Bag Anxiety

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.

Really. Really?

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?

Related Articles:

Cracking Down on Carry-Ons

New Airline Fees–Keeping it Straight

More Bad News for Cash Strapped Flyers

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.

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