Airline Rant & Advice For Future Travelling

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Razerwire, Mar 18, 2007.

  1. Razerwire

    Razerwire 99 Problems... Super Mod

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    I will NEVER EVER EVER EVER put anything valuable in my check in luggage again.

    Why?

    Here's the story that my family went through.

    Last year, my mother flew from Taipei, Taiwan back to San Francisco and packed my nephew's Nintendo DS into her check in bag for some reason that I will never understand since I would think that the DS is best served with my nephew playing it on the plane.

    But that's beside the point.

    When they get home to Los Gatos, my mom notices that the luggage was opened. She opened it and sure enough, the DS was missing.

    That was the first time and I figured I'd just chalk it up to bad luck. My mom didn't file a report or anything since it was only a DS. Instead my sister's husband just bought my nephew a new DS.

    This past week we were in Hawaii where my fiancee and I got married. My now brother in law bought us a new expensive camera along with a 5 year warranty for our wedding gift and packs it into his check in bag. He flew from New York to Las Vegas, to Honolulu to Kailua-Kona. He gets into Kona and finds out that his check in bag went missing. Somewhere between Vegas and Kona, the bag disappeared.

    He arrived at Kona on the 10th. His luggage wasn't found until after the 15th, the day that he left Kona for Honolulu to stay for a couple of days.

    So his luggage was easily sent to him in Honolulu. When he opened it, guess what was missing along with his baseball glove? That's right, the new camera that was supposed to be our wedding gift. So obviously someone from the airline he was flying (looking at you Delta) x rayed the bag, saw the camera, set the bag aside to make the bag "go missing", stole the camera and his baseball glove, and a few days later brought it back and "found" it.

    And you know what's the biggest bullshit of it all? Delta Airlines, or any airline out there right now has no accountability whatsoever when it comes to losing valuables or electronics.

    They're only responsible to pay you $50 each day for everyday that you're missing your luggage.

    As for anything that was IN your luggage? They're only responsible for a certain amount, which is ridiculously small to begin with, and that you can't claim losses on electronics or valuables such as jewelry.

    So essentially at this point my brother in law got us a five year warranty on a camera for our wedding gift, which as anyone would know is useless without the actual camera.

    The baseball glove? I think they stole that simply because they knew they could get away with it. It was a good glove, already worked in and all.

    I am absolutely LIVID about this and the fact that we can't do anything about it to get the money back for the camera that my brother in law spent.

    But from now on, you can GUARANTEE that my ass is NEVER going to put ANYTHING valuable in my check in bag. EVER.

    And I highly suggest everyone reading this to do so as well.
     
  2. Optimus Scourge

    Optimus Scourge Arcee's boy toy Veteran

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    Damn, man, sorry to hear that. That completely sucks ass. :( 
     
  3. Predaking

    Predaking Well-Known Member

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    There's no way you can file a claim with the airline? Seems to me there's grounds for a suit, unless they state somewhere that they are absolutely not responsible for any loss in valuables during their watch. As for me I always pack the expensive stuff in my carryon and I put in under the seat in front of me so I can see it all the time.
     
  4. Razerwire

    Razerwire 99 Problems... Super Mod

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    Nope, when my brother in law called the airlines they specifically said they weren't liable for electronics and jewelry and that claims can't be brought for those two categories.

    I've always had the personal practice of keeping all electronics and other valuables with me in my backpack. But backpacks are only so big and I dread the day that I have something of value that won't fit in my backpack.

    The only solution to that would be to put it in one of those roll on carry ons.
     
  5. Ops_was_a_truck

    Ops_was_a_truck JOOOLIE ANDREWWWWWS!!!!!!

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    Just speaking from someone who has worked as a baggage handler, I want to give folks some idea of what goes on.

    -Different airlines handle their bags in different ways. Many airline baggage handler teams are so pressed for time as it is that it would be virtually impossible for any part-of-the-airline service employee to stop and actually steal stuff. Honestly, time is tight on an airport; baggage handlers have just enough time to check a bag's location, drop it at a plane and go.
    -Pack your stuff well, because even IF you arrived at the airport 30 minutes early, your bag may sit at the handling station for another hour before the inattentive baggage handler flies past and grabs it, only to toss it - regardless of what's inside - to the next handler at the plane.
    -For the love of God, don't put creams and toiletries and etc. in the outside folds of your bags, because those bags will be knocked around more than enough from delivery to takeoff to landing to delivery at the next airport. At least one in every 5 bags I handled (while at FlyI) had the noxious odor of some crap inside. One in every 8 or 9 had pink, yellow or orange lotion/shampoo/etc. leaking out of the side pockets.

    While baggage handlers might be occasionally inattentive, it's the TSA who are the most serious offenders. TSA sends the biggest, stupidest, most ghetto-looking thugs down to the baggage-processing centers of America's airports and tells them to "look for suspicious stuff." I kid you not - I've seen them open up bags, tear clothing out and then only throw about 1/2 of the clothing back in, sometimes WITHOUT EVEN ZIPPING THE BAG BACK UP. They honestly have no care at all whether or not your personal effects make it back to you; they're just "looking for suspicious stuff," as nebulous as that is.

    ...and they can get away with it, too, because of all the fingerpointing accountability between the TSA and the airlines.

    They're real punks, and it's sad, too. They steal without being called on it regularly. I've seen baggage supervisors try to write them up, only to be told that for government reason x-and-y, certain personal effects are being held "for security screening." The "for security screening" personal items that used to sit on the racks at Dulles were exactly the stuff RW's mentioned - a DS, cameras, cell phones, etc. Because, of course, if those items aren't claimed by the string of crappy paperwork after like 60-90 days, they get auctioned off...

    I heartily agree with Razerwire - don't put stuff you value in your under-the-plane baggage. Don't trust the airport. Pack nothing but clothes...and pack your toiletries in or near the middle of the bag. Everything else should go with you on the plane, below your seat. If you can't take it onboard because of government regulations, be glad there's a Wal-Mart or Target in virtually every city in the country and buy the remainder of the items you'd need at your destination.
     
  6. Seth Buzzard

    Seth Buzzard R.I.P. Buzzbeak Content Contributor

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    When my brother was flying around a lot he would put duct tape on his bags.

    For the Botcon flight I’m finding out exactly how much I can carry on and not checking jack squat.
     
  7. drippy

    drippy is a freethinker.

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    It would be an atypical airline that has a policy different from the one you've described.

    And you've described the solution perfectly.

    Sorry to hear that you guys learned the hard way. :( 
     
  8. KA

    KA PENIS GOES WHERE?!!

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    wow that TSA stuff OWAT mentioned sounds like bullshit. as in thats bullshit what theyre doing.

    :( 
     
  9. Razerwire

    Razerwire 99 Problems... Super Mod

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    How does the TSA structure work? I've always thought they were a government agency? Do they contract out the airport TSA jobs to private companies?

    In essence it seems like the government is paying these thugs to steal items from travellers which is a friggen scam if you ask me.
     
  10. Ops_was_a_truck

    Ops_was_a_truck JOOOLIE ANDREWWWWWS!!!!!!

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    Yeah, the TSA is governmental. Since 9/11 - and I swear I'll avoid going political with this - The TSA's inception and integration into airports has been...well, sorta haphazard. TSA employees have been placed at any step in the people-and-baggage-moving process where somebody governmental SOMEWHERE thought that terrorists could do some harm. As a result, TSA's most shining employees (and that's not saying much) are kept in the concourses and at the security gates - they're the folks you see who profile you for "random" screenings.

    The TSA also have other little jobs spread across the airport, including baggage screening, gate guards, additional staff for int'l customs, etc. I don't think much care or concern is put into staffing those positions by the TSA administrative folks, so long as those employees passed the regular gamut of security officer tests and checks.

    TSA employees are, for the most part, salt-of-the-Earth lunkheads who were pointed towards this job as opposed to the 7/11 employee position because this one paid more.
     
  11. Razerwire

    Razerwire 99 Problems... Super Mod

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    See, that just scares the crap out of me. If these people can be hired and trusted for not only our belongings but our travelling safety, I might just drive for the rest of of my life if I can help it.
     
  12. Dragonclaw

    Dragonclaw Comic Ink - Dublin, CA

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    Similar thing happened to my dad with his camera! That's why I never check in anything...even for Botcons. Thankfully I display everything loose so the boxes never make it out of the hotel! I bring 1 duffel with just the essentials...and leave enough room for any purchases.
     
  13. Star Sabre James

    Star Sabre James <b>The JUICE</b> TFW2005 Supporter

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    WOW!!!

    I am sorry to hear about your bad situation, Razerwire. I would hope that you could get that "lost" camera back, but it probably is gone for good.

    This story has changed my mind on something. I was planning to bring a bag for check in to mostly bring stuff back from Botcon in. I WILL NOT do that now, because of this story. I will either have to get very little or, hopefully, there will be a way to ship the stuff back to me there.
     
  14. Ops_was_a_truck

    Ops_was_a_truck JOOOLIE ANDREWWWWWS!!!!!!

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    Honestly, shipping is not a horrible alternative. For those of you who have done USA B/S/Ts here on the boards, you're relatively familiar with the way the packaging system in The States does business. Additionally, with the average number of bulk boxes travelling through the US postal service (and private services) being FAR higher than those being brought onboard an airplane as part of civilian travel, you have a much lower chance of someone deciding to rip open your box and check inside.

    Trusting your stuff to the postal service over the airlines is like choosing the three-legged horse over the shifty-eyed two-legged one, but at least you've got a better chance of your stuff arriving undamaged.
     
  15. Wing alpha

    Wing alpha <b><font color=blue>I voted for Super_Megatron and

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    and ladies and gentlemen thats why I put LOCKS and Duct tape on my luggage.- have yet to have any problem for doing that in US, Canada and mexico-
     
  16. tikgnat

    tikgnat Baweepgranaweepninnybong. TFW2005 Supporter

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    Sorry to hear that man, hopefully this won't marr your memories of your wedding. :( 

    I never put anything valuable in my check in luggage, locks or no locks. Seriously, if they want in, they're in and thats that.

    I remember a TV show here in the UK where they set up cameras in staff toilets, and filmed some of these baggae handlers taking bags into the loo's and ripping them open, rooting through, stealing all the expensive stuff then putting the bags back, and claiming they were damaged in transit.

    IMO, you cannot trust other people with your luggage, to them its not someone elses valuables, its a conveyor belt of goods.
     
  17. Gigatron_2005

    Gigatron_2005 President of Calendars

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    How much was that camera man? It sounds like this could be grounds for a suit to me. I would totally talk to a lawyer about this. Even if the company says, "lol! We're not re$ponsable!11!LOL" it may not hold up in court. Its time for you to fry these fuckers.

    Also, when I went to Hawaii last time, I didn't even bring any luggage other than my carry on stuff. Saved a ton of time and I didnt have to worry about my stuff being stolen.
     
  18. onesock

    onesock Banned

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    Here's my suggestion to anyone else looking to get anything valuable to their home. Either carry it on the plane, or, if that isn't possible, mail it. I wasn't risking my haul in NY getting lost in flight, so I FedExed it home. It got there before I did, and it was all there. Maybe a little dent here and there, but better than losing it.

    And I'm glad I sent it, because when we got to the airport yesterday, "Sorry, Flight 823, we have lost your luggage on another plane." What. The. FUCK?! Luckily, it was on another flight from JFK, but on the wrong plane. So after an hour of waiting, we got our stuff. If it was my TFs, I think I would've had a heart attack before the luggage came. :lol 

    Sorry to hear about your loss though, RW. But congrats on getting married!
     
  19. Grimlocks Pretender Shell

    Grimlocks Pretender Shell mmmm...energon

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    Locks and duct tape dont mean jack. I think (correct me if im wrong Ops) by law if they think you are a risk they can and will go through your back , lock or no lock, tape or no tape.
     
  20. Razerwire

    Razerwire 99 Problems... Super Mod

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    I dunno how much the camera was. All I know is that it wasn't cheap. :mad: 
    I've always thought that they have the authority to cut through locks and tape as well.

    They have these new locks now that let you know if the TSA opened it. Doesn't seem to be very useful though.
     

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