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Baggage Problems
COMPLAINT: Star Alliance Incompetence

 
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  #1  
Old Feb 14, 2009, 4:23 PM
Zak Zak is offline
 
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Two fleets that belong to the Star Alliance managed to lose both of my bags on the same trip.

On my way to Las Vegas - Continental Airlines couldn't manage to properly get my bags to on the connecting flip from Denver. On my trip home the regional airline of Air Canada Jazz lost my luggage at the airport in Toronto.

It is not even seasonally busy and they can not manage to find the bags in Toronto.

Problems
  1. Out of country call centers - poor communication skills, poor customer service
  2. "Worldwide Baggage Tracing System" doesn't even allow for location of luggage on regional (small) airlines like Air Canada Jazz
  3. Timeline - "5 days" is their idea of 'as quickly as possible' - for anyone who travels frequently, one knows this is a totally unacceptable timeline.
DO NOT fly Air Canada if any, I mean any alternatives allow.
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  #2  
Old Feb 14, 2009, 5:05 PM
PHXFlyer PHXFlyer is offline
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Fist I'd like to address some errors in your post:

1. Continental is not yet part of Star Alliance. They are still a member of SkyTeam and this will not change until the 4th quarter of this year.

2. Continental's hubs are in Newark, Cleveland and Houston. You wouldn't connect in Denver on the way to/from Las Vegas. Are you sure you were flying Continental? United/Ted has a hub in Denver.

3. All of Continental's call centers and home-based agents are here in the US. They do not nor do they have plans to outsource.

It sucks to lose bags - well not lose them but have them delayed. An overwhelming majority of mis-routed and delayed bags eventually are returned. You would think that with most airlines charging for even the first checked bag that there would be fewer bags in the system and therefore fewer delayed bags. We'll see when the year-end numbers are released by the DOT in a few days.

From the complaints I've seen on this board Air Canada seems to have issues with checked baggage. Of course here we only see the horror stories and not the thousands who travel every day without incident. With all of the airlines thriving on fees for everything from checked bags to bottled water you'd think they'd come up with a "premium bag handling" fee. For $5-$10 more the passenger would be guaranteed that the bag would be at the destination airport when they arrived or the bag fees would be refunded. Furthermore, the extra charge would provide point-to-point tracking where the bag would be scanned every time it was loaded, off-loaded, etc. much like FedEx. If the bag isn't delivered to the customer within 24 hours of arrival, then cash penalties would start to kick in and not the paltry $25/day some airlines reluctantly allow now. I think the extra income from the higher fee and the possibility of real cash payouts for delayed bags would incentify the airlines to shape up their baggage handling process.
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  #3  
Old Feb 15, 2009, 4:02 AM
countrynewsman countrynewsman is offline
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Since we already pay for checked bags, I cannot possibly fathom an extra fee to make sure it gets there. I can see the next round of fees gurgling from the airline board rooms..."Takeoff is free! A nominal charge will be made for landing".
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Old Feb 15, 2009, 8:20 AM
PHXFlyer PHXFlyer is offline
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Hey it was just a suggestion. Since the airlines are going crazy with these fees I thought why not charge a fee for a value added service such as guaranteed baggage delivery and real-time tracking. However for a small investment you can buy GPS locators and put them in your bags. It's just like a cellphone. You pay for the unit and an annual fee and if your bag is lost you go online and it will locate it for you. Pretty neat but pretty pricey. They make them for dogs as well. Attaches to a collar and you can locate Fido if he wanders off.
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Old Feb 15, 2009, 9:20 PM
countrynewsman countrynewsman is offline
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Hmmm...I see a business in making GPS devices to track your bags. Any entreprenuers out there?
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  #6  
Old Feb 15, 2009, 11:21 PM
PHXFlyer PHXFlyer is offline
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Originally Posted by countrynewsman View Post
Hmmm...I see a business in making GPS devices to track your bags. Any entreprenuers out there?
It already exists. Check it out.
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  #7  
Old Feb 16, 2009, 12:09 AM
Jetliner Jetliner is offline
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Not so fast. Transmitting and receving devices are taboo in flight. Put one of these in your bags and you face federal fines.
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  #8  
Old Feb 16, 2009, 12:35 AM
PHXFlyer PHXFlyer is offline
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Yes, if they find it! However, here's the disclaimer on their website:

Quote:
Disclaimer: Activation and use of Zoombak locators are subject to Zoombak's customer agreement, plans, terms and conditions. Device must be activated within 60 days of purchase or Zoombak has the right to deny activation. Zoombak A-GPS locators use satellite signals and wireless network coverage to determine and communicate location information. Coverage isn't available everywhere and often not available indoors. See coverage map for details.

The Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Aviation Administration regulations prohibit the use of cellular devices such as the Zoombak Locator on commercial aircraft, including in checked baggage.
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Old Feb 16, 2009, 1:01 AM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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Of course, one way they could find it is via a thorough search of the wreckage by the NTSB, after the transmitting device interfered with the controls of the plane. Highly unlikely, but I am afraid it is theorectically possible. If I was you PHX, I would stick to sending your luggage by FedEx or that doozy of an idea, an extra charge for delivering the service that you already paid for. Loved that idea...
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Old Feb 16, 2009, 1:28 AM
PHXFlyer PHXFlyer is offline
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Originally Posted by jimworcs View Post
Of course, one way they could find it is via a thorough search of the wreckage by the NTSB, after the transmitting device interfered with the controls of the plane. Highly unlikely, but I am afraid it is theorectically possible. If I was you PHX, I would stick to sending your luggage by FedEx or that doozy of an idea, an extra charge for delivering the service that you already paid for. Loved that idea...
Yes, highly. Do you know how many people put their cellphones in their carry-on while still powered on? I have also seen more than a few people using Blackberrys and PDAs which aren't in "aircraft" mode as well. What about aircraft that are outfitted with WiFi? How many laptops do you suppose are powered on with the Bluetooth transceiver in discovery mode? I highly doubt that one or two of these devices in the baggage hold is going to contribute to any significant interference.
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Old Feb 16, 2009, 10:28 AM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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I pointed out that it is a theoretical risk, and I don't particularly want to test the theory. The point is, one or two inadvertant or deliberate lapses is one thing, if there was widespread use of tracking devices for luggage, that would be another. The wifi which is installed in some carriers is shielded and operates differently to the uncontrolled transmitting devices used in blackberries and mobile phones. If you go on PPRUNE you will find in the technical section specific cases where interference has occurred.
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Old Feb 16, 2009, 11:02 AM
PHXFlyer PHXFlyer is offline
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Originally Posted by jimworcs View Post
I pointed out that it is a theoretical risk, and I don't particularly want to test the theory. The point is, one or two inadvertant or deliberate lapses is one thing, if there was widespread use of tracking devices for luggage, that would be another. The wifi which is installed in some carriers is shielded and operates differently to the uncontrolled transmitting devices used in blackberries and mobile phones. If you go on PPRUNE you will find in the technical section specific cases where interference has occurred.
Right. I'm aware the WiFi is shielded. I was referring to each passenger's laptop. When most are powered on the Bluetooth is, by default, in a "discoverable" or on state which means it is both sending and receiving signals much like a cellphone. Will flight attendants be checking each and every laptop to ensure that the Bluetooth signal is disabled?
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