Only 6 bags...

Old Dec 18, 10, 8:32 am
  #1  
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DL201 checked bags fiasco

The one time where I check luggage (brought back 4 bottles of yummy South African wine) as opposed to just having a carry-on and the plane arrives in ATL with only 6 checked bags on an 80-90% full 777 from JNB due to a weight restriction. Boy I have never seen so many upset people in a concentrated area. While I am not terribly upset that my checked bag didn't arrive as I am sure it'll eventually make its way to SEA, I feel bad for those on vacation that are now... "bagless" or are just inexperienced fliers. Many folks had connecting flights and were told to just go to their flight and file a lost baggage claim at your final destination instead of waiting for the 6 bags that apparently did make it onto the plane.

What peeves me about the issue:
1. Cargo did make it onboard the flight, I looked out of my window in 3D to see cargo containers loaded one by one. I feel they could've split up the load. Many people were upset that cargo got loaded but their bags didn't when they paid for checked luggage.
2. It is a 17 hour flight, why wasn't the crew informed (they weren't or they are very good at lying) via some sort of communication method. I know pilots have contact with the ground and a message could have been relayed.
3. Delta only flies one JNB - ATL per day and the loads on Expertflyer show fairly full for the next few days. I am curious as to how Delta is planning to bring the baggage that they left behind today (about 160-170 were waiting for bags) when they are on weight restriction and having fairly full loads.

Last edited by yvandoorn; Dec 18, 10 at 8:41 am
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Old Dec 18, 10, 8:43 am
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I can understand the weight restrictions due to JNB being a "hot and high" airport, but only 6 bags???? ...?
Indeed splitting pax' cargo and other cargo would be fair.
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Old Dec 18, 10, 9:18 am
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fti
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Definitely inexperienced travelers. I always pack a day or two of clothes in my carry on. I rarely "need" my checked luggage for a couple of days unless I am going on a camping trip.
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Old Dec 18, 10, 9:32 am
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Originally Posted by fti View Post
Definitely inexperienced travelers. I always pack a day or two of clothes in my carry on. I rarely "need" my checked luggage for a couple of days unless I am going on a camping trip.
Right. The only thing that bugs me is that there was absolutely no communication between JNB to the crew in ATL (as they said that they had just learned about it) or the crew enroute from JNB to ATL. I feel that the flight attendants could've at least explained it calmly while in the air and answer any questions (and notify the owners of the 6 bags privately).

What happened here is that people waited for 40 minutes (immigration was pretty dead) and then we were told via a guy standing on top of the baggage claim belt yelling that only 6 bags made it on the plane. After that it become chaotic and messy. Plus they pawn it off to DL customer service reps at the passenger's final destination, and while I am arriving in Seattle where there is quite a DL presence, others may not be so lucky. Which will add on to the frustration for any inexperienced flyer.
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Old Dec 18, 10, 10:22 am
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DL had lots of time to communicate this, but rowdy people confined on a plane for sixteen hours isn't a good environment.

Did they happen to sub a 777-200ER for the LR?
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Old Dec 18, 10, 10:34 am
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I've seen similar problem happening on SLC-NRT flight. it was better than 6, but it wasn't acceptable rate.
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Old Dec 18, 10, 10:39 am
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Originally Posted by 3Cforme View Post
DL had lots of time to communicate this, but rowdy people confined on a plane for sixteen hours isn't a good environment.

Did they happen to sub a 777-200ER for the LR?
Well I have had it happen before with NWA from AMS to SEA. When we were landing the message was made about half the bags not making it onto the flight. They also explained what to do and that there would be NWA representatives waiting at baggage claim to take your information.

I feel something like that should have been done here as seeing a guy stand on the baggage claim belt yelling what is going on with no instructions at all, well I guess you have to see it to believe it but chaos is an appropriate word.
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Old Dec 18, 10, 10:51 am
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Originally Posted by jameskwon View Post
I've seen similar problem happening on SLC-NRT flight. it was better than 6, but it wasn't acceptable rate.
I was on a NW DC-10 out of BOS (so you know it was a while ago) where we were #1 for take-off, engines throttled up and roll-out underway, when the captain cut the engines sharply (typically a worrisome sign) - announcing that he had been informed that eight luggage containers hadn't been loaded and we were headed back to the gate.
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Old Dec 18, 10, 12:06 pm
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Well the cargo are the moneymakers for the airlines. Not surprised if it was a mere 6 bags total that they used all available space in a weight restriction to load more cargo with the idea to put those bags on the next flight with potentially a substantially larger volume of passenger luggage.
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Old Dec 18, 10, 3:02 pm
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I have heard that this has happened on this flight out of JNB with baggage not being loaded due to to weight restrictions. This has occurred even with the 777LR operating on the route. Also understad that the flight has stopped in the Caribbean (SJU) on several occassions for fuel on the northbound sector.

I am sure the flight deck crew was well aware that there was not any baggage loaded on the flight, as it would be reflected in the manifest. However, the time to announce to 250+ passengers that their luggage did not make the flight is not when you are halfway across the Atlantic.

Given the holiday season and heavy flight loads, it is going to be difficult to move that many bags over the course of the next couple days out of JNB.
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