Tale

Delayed and Damaged Luggage: a Cautionary Tale

Feb 17th, 2007, 08:01 PM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 45,322
Great mms, I am glad you thought of that. The advantage of travelling with more than one person!

Now Patrick, lol, actually it wasn't that looooong ago! In fact I figured out when it was. It was in October 1990 and the flight left from Sarasota. Flew to Fort Myers and than across the Gulf of Mexico (yikes the electrical storms). We were to change planes in DFW (that is America's hub right?) but we were stuck there for something like 12 hours due to the electrical storms and than the fact that the crew were past their limit for flying and so forth and so on. And honest, AA did leave all of the luggage out on the tarmac and yes they did make proper restitution. And NO I am NOT a hundred years old, LOL!!!
LoveItaly is offline  
Feb 17th, 2007, 09:43 PM
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Loveitaly, thanks for the tip. My mother and sister are flying over from the US to visit us in Switzerland but first stopping in Paris. I will advise them to coordinate their packing so they at least have a few days of clothes in their carryons.

As to the new regulations, does this mean computers will not be allowed anymore? I don't carry one but even though we are supposed to have one carry-on now I see people with 3 carry-ons all the time and wonder how they get away with it.

I used to fly American when it was a code share with Swiss Air or Air France years ago visiting my family in Boston and coming home to Geneva and they pretty much lost my bags every single time. One time I had a large Amazon order delivered to my parents and packed the books in a soft duffle bag and at the last minute threw in a bag of chocolate covered cranberries that someone gave me (like we don't have enough chocolate here in Switzerland). Well, when the bag showed up at our apartment 4 days after our arrival it looked like a plane had driven over it, the bag of chocolates had burst and melted all over the books. I never filed a claim figuring it was my stupid packing that caused the chocolates to melt but I don't think I've flown American since then.

Also, to the poster who says that chocolate ruins your teeth, I eat a little every day, haven't had a cavity in 35 years. And no, I'm not fat either!
beaupeep is offline  
Feb 18th, 2007, 06:30 AM
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Indygirl2: I appreciate you posting your experience. I myself would not have done only carry-on for 10 days in Paris. All my shoes would never fit in the bag!
On a serious note, your story just pushed me to put some clothes in our carry-on when we check our luggage. I've always known to do that but have never done so.. probably because we've never had luggage problems (knock on wood).
caribtraveler is offline  
Feb 18th, 2007, 06:34 AM
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Loveitaly, my reference to how old you must be didn't so much refer to the specific incident you described, but rather your statement:
"that was back when airlines believed in treating their customer properly"

That goes way back beyond my memories!

NeoPatrick is offline  
Feb 18th, 2007, 06:49 AM
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Indygirl: thanks for posting your experience. I've had a bag delayed for 2 days before too, but Alitalia's customer service was far better than AA"s seems to have been for you. It's a terrible feeling when you don't know where your bag is, and yes, it does get a trip off to a bad start! I sympathize with having to buy things because I too stay in budget places which often do not have toiletries for guests.

I think about these things as learning experiences. I learned to pack a full extra outfit in my carryon when I had my delayed-bag experience. I hated having to waste time buying things when I wanted to be in museums.
DejaVu is offline  
Feb 18th, 2007, 07:18 AM
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Patrick - I remember those days only as a passing, hazy dream...Air France using metal flatware and ceramic dishes, having a lovely menu card, warm washcloths in coach - ooh la la!
canterbury is offline  
Feb 18th, 2007, 09:32 AM
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beaupeep: ditto here on the chocolate. My theory is that the adrenalin rush that it gives you increases your metabolism, so the calories expended cancel out the calories ingested. Works for me, anyway!
LucieV is offline  
Feb 18th, 2007, 09:37 AM
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After reading this, I am definitely getting insurance. When we fly to Buenos Aires, we will be taking as much luggage and clothing etc that we are allowed, to last us until our shipped household arrives.
All I need is to lose those suitcases!!
Thank you, Indygirl, for posting this, it is exactly the information that is valuable on these forums.
Actually, I still sort of remember when this is what the Fodors Forums used to be here for, posting Travel information lol..
Scarlett is offline  
Feb 18th, 2007, 12:51 PM
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Hello beaupeep, actually what would be smart for your mother and sister to do assuming they are flying together is to each put half of their items in each others suitcases that they will be checkin in. That is what my late husband and I always did. Of course if both pieces were "lost"..well no plan is perfect but hopefully one suitcase would arrive so both travellers would at least have half of their clothes etc. And yes, some simple change of clothing in carryon is a very good idea.

Neo, I have been thinking about that experience. BTW, there was rain water sloshing around in our luggage! I think that was the last time any airline that I have used gave any customer service. Of course if they hadn't left everyone's luggage out on the tarmac for hours and hours throughout the terrible electrical/rain storm to begin with that would have been even better service, lol!

Scarlett, be sure to inventory everything you two take to BA with you, maybe even take some photos. Put that in your carryon. If you did, heaven forbid, have to file an insurance claim you would find an inventory list and some photos would be a big help. But lets hope nothing goes astray!
LoveItaly is offline  
Feb 18th, 2007, 01:14 PM
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As I have been trying to point out (without much success, it seems - insurance just isn't an exciting topic) - taking pictures of your bag contents won't help your claim much, if the bag only gets delayed, i.e. eventually turns up.


Insurance policies wouldn't necessarily have helped out indygirl2 in her plight all that much. "Loss of baggage" means just that, you have lost personal property permanently, as opposed to just losing the use of it during part or even all of a vacation.

Assuming indygirl2 arrived at 0900 Friday morning, and the bag arrived at 0900 Sunday morning, and was delivered by noon on Sunday, then according to the terms of the insurance baggage policies I've seen, the bag was delayed for 4 full 12 hour periods and part of another 12 hour period. Which means she would have received, again under the terms of the policies I've been reading, $50 time s 4 = $200, and only after filing a claim upon returning home.

Whereas for the asking, she got directly from AA, two $50 stipends, or $100. Yes, it took some doing, but then so would an insurance claim.

Eventually she received a cheque for $290 for the damaged bag from AA.

That's a total of $390 worth of benefit, for a policy cost of $0.

Find me an insurance policy that gives as good a return!

Sue_xx_yy is offline  
Feb 18th, 2007, 01:22 PM
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Scarlett, that's a very good suggestion from LoveItaly. When I moved here from Scotland, right after getting married, I was not able to be there when the packing was done. I had to be in London at the US Embassy getting my green card. When our stuff arrived, almost everything except clothing was gone.
Barbara is online now  
Feb 18th, 2007, 01:27 PM
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And Scarlett, be sure to divide Pup's dog biscuits between your suitcases in case one of them goes missing.
NeoPatrick is offline  
Feb 18th, 2007, 02:06 PM
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Barbara, that is terrible. Were any of the items recovered? I imagine not.

And yes insurance is a very boring subject. Also, having been in the insurance industry for ages I always look at insurance as covering losses that are going to put one in a terrible financial position. Replacing a piece of luggage and some clothes and bathroom toiletries is not, IMO, in that catagory. So like Patrick I have never purchased insurance when travelling. I too would feel way ahead of the game so to speak if I ever have a checkin bag never show up. And of course I would keep on the airlines case until I received reimbursement up to the legal limits.

As far as shopping..I always enjoy shopping in Italy. I certainly don't want to spend a lot of time shopping but I alway enjoy checking out and buying toiletries and some pieces of clothing. I have often thought the most fun would be to just checkin an empty suitcase, lol and buy everything I needed in Italy.
LoveItaly is offline  
Feb 18th, 2007, 02:59 PM
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Our connection was tight due to a late plane into Newark so when we arrived in Milan, Italy 4 of the 5 in our family were without luggage for a little over 2 days. We had moved on from Venice and were traveling down the highway when Alitalia called us on our cell and we picked up the luggage at the Ancona airport (on our way). They would have shipped it to Rome for us if we couldn't go there. When we returned to the US we completed the forms they gave us and submitted the receipts for clothing we purchased for the 4 of us for 2 days (about $250) and Alitalia gave us a full refund. Very happy with the service.
bella33 is offline  
Feb 19th, 2007, 04:22 AM
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Yes, I should have remembered that scene of Woody Allen's where he is lowered into the Black Hole of Calcutta with an insurance salesman...

Still, as in a casino, a reminder that the House always wins can be useful....
Sue_xx_yy is offline  
Feb 19th, 2007, 06:03 AM
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Joanel and Anna,

I read about the new restrictions here on Fodors - from another better informed traveller. It seems the EU will adopt the carry-on rules that are already in effect in the UK. I can't find the original thread, but I did a Google search and found the following links:

"By 17 April 2007, the EU will be adopting the UK's restrictions on carry-ons, both size and quantity. Namely a carry on must be no bigger than 56cm x 45cm x 25cm - in the UK these figures are inclusive of handles, wheels etc. It remains to be seen whether the EU will interpret the same way or allow slightly bigger carry-ons (ie the body of the bag has those size limits).

And, worst of all, the EU has agreed to adopt the only 1 carry-on item rule of the UK."

Effective April 2007, each passenger is allowed one item of carry-on baggage, not exceeding a maximum 56 x 45 x 25 centimeters (about 22 x 17 x 10 inches) -- exceptions may be made for some items such as musical instruments.

As you can see in the links, the new rules will limit the size of the carry-on, including the wheels, and limit the passenger to ONE carry-on, including laptop bags and purses.
Mariarosa is offline  
Feb 19th, 2007, 10:00 PM
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Thanks so much for the links - I'll look them up to get more information about the new carry-on rules. This is probably a stupid question, but I'm assuming that as long as your carry-on bag is under 22 inches, these are allowed on the plane?
Anna1013 is offline  
Feb 20th, 2007, 02:08 PM
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Some airlines have a weight restriction, besides the size, for carryon bags.

So certain carriers (like British Air) by 22" was not allowed (had to be checked) because it was over the 13 lb. weight limit, even though the size was OK.
suze is online now  
Feb 20th, 2007, 02:18 PM
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<<< but I'm assuming that as long as your carry-on bag is under 22 inches, these are allowed on the plane? >>>

Depends on the airline as some have smaller limits. Ditto for weight but note that BA DOESN'T now have weight limits for hand luggage (One of the effects of the luggage changes everyone has been moaning about) as long as you can lift it
alanRow is offline  
Feb 20th, 2007, 03:53 PM
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Well, that's good news - cuz while I can stuff my camera, video camera, batteries, etc., plus change of clothes and wallet in my purse, it is going to be a heavy SOB. But it's a decent sized shoulder bag, still under limits, and all cloth.

No way am I ever going to check my photo equipment... and I sell my photos as a business, so no way I'm leaving it behind. Wonder how they deal with traveling professional photographers that carry lights/etc.?
GreenDragon is offline  

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