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Has your luggage been lost arriving at FCO?

Has your luggage been lost arriving at FCO?

Old Mar 27th, 2007, 03:51 PM
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Has your luggage been lost arriving at FCO?

Ok, here's the scoop. I was all set to go with carry-on only for our upcoming trip. A combination of a complicated and tight schedule (1hr connection thru CDG), combined with us staying in an apartment as opposed to a hotel had me convinced to only use carry-on luggage for our upcoming trip.

That is until I learned about the one carry-on rule begining mid-April for those leaving out of or transferring through western European airports (ie CDG). Now I am convinced that I will be forced to check luggage, that my luggage will be lost, and that I'll have to forego plans to meet up with the airline luggage delivery person in Rome.

I would love to hear anyone's experiences - good or bad. At least it will give me an idea of what I'll be dealing with.

Thanks as always!
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Old Mar 27th, 2007, 04:03 PM
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In more than twenty flights to Europe through Asian hubs, I have always checked my bags, and they have always been there on the carousel for me to collect. I have never lost a bag or had one delayed or misplaced, and I suspect that's the experience of most travellers. Few people are going to post on this board to announce that their baggage has arrived safely!
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Old Mar 27th, 2007, 04:04 PM
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I work in baggage service for a major US carrier. I deal with delayed luggage every single day. Unfortunately there isn't much you can do to assure your bag gets to FCO since you are making the connection. However, you and every traveler around the world can make it easier for delayed/lost luggage to find you.

1) name tags. lots of them. outside and inside

2) some unique marking on your bag other than a piece of ribbon around the handle. Make it something that people will notice so they don't take your bag by mistake.

3) put a copy of your itinerary in an obvious place so if I have to search your bag to reunite it with you, I can track you down.

Always make sure your carryon has everything you will need for a day or two. Just assume you won't have your main piece of luggage then when it shows up with you it's a bonus!!!

Good luck
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Old Mar 27th, 2007, 04:10 PM
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I have flown into Rome several times without a problem until the last trip. We had a tight connection through London Heathrow which became much shorter due to our first plane taking off late (picture frazzled woman with two kids - one with an upset stomach - dashing through LHR). The children's luggage made the plane to Rome, but mine, for some reason, did not. Luckily I was finally able to locate the lost luggage counter and the unfortunate employee there (imagine a line of unhappy jet-lagged travellers) was able to trace my bag which arrived on the next flight (three hours later.) I opted to wait for the luggage rather than trust that it would eventally get to me.

I then learned about the taxi strike - but that's another story...
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Old Mar 27th, 2007, 04:13 PM
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A one-hour connection is tight scheduling. It increases the risk that your luggage will not arrive on the same flight as you do. The odds are still in your favour.

If the luggage is delayed, how soon it arrives depends very much on your airline. If they have several flights between CDG and FCO each day, chances are that it will arrive later on the same day, and they should accept responsibility for delivering it to you.

For peace of mind, I suggest that you pack a basic change of clothing and other essentials (subject to security rules)in your carry-on.
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Old Mar 27th, 2007, 04:26 PM
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I think it's less of FCO, than the connection and transferring from one airline to another that have no affiliations.

I've temporarily lost luggage in London, Brussels, Munich, Amsterdam, and a dozen or so cities in the U.S. Miami especially loves to keep my luggage.

I agree with the identifying mark. We have a green sticker from London that's about 5-6 years old and instantly identifies the luggage. I do put 2+ external ID tags and a subtle ribbon, an AA membership ID, but always have a separate unique identifier.

What does #$%@& me off is when my luggage gets on a flight ahead of me and I wait patiently for it to arrive, when it already has. Now, the first thing I do before the carousel starts is to walk over to the airline's baggage service area and make sure my luggage isn't already sitting there.
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Old Mar 27th, 2007, 05:12 PM
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Maybe I shouldn't tell you this, but when I went to Rome over Christmas & New Year's, Alitalia lost my luggage and I didn't have it for the first FIVE days! It was a code share Delta/Alitalia and connected through JFK and then Milan. Later, talking to a woman in Rome, she said that happens all the time when you connect in Milan. So maybe you will have more luck! (My flight from JFK was delayed, so I barely made the connection in Milan. I knew right then that my luggage probably wouldn't make it, but I didn't expect to wait five days!) I was also staying in an apartment and didn't have a phone. Fortunately, the apartment owner was wonderful and was actually there when it was delivered. I have to admit that I would be worried with only one hour layover at CDG.

That said, if it happens, absolutely don't let it ruin your trip! I certainly didn't. You have to take these things in stride. Look at the positive side...this means shopping in Rome! (And it's such fun to try to buy underwear when the clerks don't speak English and are showing you something you don't want and you're trying to get across the idea of what you do want! )
Have a great trip!
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Old Mar 27th, 2007, 05:43 PM
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Thanks all for your responses.

adeben - I am glad you have been so fortunate. I have not!

amy - thanks for the reminders re:identifiers and such. I even thought about taking digital photos of my bags. That way, if there's a language barrier, I could pull out the photo and voila - color, size, construction would all be obvious.

KT - I feel for you, but I am not sure I would have waited the three hours. Especially since we will arrive in Rome about 22 hours after we leave our home!

Padraig, I wish I had been thinking more clearly when I booked. I was using FF miles for DH and myself, and I was so glad to get flights, I didn't question the connection times. We are flying Air France from IAH to CDG and from CDG to FCO. Air France has several flights after ours from CDG to FCO. My worry really isn't 'will it get to Rome?', my worry is 'will I have to interrupt my plans to meet with the airline delivery person?' AND any language hurdles filling out lost luggage forms.

Rastaguy - that has not happened to me in the past - my luggage getting there before me. Thanks, now I have a new worry!

Susan, Thanks for telling me of your experience. I am sorry that happened to you. But, as you say, I can think of alot worse things than having to shop in Rome! I will absolutely have 80% of what I need for the entire trip with me, I am just not sure one 22" bag will do me through 11 days. If I just had that personal item.....

What I didn't hear from any of you, though, is that it was a nightmare reporting the lost bags. Did the process go okay? Do you speak Italian? (mine is poor to non-existent)

Thanks again for your replies.
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Old Mar 27th, 2007, 07:04 PM
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My bag didn't get to Rome with me. Read about it here: http://www.iol.ie/~draoi/html/rome1.htm (copy and paste the url)
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Old Mar 27th, 2007, 07:25 PM
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Hi phieaglefan, although so far I have not had checkin luggage not arrive with me here is what I do. I mentally figure in my budget that perhaps that might happen and consequently I will have to do some shopping. This thinking came about in the 1970's when for the first time I was in Rome. There was a darling young couple that we ran into and the wife was crying. They were on their honeymoon and their luggage had not arrived with them and they had been in the same clothes that they had flown in from the US to Rome..for four days after arriving in Rome. I made a mental note to myself right there and then if that ever happened to me I would go and buy some clothes..they wouldn't have to be the "best" clothes but they would be clean clothes. So consequently again, I always mentally budget that this might happen.
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Old Mar 27th, 2007, 09:47 PM
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Alitalia also misplaced my luggage for 3+ days in Rome. Our flight was also 7 hours late. I have only traveled with a small carry-on ever since. I have become one of those pack-lite fanatics but it really makes things easy and I have met wonderful people in laundry-mats
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Old Mar 28th, 2007, 03:00 AM
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On my last trip to Italy, my luggage was delayed in Munich. Our connection was originally an hour but a late arrival gave us only 40 minutes. While we made our connection, our luggage didn't. The lost luggage counter at FCO located our bags in Munich and put them on the next flight out...3 hours later. We decided to wait instead of taking a chance on them forwarding the bags to us at our next destination.

In twenty years of travel, this last trip was my first lost baggage experience. It turns out on the way back my bag was lost (not delayed). It took 2 days to get it but I got it back.

Millions of bags are lost or delayed every year...US Air alone lost more than a million bags. Unfortunately, carry on restrictions make it almost impossible to pack for a two week trip without checking bags.

My husband and I put half of our clothes in each bag in case one goes astray...that way we have a few things to wear. We also pack 1 change of clothes in our carry on. Staying at your arrival and departure destination for at least one night is a good idea.

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Old Mar 28th, 2007, 03:42 AM
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If you saw a 50something man walking around Positano in June of 2005 in a woman's t-shirt it was because his luggage was missing when he landed in Rome. So the big lug of a husband of mine borrowed one of my t-shirts to get him through the first day. I have pictures to prove it and it wasn't a pretty sight!
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Old Mar 28th, 2007, 04:00 AM
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Thanks for sharing your story Padraig. That reinforces to me that I should have 80% of what I need with me, and just check extra clothes.

I am excited to be staying in an apartment in Rome, but with a hotel, you generally get a front desk, which might come in handy in case of lost luggage.

LoveItaly (hope I love it too!) I like the way you think! Yes, there will be a shopping budget - even if I do get my bags! How awful for that Honeymoon couple.

crzn1 - I might have to try it, the packing light thing. We will actually have a washer & dryer nights 1,2, & 3 and also nights 7,8, & 9. We're traveling by train for the first time, and also taking a quick flight on one of the low-cost carriers that limit luggage. So, all things point to packing light. Perhaps I'll give it a dry run this weekend.

CRAZY - thanks for sharing your experience. Luckily, Air France has tons of flights after ours, just in case. Also, staying near your arrival point is a good plan. Both recent times my luggage has been lost (here in the US), I have been at least 80 miles from the airport, which complicates delivery.

Thanks again for all of your replies!
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Old Mar 28th, 2007, 04:05 AM
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rbnwdln, I was typing (slowly) when you posted. Maybe I can show that post (or photo?) to DH to convince him that we shouldn't check any bags. Although he might look good in my pale yellow sweater!
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Old Mar 28th, 2007, 12:18 PM
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Excellent point about staying at least a day or so at your arrival destination. I got to know some of the others whose luggage was also misplaced, and a large group were supposed to join a bus tour departing for Tuscany that evening. I can't imagine the logistics of trying to get their luggage to catch up with them!
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Old Apr 2nd, 2007, 10:59 AM
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I like the notion of half-n-half packing with your travel companion, so if one bag is lost you'll each have something to wear.

I also love that idea of traveling with a photo of your luggage! (Since you never know when you'll see it for the last time, this could be a lovely remembrance ...

One of the best ideas, though , is including some itinerary info in case an ambitious retrieval person wants to reach you further down the line.

It's frustrating how there seem to be fewer non-stop flights these days, even from NYC.

One bit of advice: if you will be changing to a smaller, local airline and have time, check your bags only to the end of travel with the major carrier. Fetch them, then re-check to the small airline. This rule of thumb is crucial in the Caribbean, and probably a wise idea elsewhere.

Good luck all - because it never hurts to be lucky!
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Old Apr 2nd, 2007, 11:43 AM
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alitalia has lost my luggage twice in 2 trips. but they found it and brought home.
 
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