Luggage story: Bad start, good end

Discussion in 'Delta Air Lines | SkyMiles' started by Dovster, Aug 11, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Dovster
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    Dovster Gold Member

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    Don't ask me how it happened, I have no idea. On a TLV-ATL-LAS itinerary, my almost-new, hard plastic, suitcase was almost destroyed. When I picked it up in ATL, one side of it had a series of deep cuts in it, almost as if someone had attacked it with a butcher's cleaver.

    I do know this: Israeli Security was not responsible. Bags are scanned in TLV in front of the passenger and if there is any concern the passenger opens the bag himself and shows the contents to Security,

    Nor was the TSA at fault -- it had not yet been given to them. The only ones who touched the bags were Delta employees and baggage handlers in TLV and ATL.

    Instead of putting it on the belt for my connecting flight to LAS, I brought it to a Delta rep. She told me that she couldn't do anything for me other than to put it in a large plastic bag to keep anything from falling out and that I should go to the Baggage Claims Office in LAS.

    That is what I did. In LAS they took a report, offered me a cloth bag to replace it (which I refused), I emptied the bag (which did not have much in it) , put the contents into my other bag and left the destroyed one in the Baggage Claims Office. All that they would tell me is that their insurance company would decide what I would get paid.

    As I had bought it in Switzerland a few months ago, paid over $300 for it, no longer had the receipt, and paid in cash, I was not overly optimistic about the generosity of the insurance company.

    Like any good traveling Israeli, I bought a ton of stuff in Vegas and, of course, needed a new suitcase to put it all into. I went to Macy's, got a Samsonite, lightweight, hard plastic suitcase which had a retail price of $380. It was on half price sale and I got an additional 10% discount for being a foreign resident, and wound up paying $185.

    This time, I kept the receipt.

    I wrote an e-mail to a friend who works for Delta, in a high level position, in ATL, recounting the story, and asking for advice. She told me to bring the Macy's receipt to the Baggage Claims Office in LAS. I would have, but I flew out early and the office wasn't open yet.

    As I was spending 4 days in ATL on my return trip, my friend was waiting for me at the gate when I landed. I told her that I couldn't give the receipt in LAS, and she went with me to the Baggage Claims Office in ATL.

    I got wonderful service there and was promised that my $185 would be sent to me in two weeks. I may be a bit cynical, but I have a feeling that being accompanied by a Delta big shot helped grease the wheels of this process. Nor did it hurt that:

    1. She mentioned to the man in the office that I am a journalist,

    2. That his boss showed up while we were in the office and that his boss and my friend were very close,

    3. The man who handled my claim is from Sicily and that we were able to chat in Italian.

    Although I am being given less than what I paid for the destroyed suitcase, I actually feel that I came out ahead on the deal. The Samsonite I picked up in LAS is a better suitcase and I am getting paid in full for it.
     
  2. canucklehead
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    canucklehead Gold Member

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    Good to hear everything worked out. Hopefully the check is truly in the mail!
     
  3. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    It never hurts to know a big shot, I wonder what that could do for you in terms of upgrades? :D
     
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  4. milchap
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    milchap Gold Member

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    How airlines can destroy suitcases still baffles me? The elephant in the Samsonite commercial could not.... ! ;)
     
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  5. Dovster
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    Dovster Gold Member

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    She absolutely refused to help me get an upgrade. She used some poor excuse about my being on a Biz Elite itinerary for the international segments and FC for the domestic ones.
     
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  6. Dovster
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    Dovster Gold Member

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    Clearly the elephant was not an American one. Both American elephants and donkeys can destroy anything.
     
  7. rwoman
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    rwoman Gold Member

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    Glad it worked out! One of my newer suitcases looks WORSE than one of the oldest ones after a couple of BA and DL flights! ;)
     
  8. kyunbit
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    kyunbit Silver Member

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    If you ever decide to write a book, I can empty my savings account to get it published :)

     
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  9. matthewtravels
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    matthewtravels Silver Member

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    Dovster, unrelated to your luggage issue, please accept my apologies for never getting back to you regarding Bose headphones for sale in ATL. I did look for them when I was there but then posting got lost in the shuffle with the hellish travel day I had. Sorry! Hope you found something.

    Back on the luggage topic, I've now got two brand-new large Skyway replacement bags from Delta because of damage done to one of my checked bags (on the trip I reference above). The bag was old and only needed to make the trip to transport a bunch of old stuff I had at my parent's house so to get new luggage out of it was helpful! Guaranteed the replacement bags are worth more than I could have claimed for the old bag.
     

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