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Documentary Photojournalist Battling AA Over Missing Carryon Bag

Documentary Photojournalist Battling AA Over Missing Carryon Bag

Old Jun 21, 18, 1:15 am
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Documentary Photojournalist Battling AA Over Missing Carryon Bag

Michelle Frankfurter, a self-proclaimed "award-winning photojournalist", is engaged in warfare with AA via Twitter regarding camera equipment that's been lost when she was allegedly forced to gate check her bag.

Turns out she forgot to renew her insurance on the expensive camera equipment. Ouch.

https://twitter.com/MFrankfurter
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Old Jun 21, 18, 1:58 am
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IThe airline is liable for up to $3500 - if the bag exceeds carry on size then it is purely on her if she didn't take out insurance

She hasn't, from what I have seen, put forward that the bag was within the permitted size
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Old Jun 21, 18, 6:40 am
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That is one of my biggest fears which is why i chose to get the CC for earlier boarding and am prompt at the gate to make sure I board first. If I was ever stuck in zone 9 to board I would just spend my own money to upgrade to mce or whatever option lets you on the plane fast. This almost happened to me in france, I was flying with just one camera and couple of lenses in my backpack, this time not my usual carry-on suitcase full of them, apparently over there, they actually weigh your carry on, so I just took out my gear and "wore" it to get through security. PITB but there is not way I would be parting with my gear bag when I fly for work, I would just have them re-book me on another flight. Not worth the risk.
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Old Jun 21, 18, 8:28 am
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Airport International™ V3.0 (pictured) - 14” W x 21” H x 8” D
Carry-on should not exceed the following size and weight restrictions: 45 linear inches (22 x 14 x 9 in)
$3,500 only puts a dent in what is claimed to be $13,000 in gear.

Not having gear insurance is a big mistake. In hindsight, asking to be put on the next flight would have been better, but that's hard to do when you're at the gate, ready to board to fly home.

She has won multiple awards from World Press Photo, a respected organization around since 1955, so I'm not clear on the "self-proclaimed" bit.
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Old Jun 21, 18, 8:40 am
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Maybe she should hire a lawyer and get off Twitter. Unless she thinks she has no legal standing but thinks she can publicly shame AA into making exceptions to their baggage liability limits. It doesn't seem like she has much of a case. Unless AA's luggage liability amount is different if you are 'forced' to check a bag.
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Old Jun 21, 18, 9:19 am
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It’s easy enough to take out, and regularly renew, a floater or specialized equipment policy. Apparently, she forgot to renew hers. She just experienced an expensive life lesson.
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Old Jun 21, 18, 9:20 am
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Originally Posted by CPRich View Post
Airport International™ V3.0 (pictured) - 14” W x 21” H x 8” D


$3,500 only puts a dent in what is claimed to be $13,000 in gear.

Not having gear insurance is a big mistake. In hindsight, asking to be put on the next flight would have been better, but that's hard to do when you're at the gate, ready to board to fly home.

She has won multiple awards from World Press Photo, a respected organization around since 1955, so I'm not clear on the "self-proclaimed" bit.
I'll make it clear. Why does she include the "self-proclamation" in the Twitter post? Why is that relevant or necessary? Does she need stroking? Recognition?

When you go to Twitter, you put yourself in the periscope. If she's looking to put the pressure on AA, she better be willing to accept the same.
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Old Jun 21, 18, 9:40 am
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I was looking for it and couldn't find it, but I'd swear there was a case a while back where someone received more than the maximum amount from US (IIRC) because the airline forced a gate check of a bag and in trying to rush it for an ontime departure, didn't properly notify the passenger that they had to state the contents of the bag were more than the maximum amount.

Did something like that happen or am I taking crazy pills?
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Old Jun 21, 18, 12:38 pm
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I travel with $15,000 worth of camera gear. I insure it on a floater for $150/year. Frankly, I would deplane and take a later flight if I were ever asked to gate check it - just too risky on many levels. I feel very sorry for her and can imagine how difficult this situation must be.
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Old Jun 21, 18, 3:45 pm
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Originally Posted by JDiver View Post
It’s easy enough to take out, and regularly renew, a floater or specialized equipment policy. Apparently, she forgot to renew hers. She just experienced an expensive life lesson.
Assuming she wasn't on a BE ticket, she was not expecting to be separated from the bag. I don't know how often she travels to comment whether she realizes being past Zone 5, or being on a regional jet, puts her at risk for a gate-check. It sucks for her to realize the COC covers a $3500 max on luggage, but she was intentionally carrying hers on. I only travel with what fits in an underseat backpack on purpose, but it isn't my profession.

Originally Posted by AA100k View Post
I travel with $15,000 worth of camera gear. I insure it on a floater for $150/year. Frankly, I would deplane and take a later flight if I were ever asked to gate check it - just too risky on many levels. I feel very sorry for her and can imagine how difficult this situation must be.
Is that something they'd accommodate without a change fee and fare difference? I'm not familiar with voluntary offloading.

Originally Posted by lowfareair View Post
...didn't properly notify the passenger that they had to state the contents of the bag were more than the maximum amount...
If it was my $13k worth of equipment I'd be mentioning the value to the crew, as a data point in trying to find an alternate resolution. And if/when that happens all you'll see is a DYKWIA post about it on Flyertalk. (Actually, maybe there is a ruling I don't know, but I'm feeling pretty cynical right now).
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Old Jun 21, 18, 9:21 pm
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Originally Posted by Gig103 View Post
Assuming she wasn't on a BE ticket, she was not expecting to be separated from the bag. I don't know how often she travels to comment whether she realizes being past Zone 5, or being on a regional jet, puts her at risk for a gate-check. It sucks for her to realize the COC covers a $3500 max on luggage, but she was intentionally carrying hers on. I only travel with what fits in an underseat backpack on purpose, but it isn't my profession.



Is that something they'd accommodate without a change fee and fare difference? I'm not familiar with voluntary offloading.

.
It hasn’t happened to me as I write and I have no idea how it would be sorted out. However, given the choice of having my equipment damaged or stolen, or missing my flight and paying a change fee, I’d take the later. Checking my photo equipment is not a risk I would ever be willing to take.
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Old Jun 21, 18, 11:50 pm
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Originally Posted by Dave Noble View Post
IThe airline is liable for up to $3500
Originally Posted by CPRich View Post
$3,500 only puts a dent in what is claimed to be $13,000 in gear.
Originally Posted by Gig103 View Post
It sucks for her to realize the COC covers a $3500 max on luggage
Pretty sure that they cover $0 for camera equipment.

What we don't cover

We don't cover loss or damage to:*
  • Antiques or artifacts
  • Artwork
  • Books or documents
  • China or silverware
  • Computers, software or other electronics
  • Fragile items
  • Furs
  • Heirlooms
  • Jewelry
  • Keys
  • Liquids
  • Money
  • Orthotics or surgical supports
  • Perishable items
  • Photographic, video or optical equipment
  • Precious metals or stones
  • Samples
  • Securities or negotiable papers
  • Time pieces
  • Unique, irreplaceable or similar valuable items
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Old Jun 22, 18, 1:11 am
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So

Is it on AA’s CoC that should a passenger decline to have their carry-on bag compliant with all published rules gate checked, they are entitled to be booked on the next available flight free of charge? Or is it entirely up to goodwill?
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Old Jun 22, 18, 2:21 am
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Originally Posted by jacobguo View Post
So

Is it on AA’s CoC that should a passenger decline to have their carry-on bag compliant with all published rules gate checked, they are entitled to be booked on the next available flight free of charge? Or is it entirely up to goodwill?
There is nothing that stated that the bag was compliant. I haven't seen anything in T&Cs that says if the passenger refuses to travel that the airline has to accommodate the passenger on a later flight
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Old Jun 22, 18, 6:23 am
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Originally Posted by AA100k View Post

It hasn’t happened to me as I write and I have no idea how it would be sorted out. However, given the choice of having my equipment damaged or stolen, or missing my flight and paying a change fee, I’d take the later. Checking my photo equipment is not a risk I would ever be willing to take.
I was thinking of this last night and if I was already on the plane and realized there was no more room, you could just offer $200 for someone to move their bag and check it. I bet there'd probably be a taker. But I am like you, it hasn't happened to me thankfully but I would have think long and hard about just taking the next flight and pay up because losing my equipment is not a risk I'm willing to take. It's not even so much as losing it but it would most definitely be damaged upon return, which would put me in the same spot, unable to use equipment if I was heeding to a job,

What I don't understand is if getting overhead space is so important, particularly in this case, why not better your chances and have airline CC's or buy priority boarding?
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