American Smashed my PC. What to do?

Old Aug 27, 2022, 9:54 am
  #1  
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American Smashed my PC. What to do?

Flew to LA last night from BWI with a connection in JFK. When I got to my Airbnb in the city, I opened up my bag to look for something and my jaw dropped. My $600 PC tower that I brought with me was shattered. I wrapped it 3times on each side with bubble wrap, put clothes all around it, and used my heartiest suitcase. It literally looked like someone punched the bag.

My question is this: What are the steps to receiving compensation for this? Clearly, AA baggage handlers don't give a flying f--- about taking care of bags and I'm just the latest casualty resulting from their incompetence.
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Old Aug 27, 2022, 10:02 am
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Is the suitcase intact? If so, you may be out of luck - AA and other airlines don't take liability for contents inside that could break.
if the whole suitcase is smashed, you have some potential recourse, although the claim must be filed with 24 hours.

Generally speaking (and not helpful here after the fact), do not check in things like computers. When I've transported a PC tower, it went on board with me.
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Old Aug 27, 2022, 10:12 am
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Sorry to hear of your misfortune.

AA specifically disclaims liability for computers and other electronics in checked baggage:

https://www.aa.com/i18n/customer-ser...omesticflights

If this was a recent purchase made with a credit card, check to see if your card provides coverage for damage. Such coverage, if applicable, might be secondary to coverage provided by a homeowner's or renter's policy.

Good luck!
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Old Aug 27, 2022, 10:42 am
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agreeed with guv1976.. basically your only option is to claim is if you have your own insurance... AA will not cover
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Old Aug 27, 2022, 2:20 pm
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Not Really Doable to Transport a PC in Any Manner

Up-thread, Antarius says he transported a PC with him (presumably as carry-on). I'd say he was somewhat lucky and/or had the ability to re-seat the cards and what-not that easily shake loose.

I am not picking on OP nor defending AA, but it is a bad idea to transport a PC no matter how well it is externally protected. Here's why: Inside the box there are a multitude of internal cable and socketed cards that can shake loose from even minor rattling around, such as being gently transported in a car trunk or back seat. It is not hard to imagine the gorillas (baggage handlers) literally tossing a well-wrapped case onto a luggage belt or into a hold.

This is going to sound snooty. There are precious few PC assemblers who are competent enough to secure the internal components for delivery to a retail store or to a home for the retail mass-market. I've assembled PC's for my households' use since home PC's were invented. It's a skill just like car re-building or being a mechanic. Most people are not going to learn it because most people have better things to do. This is my personal opinion and take-away: Do not buy a PC (aka a windows box) unless you have the skill to assemble it from components. All others, just get a laptop, gaming device, or anything made by Apple.
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Last edited by Bowgie; Aug 27, 2022 at 2:27 pm
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Old Aug 27, 2022, 2:33 pm
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I appreciate all the responses, and in retrospect it was likely not the best idea to transport the PC in a check bag. I knew the risks and that the baggage handlers are total barbarians when it comes to caring for luggage, but I figured I packed it securely enough to mitigate any damage.

In case anyone is wondering, this is what my PC looks like now.

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Old Aug 27, 2022, 2:35 pm
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I was going to see when the Apple comment came in (solution: get a Mac)
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Old Aug 27, 2022, 2:36 pm
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Originally Posted by Bowgie
Up-thread, Antarius says he transported a PC with him (presumably as carry-on). I'd say he was somewhat lucky and/or had the ability to re-seat the cards and what-not that easily shake loose.

I am not picking on OP nor defending AA, but it is a bad idea to transport a PC no matter how well it is externally protected. Here's why: Inside the box there are a multitude of internal cable and socketed cards that can shake loose from even minor rattling around, such as being gently transported in a car trunk or back seat. It is not hard to imagine the gorillas (baggage handlers) literally tossing a well-wrapped case onto a luggage belt or into a hold.

This is going to sound snooty. There are precious few PC assemblers who are competent enough to secure the internal components for delivery to a retail store or to a home for the retail mass-market. I've assembled PC's for my households' own use since home PC's were invented. It's a skill just like car re-building or being a mechanic. Most people are not going to learn it because most people have better things to do. This is my personal opinion and take-away: Do not buy a PC (aka a windows box) unless you have the skill to assemble it from components. All others, just get a laptop, gaming device, or anything made by Apple.
If properly packaged, there’s no concern. PC manufacturers ship their new assembled computers to millions of people every year and they’re subject to UPS/FedEx handling, including bumps, rattles, and drops. Things really don’t come loose. By far the most common damage is physical impact to the case.

3 layers of bubble wrap and a few clothes aren’t going to do much when a big heavy box or suitcase lands corner first into the side of your soft suitcase, or if it takes a big drop and doesn’t have proper shock absorption. If traveling with a computer is going to be a regular thing, buy a Pelican. As others have noted AA takes no responsibility for damaged computers in checked bags.

I’ll agree with you that you can almost always build a better PC yourself than you could buy for similar money if you have the skills, but suggesting people don’t buy desktop PCs if they don’t have the skills to build it themselves is nonsense. Desktops provide far better performance for the price if you don’t need the mobility.
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Old Aug 27, 2022, 2:37 pm
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Originally Posted by FlyFreakquently
I appreciate all the responses, and in retrospect it was likely not the best idea to transport the PC in a check bag. I knew the risks and that the baggage handlers are total barbarians when it comes to caring for luggage, but I figured I packed it securely enough to mitigate any damage.

In case anyone is wondering, this is what my PC looks like now.

Sorry, looks horrible.
When you said you packed it with clothes and everything, was it tight? If it was a hard case, was it jammed so full you can barely close it? If a soft case was it bulging?
You cannot give it any room to move or wiggle. Similar to the idea behind the egg drop.
But I think you had a glass door on one side, and it shattered. I would've taken off the glass and padded the rest of the interior (not with clothes cause of the risk of static electricity), and maybe packed the glass separately?
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Old Aug 27, 2022, 2:53 pm
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This is how it was packed before everything happened. Obviously, this is all irrelevant but I think I packed it pretty well?
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Old Aug 27, 2022, 3:13 pm
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Originally Posted by FlyFreakquently
This is how it was packed before everything happened. Obviously, this is all irrelevant but I think I packed it pretty well?
This is how you should expect your checked baggage to be handled:

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Last edited by guv1976; Aug 27, 2022 at 3:48 pm
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Old Aug 27, 2022, 3:22 pm
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Looks like only the side panel is damaged. Could you order a replacement? Would the side panel be considered an electronic or "PC" such that AA could disclaim liability for damages?
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Old Aug 27, 2022, 3:23 pm
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As noted upthread, a Pelican case or similar is the only case that "might" protect a PC as checked luggage. Even then, foam inserts are needed to protect against impact shock. And theft is still a possibility.
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Old Aug 27, 2022, 3:53 pm
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Originally Posted by FlyFreakquently
This is how it was packed before everything happened. Obviously, this is all irrelevant but I think I packed it pretty well?
I don't think that's the right pack job to ensure the safety of the PC. I used to frequently travel with LCD monitors and would pack them with more protection than you used for a full PC.

It's not even the baggage handlers it's just how bags end up in the hold.



That's a typical 737 baggage hold. If your bag ends up on the bottom all the weight from the other bags could have caused what happened.

Sorry to see what happened but I think some nice rigid foam would have gone a lot further than the bubble wrap.
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Old Aug 27, 2022, 4:21 pm
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This is just the glass side panel of the case that broke. A new case should be under $100.

Even vibrations could have caused this very thin glass to break. No one punched or mishandled OPs bag.

AA doesnt owe anything here. The PC is not ruined, either.
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Last edited by danielflyer; Aug 27, 2022 at 4:30 pm
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