United Baggage Handling

Discussion in 'Newbies' started by wcblack34, Oct 28, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. wcblack34

    wcblack34 Silver Member

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    I just got back from BKK, and I purchased a bottle of Scotch at NRT. Upon arrival at SFO, I carefully placed the Scotch (which was in a fairly sturdy cardboard box) into my checked baggage (a quality hard-sided case). Upon arrival at my home airport, I discovered that the bottle had been broken and had ruined all of the clothing I had with (including a $600 suit). I've never had a problem before, and I have brought back many bottles of wine and other beverages before. Does anyone here have any experience with United's customer service for these matters? Is there any hope of compensation for this?
     
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  2. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

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    Honestly, I don't think it hurts to try to get compensated for your loss, and you should try to do so. That stated, I don't anticipate that you'd get a reimbursement of any sort without one heck of a battle. Good luck!

    This can't help you now, but for future reference:
    For years, I've brought back to the states from my overseas travels a great bottle of wine or special liquor without fear of breakage. I can thank my wife for finding the ideal solution: neoprene bottle holders! They are made out of similar neoprene material as a medium-thick wetsuit. And they work! There are single and multiple bottle holders/carriers available. Here's one example:
    http://www.target.com/p/neoprene-wine-tote-1-bottle-carrier/-/A-13724360

    You can also get them at Amazon, or wherever fine wines are sold! :)
     
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  3. iolaire
    Original Member

    iolaire Gold Member

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    That is why since 9-11 my wife and I no longer buy booze (and honey) abroad. It’s to risky to check them.
     
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  4. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

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    Trust me on this, a neoprene bottle holder in checked luggage prevents bottle breakage! I've got plenty of bottles of wine and honey from overseas to prove it!
    http://www.target.com/p/neoprene-wine-tote-1-bottle-carrier/-/A-13724360
     
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  5. wcblack34

    wcblack34 Silver Member

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    I've never had a problem before. I took care to ensure that the bottle and box were in a place where they wouldn't be jostled about and placed soft items all around it. Really, the only way I could see it breaking is if they really chucked my case around or forcefully dropped something on it. I know that they aren't very careful with baggage, but this really took some doing.
     
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  6. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

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    wcblack34,
    I was able to find some pictures and video of the luggage handlers on your recent travel, and put them below. Maybe if you write to the airlines and ask them to find different baggage handlers, it might help in the future? :eek:

    And, upon returning from a European trip a few years ago, my suit bag came out of the carousel looking like it had been dropped from a 10-story building! You've got nothing to lose to request that the airline reimburse you for the damage. Good luck!



    [​IMG]
     
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  7. Bill Hunt

    Bill Hunt Silver Member

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    I am sorry for your loss, and would attempt to get some form of compensation from UAL, but not hold my breath.

    Once, I would travel with two empty 12-bottle styro-shipping cases, nylon luggage straps and a roll of filament tape. Then, 9/11 happened, followed by luggage restrictions. I now just ship wine where I find it, via whatever carrier is needed in that country. However, and too late to help you, unfortunately, I now travel with a couple of "Wine Skins" http://www.wineskin.net/ just in case I am "gifted" a special bottle, or find one at retail. They have never failed me yet, and in semi-soft Tumi Alpha cubes. I stick two into the outside pocket (they start out flat, but will accommodate most 0.75 ltr. bottles), and then pack them with the "dirty clothes" inside the cubes, for our return.

    Back when Coors beer was still a regional oddity, I packed two quarts into my checked baggage (TransTexas Airways), and had the same experience, as you did. I had wrapped each in towels, purloined from the hotel (guess that the ethics gods frowned on me - big time), and BOTH bottles were broken. When I claimed that suitcase, it was dripping all over the carousel.

    What I now hate, is when the cabin-crew hands me a bottle of wine, or Champagne, when I deplane, but then have a connecting flight. I have to decline their gracious gift.
     
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  8. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

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    Oh, well, I wouldn't worry too much about that bottle of wine or "Champagne" that you've turned down because of a connecting flight. As you know, it's rarely the top-shelf stuff, unless you're flying first class on an air carrier such as Emirates - where they still serve Dom Perignon Champagne! See: http://www.emirates.com/us/english/flying/dining/wines.aspx
     
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  9. adrianors

    adrianors Silver Member

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    I don't know how much they will compensate you since they always ask if you have something fragile or not inside your checked luggage.. If they damage your luggage or deliver your suitcase in any other condition that not dry (if you didn't have a bottle inside) and in the way it was when you checked, then they would be definitely issuing you a compensation or something.. Anyway, I would try to go to the customer service at the airport and try to get something from them.. When something similar happened to me they were awesome and did everything to see me smiling and not complaining about UA. But either way, I wouldn't put too much faith on this turning into a reasonable compensation. (Not a $600 one)
     
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