I’m not ashamed to admit that I say a rosary each time I board a plane. Only I’m not praying for safe travels; rather, I am silently hoping against hope that I will be reunited with my bags upon landing at my final destination.
I know; it sounds a bit materialistic. After all, if the plane crashes I certainly am not going to care if my Juicy Couture jeans and iPod get sent to Paducah, Kentucky, when they should have been with me on a flight to Honolulu.
Still, I lived through the nightmare of having a commercial carrier misplace my checked-in luggage. I ended up having to wear my aunt’s clothes for two days until I was able to replace my lost items.
Interestingly, I recently received an email from one of the airlines that I have a frequent flyer account with heralding the debut of its “new and improved” baggage handling system. Apparently, since the carrier jacked up the fees for checked-in bags it is attempting to give passengers peace of mind that they are getting their money’s worth.
Hmm… we’ll see about that.
Earlier this week the federal government detailed an expansion to the so-called Passenger Bill of Rights. Now if an airline loses your bags it has to refund the check-in luggage fee.
The airline loses all of your personal belongings and all it is required by law to do is refund your $25 baggage fee. C’mon.
According to SITA, an aviation technology provider, in 2010, more than 2 million of the roughly 700 million suitcases checked on U.S. airlines didn’t arrive with their owner’s on the same flight. In most cases the bags were reunited with their owners within 24 hours; however, 68,000 are never seen again by the person who checked them in.
Not exactly comforting statistics.
Do you avoid checking in bags these days?