Baggage Hell--Opinions Appreciated

Old Jan 26, 2024, 9:46 am
  #1  
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Baggage Hell--Opinions Appreciated

I've had no less than 3 people at AA not do their jobs properly that has resulted in a baggage issue from hell atm. Looking for any ideas on how to make this process work out so I get my bag and contents back.

Full story:
Flew SFO-CLT-HSV on 1-17-2024. CLT-HSV was cancelled 20m after I left SFO. Was able to get standby on the last CLT-HSV out on the 17th, but in the end that was cancelled too. Since this was a very short work trip with only 48hrs on the ground in HSV, losing 24hrs killed the ability for success, so I cancelled my trip and the return, and booked CLT-SFO home on a separte PNR so that way I wouldn't be stuck in CLT.

Bag according to the bag tag track was at CLT. Talked to agent at CLT AA customer service about getting my bag onto my CLT-SFO flight, but she said there wasn't enough time and to just talk to baggage claim at SFO.

Talked to baggage claim at SFO who mentioned that this becomes a bit more difficult because both tickets were not on the same PNR, but that she is going to radio CLT right now to get the bag on the next flight. She mentioned once they have the bag here in 24-48hrs, she will be in touch. She took my phone number and didn't give me a claim number or any other paper work. This apparently was not regular procedure.

After a day, I checked my bag tag to discover my bag was at HSV. HSV baggage claim contacted me and asked me what I wanted to do, and my options were:
  1. Have someone pick up the bag
  2. Have the bag delivered locally
  3. Have the bag sent to me (to SFO)
I chose option 3 as 1 and 2 didn't work. She told me it will go out tomorrow as the last fight went out, but I should have it in SFO by 10am, worst case 1pm and gave me a new bag tag number. I checked the bag tag the next day, and it had not left HSV and didn't indicate it was on a flight. I called HSV and spoke to someone who told me it was sent to central baggage warehouse in Dallas and that I now have to go through the 'lost bag' claims procedure. $#%#$%$#

I called AA and explained this situation and was connected to central baggage. After asking a ton of questions and getting details on the workflow for how this works, a bag is matched two ways--electronically and then physically. For my bag, there is a match electronically, and now all someone has to do is match it physically. But for that, I have to fill out a form. I filled out the form, attached all the documentation and emailed the PDF back as instructed. Except the next day I got an email back that they never received the attachment, which I show was sent via my email program. I sent a smaller file size version of the PDF hoping this time they got it. I was given a phone number where I could follow up with the person who's working on my claim, and just left a voicemail for them to call me immediately if they don't get the attachment.

So if you've read the saga--anything I've missed or need to do? I need this bag and its contents back, and now wish I would have just had the bag delivered to a local UPS store who would have stored it for me until I got to HSV to work. Any ideas appreciated.

Last edited by SamirD; Jan 26, 2024 at 9:47 am Reason: fix list tag
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Old Jan 26, 2024, 10:21 am
  #2  
 
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Originally Posted by SamirD
Flew SFO-CLT-HSV on 1-17-2024. CLT-HSV was cancelled 20m after I left SFO. Was able to get standby on the last CLT-HSV out on the 17th, but in the end that was cancelled too. Since this was a very short work trip with only 48hrs on the ground in HSV, losing 24hrs killed the ability for success, so I cancelled my trip and the return, and booked CLT-SFO home on a separte PNR so that way I wouldn't be stuck in CLT.
Why did you do this instead of just asking for this to be a trip in vain? That would have kept everything on one PNR.
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Old Jan 26, 2024, 12:34 pm
  #3  
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Sounds brutal. Honestly, not sure what else you can do at this point. The bag will eventually be identified in Dallas and sent back to you (hopefully).

Certainly you can claim expenses for the time you were without your items.
https://www.aa.com/i18n/travel-info/...ed-baggage.jsp

https://centralbaggage.aa.com/en-US/...-BG-DLD_RIBSMT

Keep all your paperwork/correspondence.
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Old Jan 26, 2024, 1:35 pm
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Originally Posted by USFlyerUS
Why did you do this instead of just asking for this to be a trip in vain? That would have kept everything on one PNR.
Yeah. I'm perplexed by the reports I've seen here, it feels like increasingly common, of people buying new tickets (or backup tickets) in the middle of something going wrong. AA would be responsible for returning the OP to SFO on the original ticket once their cancellation makes it a trip in vain, likely with a partial or perhaps full refund (not sure about that), and that would likely have made the baggage handling simpler (though never a guarantee). It's especially surprising to me on the same airline; I can sort of see it if AA had no flight that suited the OP's needs and the OP just wanted to get home on a different airline. For learning from the past, the lesson I'd take more than delivering the baggage to a UPS store is not going off and buying a separate ticket in the first place.

That's not very helpful for the OP given where they are; this certainly seems like a mess.
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Old Jan 26, 2024, 1:55 pm
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Originally Posted by ashill
Yeah. I'm perplexed by the reports I've seen here, it feels like increasingly common, of people buying new tickets (or backup tickets) in the middle of something going wrong. AA would be responsible for returning the OP to SFO on the original ticket once their cancellation makes it a trip in vain, likely with a partial or perhaps full refund (not sure about that), and that would likely have made the baggage handling simpler (though never a guarantee). It's especially surprising to me on the same airline; I can sort of see it if AA had no flight that suited the OP's needs and the OP just wanted to get home on a different airline. For learning from the past, the lesson I'd take more than delivering the baggage to a UPS store is not going off and buying a separate ticket in the first place.

That's not very helpful for the OP given where they are; this certainly seems like a mess.
Not everyone knows what a "trip in vain" is or the rights they enjoy. Simple as.
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Old Jan 26, 2024, 2:17 pm
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Also, it is routine and routinely reported here that AA will sell tickets for flights that they will not rebook a distressed passenger on. So if you want to get to your destination, it is normal to either have to buy a new ticket (on AA or another airline), or wait for AA to be willing to book you on a flight days away.

Without understanding the process at AA at all, I would _..._u_me_ that AA is willing to overbook a flight by selling new tickets, but not by rebooking stranded passengers. But regardless, this situation happens all the time at AA.
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Old Jan 26, 2024, 2:30 pm
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Originally Posted by ConstellationClass
Not everyone knows what a "trip in vain" is or the rights they enjoy. Simple as.
Anyone that has been on FT since 2013 with 1700+ posts should know what a "trip in vain" means.
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Old Jan 26, 2024, 3:21 pm
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Originally Posted by Uzzar
Anyone that has been on FT since 2013 with 1700+ posts should know what a "trip in vain" means.
So what does it mean? This is the first time I have heard the term
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Old Jan 26, 2024, 3:47 pm
  #9  
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Originally Posted by USFlyerUS
Why did you do this instead of just asking for this to be a trip in vain? That would have kept everything on one PNR.
Couldn't get through on the phone to CS (multiple hours wait), and didn't think to ask when I got confirmed on the evening CLT-HSV flight that got cancelled--because my intention was to get there. Once I saw that the CLT-HSV flight would probably also be cancelled, I had 55m to board the CLT-SFO flight or be stuck overnight.

And now that I think about it, I think my wife asked when I was in the air and she called in on my behalf. Because she wanted me back once she saw how the flights were all cancelling to HSV.
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Old Jan 26, 2024, 3:52 pm
  #10  
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Originally Posted by aisleorwindow
Sounds brutal. Honestly, not sure what else you can do at this point. The bag will eventually be identified in Dallas and sent back to you (hopefully).

Certainly you can claim expenses for the time you were without your items.
https://www.aa.com/i18n/travel-info/...ed-baggage.jsp

https://centralbaggage.aa.com/en-US/...-BG-DLD_RIBSMT

Keep all your paperwork/correspondence.
At this point, if they find it in Dallas, I think I'm going to Dallas to get it--because it could get lost again. Of course, I still don't know how I would get it back besides checking it in with me, but I've never had an issue with a flight that didn't have a change in the middle of it, so that might be the safest bet. I dunno. If Dallas wasn't so far of a drive, I would just drive instead.

Thank you for the links--hopefully they will get the form as it is basically the same information as the online. But I guess if they don't get my forms/lose it, etc., it's back to hell again.
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Old Jan 26, 2024, 4:03 pm
  #11  
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Originally Posted by ashill
Yeah. I'm perplexed by the reports I've seen here, it feels like increasingly common, of people buying new tickets (or backup tickets) in the middle of something going wrong. AA would be responsible for returning the OP to SFO on the original ticket once their cancellation makes it a trip in vain, likely with a partial or perhaps full refund (not sure about that), and that would likely have made the baggage handling simpler (though never a guarantee). It's especially surprising to me on the same airline; I can sort of see it if AA had no flight that suited the OP's needs and the OP just wanted to get home on a different airline. For learning from the past, the lesson I'd take more than delivering the baggage to a UPS store is not going off and buying a separate ticket in the first place.

That's not very helpful for the OP given where they are; this certainly seems like a mess.
Hindsight is always helpful for sure and I replay the steps to this disaster like an NTSB investigator trying to figure out what exactly went wrong. It started with not checking the status of the earlier flights CLT-HSV as the multiple cancellations would have been an alarm bell. If I would have seen that mess, I would have just never boarded. Because the flight to CLT was hell knowing what I was going to deal with once I got there, most everyone else on the plane completely unaware that their connections were also going to be cancelled (the flightaware miserymap for CLT was pretty bad that day).

I don't know if an agent at the CS desk in Term E would have been able to cancel my trip and get me home. I also don't know if even if they could, it would have been some ungodly expensive fare (I used more miles for the single return leg than for my entire original trip). When I did go to the desk, I was determined to get there on the evening CLT-HSV flight that was still scheduled. Maybe if at that point my focus was getting home. It would have been tight to retrieve my back and then get back planeside, but I could have tried to do that as well if that was my focus from the time I landed.

AA clearly stated that they were not responsible for my work trip being ruined since the issue was weather and they could send me the next day, so I don't think they would have sent me back on their dime as it was 'my fault'. Because it was an award ticket, I could get miles back, hence why I cancelled. And while I got all the miles back for the HSV-SFO leg, the paltry ~1900 miles refund for the CLT-HSV was a joke since you'll never be able to get a CLT-HSV ticket for that much (ime anyways). Better than nothing though, and hence you take what you can get when you're at someone's mercy (and be grateful to even get that much, ime).
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Old Jan 26, 2024, 4:05 pm
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Originally Posted by ConstellationClass
Not everyone knows what a "trip in vain" is or the rights they enjoy. Simple as.
I would like to know for sure! Is it in the condition of carriage (or whatever the legal documentation is for the ticket)?
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Old Jan 26, 2024, 4:07 pm
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Originally Posted by saunders111
Also, it is routine and routinely reported here that AA will sell tickets for flights that they will not rebook a distressed passenger on. So if you want to get to your destination, it is normal to either have to buy a new ticket (on AA or another airline), or wait for AA to be willing to book you on a flight days away.

Without understanding the process at AA at all, I would _..._u_me_ that AA is willing to overbook a flight by selling new tickets, but not by rebooking stranded passengers. But regardless, this situation happens all the time at AA.
Yep, and while this is screwing people over a bit, it's still 'by the rules' and 'par for the course' in today's business world, so it's 'just the way it goes'. This is another reason why I just went home. I didn't want to be dragged into a multi-day mess in CLT because they had bad weather on the way as well.
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Old Jan 26, 2024, 4:07 pm
  #14  
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Originally Posted by Uzzar
Anyone that has been on FT since 2013 with 1700+ posts should know what a "trip in vain" means.
Well I don't. You can either ridicule me or educate me--your choice.
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Old Jan 26, 2024, 4:08 pm
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Originally Posted by AJNEDC
So what does it mean? This is the first time I have heard the term
Me too. I had no idea it was a specific term vs just a phrase when it was mentioned in previous posts.
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