View Full Version : When luggage gets "lost"...?
01-01-2009, 11:40 AM
When an airline loses luggage, how long does it usually take to get it back? And will it go to your home, or where you're at? (like would it go to you in WDW if that's where you were when they found it?)
Just curious! And since I'm sure someone will jump in telling me this is why I should have a well stocked carry-on, I know that. ;) But I'm simply asking just because I've always wondered.
01-01-2009, 11:47 AM
My neighbors luggage got lost once but they were one their way home. The airline had it delivered to their home.
01-01-2009, 11:50 AM
Yes, they will deliver it to your hotel or home, depending on where you are at. Depending on the airline, they may scan the luggage and tell you right where it is at. That happened to me a couple of weeks ago on Delta. I flew from Richmond to Atlanta to Pittsburgh (I know, the long way). I had an hour connection in Atlanta but unfortunately, my luggage did not make it (it was crazy with all the pre-holiday travelers). When it didn't come off in Pittsburgh, I went to the baggage office. They checked the computer and said it was on the next flight coming from Atlanta, arriving in about 20 min. They gave me an option of waiting for it or having it delivered to my home the next day. I decided to wait for it, there were items I needed for the next day. Make sure you hold onto your claim checks.
01-01-2009, 11:53 AM
Last time that's happened to us it was sent to the airport it was destined for and since we went to baggage claim to let them know it was missing we gave them the local address. Once we went back to the airport to get it (our choice) another two times it was delivered to the address we gave.
01-01-2009, 12:17 PM
Rest assured that truly 'lost' is extremely rare. 'Delayed' is somewhat more common, especially with short connections and/or irregular ops.
In that case a few things can happen
luggage will be boarded on the next flight and you may choose to wait at the airport if it is not a long time
luggage will be delivered to your point of destination
The challenge comes when your point of destination is no longer the city in which you landed. This happened to me - I flew into MSY and drove into AL. UA does not fly to AL but they managed to courier my luggage to me and I received it in under 12 hours. If you are boarding a cruise, you may be out of luck as they won't of course deliver to the ship while it is underway.
Another challenge is when it is delivered late at night/early morning. If you want it right away in your hotel room, tell the front desk and the bell desk. UA did deliver a delayed bag to me at WDW recently but the bell desk misplaced it. I was able to get the name of the CM who signed for the bag from UA's courier service, and track it down that way, but it took several hours (and was not due to the airline - they delivered the bag in under 3 hours - but due to WDW and an overcrammed luggage storage area)
If you made a very tight connection, you may want to have one member of your party go to the luggage office right away, or call the luggage line for your airline (or use the UA luggage tracing machines). I do this quite often and thus don't have to wait for all the bags to come off the flight, but can deal with my delayed bag before other passengers form a line at the office.
If your bag is delayed a lengthier amount of time, you can also submit receipts for any necessary items. That doesn't mean an entire wardrobe, but usually $25-50 worth of toiletries, etc. Make sure that you file a claim before leaving the airport, and that you ask about any reimbursement.
And don't worry, it very rarely happens! :)
01-01-2009, 12:22 PM
I had a friend fly out to Yellowstone National Park to visit me and his luggage missed the second leg of his trip, the airline delivered the bag to us in the Park the next day. DH and I flew home from Orlando a few years back and our luggage didn't make the connecting flight. The airline had someone drive the 70 miles to our home to deliver our luggage to us. It was the middle of the night but I was glad to get our luggage.
01-01-2009, 12:40 PM
DH travels a lot. Once, it took nearly a week to get one bag back. His flights changed at the last minute--his bag made the original flight then traveled around the country for a few days trying to catch up with him. We decided to give it a week, and if the bag didn't show up we were going to file a claim. On the sixth day we got the call that they'd located the bag and would deliver it the next day. They did.
A couple of weeks ago, a bag went missing again. This time, they were able to catch up with it very quickly. It was delivered in the middle of the night on the same day DH got home.
01-01-2009, 12:46 PM
Airlines misdirect about three million pieces of luggage a year, and outright lose about 250,000 of those. This SOUNDS like a lot, but it's really less than one percent of all checked luggage (and all figures may be lower for 2008, given the reductions in capacity and travel).
I've had luggage misdirected twice - once recently - and my brother once that I'm aware (the rest of my siblings either carry on or don't travel).
My brother's problem was that despite checking in for his flight online in advance, he got to the baggage check at the airport at exactly 45 minutes before his flight departed. When AA says your luggage must be checked at least 45 minutes in advance, they mean 45 full minutes, or in/prior to the 46th minute (e.g. for a 6 AM flight, your luggage would need to be checked BEFORE 5:15, not AT 5:15). He ended up not getting on his flight; it took him nine hours to travel what should have taken five (I've eliminated time changes - add three to each number), and it took his luggage 36 hours. And for some stupid reason, he had NO backup outer clothing in his carry-on. Good thing the friend he was visiting is about his same size. The airline delivered his luggage to that address when it showed up, even though I offered to pick it up because one route I can take home from work goes by the airport.
My first misdirect was on the twice-defunct Braniff, in its second incarnation. After lies about delays on the way to Florida (and finally putting us Tampa people on Continental in Newark) and claiming snow delays in Boston on the way home, the connecting plane had no enclosed overhead bins - just open areas like on the DME buses - so a number of us had to gate-check our carry-ons. We were assured the bags would be waiting for us on the jetway in Boston. Nope. Then we were told they were with the rest of the luggage on the carousel. Nope. Again, when the luggage did finally arrive they delivered mine to my home.
Other time was last year going to Las Vegas. Due to storm delays, the plane I was supposed to be boarding in Boston, to connect in Washington, had not left Philadelphia at the time it was supposed to land in Boston. The gate agents insisted on changing three parties who thus would not be able to make connections. At 3 PM, while I stood at the counter, the GA called baggage handling and told them to remove the three parties' luggage and on which flights those bags should go instead. Now, our original flight had been scheduled to depart at 4, and remember the plane had not yet left the ground at its originating airport (it ulitimately arrives around 6, yes, making my intended 7 PM connection pretty much impossible). My new flight was departing at 8:30. Baggage handling had three hours to take my luggage off the Washington-bound cart, and a total of five and a half hours to place it on the nonstop to Las Vegas.
Nope. No suitcase in Las Vegas - which is not necessarily a bad thing, given the ease with which I could now move through the airport and to the car rental center - AFTER filing a lost luggage report, where the gentleman tracked my luggage to... Boston! The next day, when I hadn't heard anything by the time stated and had changed hotels, I called the airline. Somebody tracked the bag, and it finally showed up around 3:30. Except it didn't go where the person on the phone told me (BOS-WAS-LAS). Instead, it traveled further than I did - BOS-JFK-LGB-LAS. I tried getting miles for my suitcase, but no go.
But, the airlines will deliver your luggage where you request, IF it's misdirected. And the chance of this happening is just one more argument for cruisers to fly to their departure port a day early :)
01-01-2009, 12:52 PM
I've only had misdirected luggage once - and it was partially/mainly my own fault.
I was in high school and flying to Paris, without my parents. I used a suitcase that had my father's name/information on the ID tag and somehow, the luggage tag (the only saying where the bag should be going) fell off. They looked up my dad's name (the one on the ID tag) and saw that someone with his name was flying to Tokyo - so my bag went there! I did eventually get it (they sent it to the town I was staying in, which was a few hours from Paris), but it took a while.
Learned a lesson - your baggage should have YOUR name/information on it.
I suspect though, that this wouldn't have happen in the current climate and my bag would have stayed at my departure city, rather than being sent based only on the name on the ID tag.
01-01-2009, 10:54 PM
Our luggage did not arrive at WDW in March. We used ME and checked in after midnight. The next morning I called for our luggage and it was not in the ME system (not scanned in at MCO). I called the airline and it did not make our connection. They had it on the next plane out. The hotel (ASMu) was great. They gave us a credit for any supplies we needed from the gift shop, and delivered the luggage to our room when it arrived. We just changed into park clothes from our carryons and enjoyed the day!
01-02-2009, 08:50 AM
If you are boarding a cruise, you may be out of luck as they won't of course deliver to the ship while it is underway.
They do however get it to the next port. On our Disney cruise we watched bus after bus pull up on the pier in St. Maarten offloading suitcase after suitcase to bring them onboard the ship. Actually many people actually caught up with the ship then too. Unfortunately for them though this was a Tuesday on a cruise that left on Saturday.
01-02-2009, 09:10 AM
Never had lost or misdirected luggage. The chance are slim, it does happen and I am not naive to it, but I can survive a few days with my ONE SMALL carry-on.
01-02-2009, 01:32 PM
I like to say that I've had a few instances where my luggage went on vacation, but I had to go to work.
Never actually lost anything permanently though.;)
I tend to travel light through the airport. If my luggage gets lost I can afford to spend $10 to $20 at Target or Wal-Mart for a fresh pair of socks, panties, bra and a toothbrush and toothpaste. I carry powder and blush, deodorant, travel hairbrush and lip balms/sticks and a t-shirt with me in my backpack. (Sometimes I've spent less than that and washed the undies out in the hotel sink.:laundy: - but that was when I KNEW I'd only have to go one day without my luggage. )
When I went to Disney in October, I'd read up on the DME and knew I'd be stuck without my bags for a while, so I packed my usual ditty bag and threw in a pair of bermudas. I probably could've survived two or three days on just that and tooth cleaning accoutrements from the gift store if my luggage had gone on a side tour.
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