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).