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How many others lost their luggage with American Airlines?

Evansville, Indiana
posts: 5
How many others lost their luggage with American Airlines?

I recently flew to Las Vegas via AA with my husband. His bag arrived (delayed) in Las Vegas and mine never arrived. I am now HOME from my vacation and still without my luggage. I call AA every single day and every day it's the same answer, "We cannot locate your bags at this time." Why did I pay $25 to check my luggage if they weren't going to use the tracking tags?

If you have lost your luggage before, what steps did you take to get reimbursed for your items or even your trip?

Thanks!

104 replies to this topic
Bangkok
Destination Expert
for Bangkok, Air Travel, Thailand
posts: 13,657
reviews: 71
1. Re: How many others lost their luggage with American Airlines?

Hi,

"Why did I pay $25 to check my luggage if they weren't going to use the tracking tags? "

==> The fee isn't directly tied to the ability to track bags.. it's a part of the greater transportation issue..

"How many others lost their luggage with American Airlines?"

==> Based on the most current DOT reports that would be 16,971.... and that's out of 5,925,490 carried passengers for the period.. or a rate of 0.28%... which for the same period is actually better than the industry overall average..

This does also say that 99.71% of their near 6 million carried passengers did *not* have a baggage issue of some kind..

DOT:

dot.gov/sites/…2012OctoberATCR.pdf

page 37

"If you have lost your luggage before, what steps did you take to get reimbursed for your items or even your trip?

==> The process is rather well laid out.. I assume you filed a Property Irregularity Report (PIR) with American at your destination.. That is what formally starts the process.. From here you inquire about what type, amount and documentation requirements they have for reimbursement of *temporary* expenses.

Baggage is not considered "lost" until the end of the 21st days AFTER the date it's reported.. So they won't even address compensation for "lost" stuff until your case has reached this timeline.

As far as "... reimbursed for ... even your trip?" goes.. I personally think you have very close to zero chances that AA will reimburse you for your entire trip and/or refund your ticket.

Their liability to you in these kinds of cases is rather well defined under current DOT rules... They can of course do more, but their maximum liability is outlined by the DOT.

DOT:

…dot.gov/publications/flyrights.htm#baggage

Travel Safe,

Evansville, Indiana
posts: 5
2. Re: How many others lost their luggage with American Airlines?

I did file a PIR with American Airlines on day one.

I'm 99.9% positive that my bag is lost forever because AA cannot figure out where in the United States (or world) that my bag may be. They don't have a clue! In my opinion, this is bad business. Someone obviously made a mistake somewhere along the lines. AA was able to track my husbands bag and knew that it would be on the next flight to Las Vegas. His bag was delayed, which caused some inconvenience but at least he received it!

How do you have NO CLUE as to where you flew someone's personal belongings? My bag could be in another country by now! I purchased my luggage the night before our trip and it was nice looking luggage. I'm sure it's gone... Forever.

CARELESS!!

Edited: 11:26 pm, October 27, 2012
New York City, New...
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
posts: 7,731
reviews: 53
3. Re: How many others lost their luggage with American Airlines?

Be enlightened. Read the Contract of Carriage.

Milford, Ohio
posts: 1,181
reviews: 84
4. Re: How many others lost their luggage with American Airlines?

I have to be real.... Lost luggage stinks but it's not the end of the world. I arrived in Vienna, Austria with no luggage. After I realized that I was alive and arrived safely, I didn't worry about my luggage. It will turn up- if not, you will receive something from AA.

Bangkok
Destination Expert
for Bangkok, Air Travel, Thailand
posts: 13,657
reviews: 71
5. Re: How many others lost their luggage with American Airlines?

Hi,

"I'm 99.9% positive that my bag is lost forever because AA cannot figure out where in the United States (or world) that my bag may be."

==> That IS a possibility... However... the statistical *odds* that your bag will never be recovered (that it to say within the 21 day "delayed" window) is in fact, very, very, very small..

As noted in #1, the TOTAL number of ALL baggage issues that AA had for that period-- that includes by far the most common cases of delayed bags, but also lost bags, and even damaged bags- occurred with only 0.28% of their passengers..

So, to know what your odds are, you'd have to subtract out the most common scenarios of delayed bags and the other issues like damaged bags, from this 0.28% to see what your odds are.

So, while the DOT doesn't break down that baggage number into sub-groups, one can reasonably determine that the odds it is fact lost-- never to be recovered-- is very, very small.. It's a small portion of that already very, very small number-- 0.28%

Therefore, to me, the odds you'll never see it again is very low.. not zero, but very low..

"How do you have NO CLUE as to where you flew someone's personal belongings?"

==> Lots of ways.. but the most common one I know of is from what's called a "tag off"

A tag off occurs when the actual Computer generated Baggage Tag (CBT) somehow comes off the bag after acceptance..

While the tags are very strong, partially water-resistant, tear-resistant, they are not 100% perfect... Bags are moved by the airport and airlines using conveyor belts, diverters, etc... and these machines are very powerful..

Unfortunately, from time-to-time, bag tags get caught in pinch points and other parts of the system, and due to it's automated nature, speed and sheer power, anything 'caught' can be easily torn/ripped off.. this include tags, but also handles (where most tags are attached) but protruding wheels too..

So, I will tell you there are reasons and cases why a bag may not be traceable at some point in the system-- tag offs are one of, it not the most common reason why this happens..

Also, unlike entities like UPS or FedEx, airlines don't scan bags at as many "points' in the process.. It's usually 4 times at best, but can be more or less based on specifics...

#1: When your bag tag is created, #2: when you bag arrives at the location where it's loaded into a baggage cart or container, #3: it actually loads onto the plane, and #4: when it is dropped onto the belt leading to reclaim.

Again, while frustrating, the statistical odds say that the probability it is permanently lost, are in fact very low-- that's a fraction of that 0.28%-- and that there are cases where tags come off, resulting in limited ability to scan a bag. but even in these cases, there's alternative process to ID it.. (that's why they ask for descriptions: make, size, style, color, etc).

Travel Safe,

London, United...
posts: 367
reviews: 19
6. Re: How many others lost their luggage with American Airlines?

I have always put contact details (email & mobile) and my itinerary inside my case and in the zipped outer pockets, in order that it is always identifiable.

I make sure the inner details are printed out nice and big and on top of the contents so it gets noticed.

Hopefully if I got a 'tag off' they would still be able to reunite me with my baggage at some point.

Hope you do get yours back !

NYC/Israel
Destination Expert
for Israel
posts: 24,569
reviews: 17
7. Re: How many others lost their luggage with American Airlines?

Sazza--I do too.

Abby--I can feel your frustration but GOBPI who is a real expert has spent a twice given you very detailed and complete explanations of the way the baggage system works. He knows what he is talking about. Trust what he is saying, say thank you and try to relax.

Jacksonville...
posts: 1,478
reviews: 200
8. Re: How many others lost their luggage with American Airlines?

#3, you are correct!!

Milton Keynes...
posts: 23
reviews: 55
9. Re: How many others lost their luggage with American Airlines?

American Airlines lost my luggage on a flight from DFW to London. I got my case back two days later. Albeit that I was going to London, my luggage went to Santiago in Chile before returning to London.

Hong Kong, China
Destination Expert
for Hong Kong, Osaka
posts: 32,664
reviews: 76
10. Re: How many others lost their luggage with American Airlines?

Without going through all the technical details (conditions of carriage, etc), I feel for you. However, note that AA is not the only airline that loses luggage. Every airline loses bags at one point or another. Also, luggage management at each airport is not handled by the airlines themselves.

Try to deal with the situation by understanding your rights. Hopefully, you had travel insurance that can cover your loss.

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