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Baggage Problems
COMPLAINT: Luggage rifled with items taken by United employees

 
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  #1  
Old Jun 24, 2007, 2:49 PM
nancym5 nancym5 is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 1

Last October I flew non-stop from San Antonio to LA. I did not check any luggage, but attempted to hand carry an FAA approved size suitcase. Upon arriving at the gate to board the plane, a United gate rep. indicated the overhead bins were already full and they needed to take my suitcase and place it in the hold of the plane. I indicated some concern over items in the suitecase, but the agent and stewardess said there was no need for concern, the luggage would be retrieved and placed at the door of the plane when we arrived in LA.

After arriving at our destination, retreiving the luggage as the agent had said, (on the ramp as we de-planed), I continued with my trip plans. Later I discovered my jewelry container was missing as I unpacked. I reported the theft to the airport police, LAPD and United Airlines. I made repeated attempts to engage a human response from United, but received only a form letter indicating they would respond within 60 days.

The only time the suitcase left my possession was when United personnel took possession. I had no intention of checking the luggage and felt that was the safest method to carry my jewelry items. Also, there were a finite number of people who could have touched my luggage, (either in San Antonio as we boarded or LA as we de-planed); yet I could not get United to investigate my claim.

Ultimately, United has denied any liability and noted their jewelry exclusion policy. That would seem valid had I checked my luggage and left the valuables unattended, but I felt I had made every effort to safeguard my belongings and had no intention of allowing my luggage to be checked until I was forced to do so.

United's handling of this situation was to say the least, "frustrating and unreasonable", but there seems to be no venue to move forward or even talk to a "real" person who would review my theft. They have stonewalled and not acted in a timely manner so that whoever their personnel that engaged in this heist have gotten away with my loot!
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  #2  
Old Nov 5, 2008, 11:45 PM
Zebo Zebo is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 1

I have just experienced the same problem. I have filed a complaint with the BBB and have contacted the airline several times to no avail. Here's the story:

I was flying out of Las Vegas to a connecting flight in Chicago. I missed my flight in Chicago due to delays with the Vegas flight and the company put me up in a hotel overnight as there were no other flights until the next morning. While that was nice of them, I never asked for it. When I asked if there was another airline they could connect me with they said no... so what choices did I have? I stayed the night. The bag that was supposed to be transfered stayed in their possession until the next morning when it was placed on the next flight home.

When I got the bag, I noticed the zipper was slightly open, but I was already 3 hours late for work and had an hour and a half drive to get there. It wasn't until later that I noticed that a camera, one of my shoes, some souvenirs were missing. Also, all of the caps on my lotion, nail polish and perfumes were not securely fastened (as they were when I checked the bag). Being as everything was in separate compartments, I can easily conclude that the bag had been rifled through and carelessly reassembled less a few contents. Of course the missing items were all of my memorabilia from the trip.

Does the airline claim responsibility? No. Is the airline willing to compensate? No.

The bottom line is that I provided them my baggage claim number and they should have been able to trace the bag from check in to delivery, including all of the names of the employees that the bag could have passed hands with. The company has a responsibility to make sure that all items are returned to customers when a bag is checked; even if it is necessary to open the bag to look at contents. The company instead supports dishonesty and lack of professionalism in their employees.

I have a program that I am currently running that files a daily claim with them on their website and a repeating email that goes out to them every day. It is hands free and will continue to plague them until I hear back from a representative with an agreeable resolution.

I can tell you that I will not be settling for free flights or airline miles with them as I cannot afford to lose any more of my personal belongings due to their negligence.

The BBB states that it can take up to 30 days for a claim to be processed. Regardless, I would recommend anyone who has had any type of issue with United (or any other airline) file a complaint there. The company is a member of the BBB and stands to lose their BBB backing if enough complaints come in.
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Old Nov 7, 2008, 11:31 PM
Jetliner Jetliner is offline
Former Airline Employee (NOT OFFICIAL REP)
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 495

On the second post - there is no way for them to know exactly which employees handled your bags. Bags have so many place to go through, especially in Chicago.

Unfortunately there is no real recourse. There is no airline that will cover valuables, cameras, jewelry and the like. The problem is that while we don't hire thieves, it's a fact that there will always be someone who turns out to be one. That has been the case for decades. All the airline can do is look for patterns in the thefts that are reported.

Also I would be careful of sending the repeated emails. There was a person who was successfully prosecuted by American Airlines a couple years ago because he kept calling the headquarters office to the tune of about one call every 5 minutes or so for a couple hours.
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Old Oct 30, 2010, 1:20 PM
Traveler Traveler is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 3

Why is it so acceptable to you that things get stolen? It's not condoned in any other aspect of life so why here? The airlines should hire some more supervisors or security instead of shrugging their shoulders saying we can't not hire thieves.
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Old Oct 30, 2010, 10:40 PM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Shropshire, England
Posts: 3,197

Traveler.. you are exactly right. Theft is so prevalent, they should put all back areas of the airport under video surveillance and these records kept for at least 30 days. In addition, there is now a new chip technology which tracks the bag... this should reveal the exact journey of the back. The cost of this technology is so small, there is no justification for not doing this.

Quote:
The problem is that while we don't hire thieves
You must be joking... theft from baggage is rife and there have been numerous investigations of this, with convictions. However, the airlines seem reluctant to accept any responsibility for it. There are many thieves working behind the scenes at airports, and there are many managers working in the offices who havn't the will or guts to do anything about it. They are too busy finding new ways to rip off passengers.
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