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baggage lost in transit JFK to Logan

Boston...
posts: 30
reviews: 1
baggage lost in transit JFK to Logan

My three kids and I had an AMAZING two week trip to Israel, and I will post a report about our experiences ASAP. However, I am now trying to deal with a lost bag issue that is vexing me to no end. Our return flight was EL AL to Heathrow, American to JFK, Jet Blue to Boston. In Israel, a very helpful EL Al agent saw that I was traveling solo with three kids and offered to check the bags all the way through to Boston, even though the final leg of the trip was not on one of their partner airlines. Our flights went very smoothly, and I cannot say enough about how comfortable coach class seats were on the American Airlines and EL AL 777's (Americans were marginally more comfortable and had better in seat entertainment options). The worst thing was that my kids watched so many movies and played so many games that no one slept!

When we arrived at JFK, we went through immigration and collected the 2 bags and cleared customs. Then we took our bags, which were tagged through to Boston to the American Airlines transfer belt...and said goodbye to them. When we arrived on Jet Blue in Boston, neither bag was there. I have my tickets/boarding passes, original baggage tags/stickers from Israel and a photo of both bags. Both bags had luggage tags with our names (as well as an American Airlines gold member embossed tag on one). We opened a claim with Jet Blue in Boston, and I have been calling both them and American Airlines twice a day since July 3. One bag did get delivered to me at home on July 3. It had been sent to Boston on an American Airlines flight. The other is still lost. It has been suggested to me by both airlines that this is due in some way to the travel originating in Israel, and perhaps additional TSA screenings that were required. I did call Tel Aviv and someone looked there to see if the bag had been returned, but to no avail. Today we also visited the Jet Blue and AA baggage claim areas in Logan airport to see for ourselves if perhaps our bag is there, but it was not.

We seem to be in some kind of a grey area. American says that since Jet Blue was our final carrier, it is their responsibility to locate the bag. Jet Blue says that since they never scanned the bag into their system at JFK (ie, American did not transfer properly), there is a limit to how far they can look. In addition, apparently Jet Blue and AA do not share baggage handling software, so Jet Blue is limited to calling the American Airlines Baggage dept in JFK and claim that it is very difficult to gain their cooperation. In the meanwhile, where is this poor bag?? Even if the airline's routing luggage tag was removed (as well as the three stickers which were affixed to the bag), there is still the tag with our address. I have also given descriptions of the contents for identification purposes. And even if the bag did not transfer to Jet Blue due to a missing routing tag, then it must be sitting SOMEWHERE in JFK, because the airline would have no idea where to send it on to...This bag contains only clothing, shoes and souveniers (small items for my kid's friends), but it will be a true pain to try to replace everything (and some items cannot be replaced, even if the airline compensates us). Any advice (other than to never check luggage!) - somewhere else to check or other options of where the breakdown in transit might have taken place - is appreciated! (truthfully, after many many years of flying including internationally, this is the longest baggage delay we have every had - usually it is returned to us w/in 24 hours).

Thanks!

Illinois
posts: 203
reviews: 3
1. Re: baggage lost in transit JFK to Logan

Try calling the direct line to the American Airlines baggage claim department at JFK. Do not use an 800 customer service but a direct local number and ask a supervisor if they can look to see if the bag is physically there. I had a bag on Airtran that did not follow me to Cancun. I was told by everyone I spoke to that the bag went to Monteago Bay and then was being sent to Baltimore for a connection to Cancun. I was told this for days as everyone I spoke too just read the notes on my claim. I finally called the baggage claim department in Chicago (departure city) and lo and behold the bag was sitting there. It never left.

Good Luck.

Bangkok
Destination Expert
for Bangkok, Air Travel, Thailand
posts: 13,681
reviews: 71
2. Re: baggage lost in transit JFK to Logan

Hi,

It IS the LAST carrier on that ticket who takes all claims and deals with the tracing and if necessary, any resulting claims... This is even if the last carrier only flew you a short distance as compared to the others.

IF you were on TWO SEPERATE tickets, then its a little more complex as each each ticket is its own self-contained event.

I suspect that your bags did move from Tel Aviv to JFK, but got mixed up in or at the reclaim belt area after you cleared CBP inexpectiins.. But it could be anywhere..

The tracking of baggage is kind of a reactive as opposed to a pro-active process in that until the bags is scanned somewhere or is "found" somewhere in the system that its. Ot supposed to be, the tracking system won't "see" it..

There's not a whole lot you can do per se other than to make sure you have given the carrier your correct contact information and make sure that you compete timely any reports or claims that they require.

The folks at the baggae claim offices can "see" a bit more via fheir in-house systems as well as via the multi-carrier teacking system, WorldTracer, but largely its a game of "wait until it turns up somewhere" that's when the system gets alerted that there's a possible match.

Travel Safe,

NYC/Israel
Destination Expert
for Israel
posts: 24,801
reviews: 17
3. Re: baggage lost in transit JFK to Logan

Deborah--GOPBI, is "the" # 1 expert in this area. While his words may not feel encouraging, sit tight!

Bangkok
Destination Expert
for Bangkok, Air Travel, Thailand
posts: 13,681
reviews: 71
4. Re: baggage lost in transit JFK to Logan

Hi,

I'm not trying to be discouraging, only to be a realist and give you the "how it iis".... The one good thing if you will is that the odds, the statistical odds your bag will *never* be found is in fact very, very, very small.. Think less than 1/100 of 1% small ... The vast vast majority of bags are found sooner or later and returned ...

So, unfortunately it kind of is a wait-and-see game as airline and airport scanning systems aren't set-up to stop or detect a wayward bag in the system like express package delivery companies like UPS or FedEx are... the airline and aiport systems largely relies on either a person or a process/procedure (like positive passenger bag match on international flights) to detect that a bag is somewhere its not supposed to be..

I am quite confident your bag will be returned to you.. The odds say that this is, by far, the most probable outcome. So, while frustrating for sure, the *best* use of your time is to be sure you're readily contactable and that you are following all the airlines reporting requirements.

Travel Safe,

Madrid
posts: 2,647
reviews: 7
5. Re: baggage lost in transit JFK to Logan

As usual GOPBI is spot on.Your bags are not lost until after 21 days,they are only mishandled.As 1 has found its way home,I would be willing to bet the others will also.

Next time if you are on separate tickets,it may not be "helpfull" for check in staff to check your bag through.If you had gone to Jet Blue check in desks instead of AA recheck you may have avoided this situation.

Boston...
posts: 30
reviews: 1
6. Re: baggage lost in transit JFK to Logan

Just in case anyone who is dealing with lost luggage stumbles upon this thread - our story has a good ending. 17 days after we returned from our trip, our luggage was returned to us by Jet Blue. It still had our luggage tag with ID on it. No indication where it had been, other than it came to their lost baggage center from Orlando FL. Oh, if only our bag could talk! It was intact, undamaged, and with all of our items still inside. So, now we do believe in miracles!

Brooklyn, NY
Destination Expert
for New York City
posts: 20,025
7. Re: baggage lost in transit JFK to Logan

Excellent! Glad you got it back.

NYC/Israel
Destination Expert
for Israel
posts: 24,801
reviews: 17
8. Re: baggage lost in transit JFK to Logan

Great! It is always nice to read happy endings.

Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
posts: 16,040
reviews: 5
9. Re: baggage lost in transit JFK to Logan

Good news indeed and thanks for coming back and letting us know.

It looks like they were moved to JetBlue's central warehouse where your own tags were used to identify them as yours. So kudos to you for labeling your bags.

Surrey England
posts: 2,047
reviews: 60
10. Re: baggage lost in transit JFK to Logan

I am pleased for you that your bag came safely back to you with all its contents.

My daughter and son in law returned from Vancouver to London yesterday but one of her bags didn't make it.

She had a text from BA at 3am to say that her bag was in Johannesburg and should be with her tomorrow.

Apart from shoes and dirty washing it contained four first nation art prints which they hope to frame for their new house.So we are keeping our fingers crossed that the bag will arrive complete with all her belongings.

I really don't understand how bags can randomly wander off anywhere in the world.