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Delta lost luggage after volunteering to check bag

Delta lost luggage after volunteering to check bag

Old Feb 25, 17, 7:58 pm
  #1  
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Delta lost luggage after volunteering to check bag

Flew with Delta on Feb 23 from MSN to SEA and the gate agents at MSN said they were expecting a full flight and needed volunteers to check-in their luggage. I volunteered and voila! they ended up losing my luggage.

Since this has never happened to me before, I read the Montreal convention allows for a maximum liability of 1000 SDR (USD 1350 approx). I have secondary insurance with AMEX with a cap of USD 500. However, I had items in the bag valued more than that at time of purchase.

Is there precedence for flexibility for maximum liability? Especially when the airline asked people to check their bags and then lost it?
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Old Feb 25, 17, 8:02 pm
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Edit: the Montreal Convention doesn't apply to you. The maximum liability for you is $3,500.

What does the bag tracking show?

Here is all the information you could need to know about liability limits and exclusions, pasted straight from the Contract of Carriage.

1. General Limitation of Liability For Loss of, Damage to, or Delay in Delivery of Baggage
Delta’s liability for the loss of, damage to, or delay in the delivery of a fare-paying passenger's personal property delivered into Delta’s custody, including checked baggage and carry-on baggage tendered to Delta's in-flight personnel for storage during flight or otherwise delivered into the custody of Delta, shall be limited to proven damage or loss. Actual value for reimbursement of lost or damaged property shall be determined by the documented original purchase price less any applicable depreciation for prior usage. Under no circumstances shall the liability for loss of, damage to, or delay in the delivery of baggage exceed $3,500 per fare-paying passenger. These limitations shall also apply to baggage or personal property accepted by Delta for temporary storage at a city or airport ticket office or elsewhere before or after the passenger's trip.


1. Items Deemed to Be Fragile, Perishable, or Precious
The classes of items listed below are deemed to be fragile, perishable, precious, or otherwise unsuitable as checked baggage and will not be accepted as baggage, except as set forth in subsection, F.2., below.
a) Artistic Items
Vases, figurines, ceramic articles, trophies, paintings, sculpture, antique furniture, and similar objects of art.
b) Electronic and Mechanical Items
Television sets, radios, amplifiers, speakers, tape recorders, video recorders, DVD players, digital music or video devices, electronic communications devices, calculators, computers, typewriters, dictation equipment, and similar electronic or mechanical items.
c) Glass
Terrariums, mirrors, crystal, china and glass containers for liquors, wines, beer, liqueurs, and perfumes, and similar items fabricated from glass or similar materials.
d) Infant Items
Fragile items for infant care, including without limitation strollers and car seats.
e) Jewelry or Precious Metals
Jewelry, silverware, precious metals, and similar highly valuable items.
f) Musical Instruments And Equipment
Guitars, violins, trombones, drums, and other musical instruments or equipment.
g) Perishable Items
Fresh or frozen foodstuffs such as fruits, vegetables, meats, fish, poultry, and bakery products; floral and nursery stock such as flower, fruit, and vegetable plants; cut flowers and foliage such as floral displays; and similar items of a perishable nature.
h) Photographic/Cinematographic Equipment
Cameras, lenses, flash bulbs, projectors, video cameras, and other photographic or cinematographic equipment
i) Precision Items
Microscopes, oscilloscopes, meters, counters, polygraphs, scales, and similar precision equipment.
j) Recreational And Sporting Goods
Fragile recreational or sporting goods of any kind, including without limitation archery equipment, golf clubs, tennis rackets, skis, fishing rods, sculls, surfboards, scuba diving masks and pressure gauges, scopes, sporting trophies such as animal horns and antlers, skin diving gear, model airplanes, bicycles, backpacks, knapsacks, sleeping bags, and tents made of plastic, vinyl, or other easily tearable material with aluminum frames, outside pockets, or protruding straps and buckles.
k) Toys
Dolls, dollhouses, model trains and airplanes, and similar toys of a fragile nature.
l) Valuable or Fragile Papers
Cash, cash equivalents, securities, negotiable instruments, irreplaceable documents, advertising displays, models, sketches, blueprints, maps, and other valuable or fragile paper materials.
m) Other Fragile or Perishable Items
Any item not otherwise listed above which, by its nature or packaging, is subject to damage or spoilage during its carriage as checked baggage, despite exercise by the carrier of ordinary care in its handling.

2. Acceptance of Fragile, Perishable or Precious Items
a) Duty to Identify Fragile, Perishable, or Precious Items

The passenger must identify all fragile, perishable, or precious items contained in any baggage tendered to Delta for carriage at the time of check-in.
b) Precious or Highly Valuable Items
Precious or other highly valuable items, including without limitation cash, cash equivalents, securities, negotiable instruments, irreplaceable documents, jewelry, silverware, precious metals, works of art, computers, electronic equipment, photographic equipment, and any other items that cannot be easily replaced if lost or damaged may not be transported in checked baggage.
c) Acceptance of Properly Packaged Fragile Items
Except as provided below, fragile items will be accepted as checked baggage only if, in Delta’s sole determination, the items are appropriately packaged in an original factory-sealed carton, cardboard mailing tube, a container or case designed for shipping such items, or packed with protective internal material sufficient to protect the items from damage during ordinary handling, and are otherwise suitable for transport under these rules.
d) Acceptance of Other Fragile or Perishable Items
Perishable items and fragile items not accepted by Delta pursuant to the preceding section may be accepted upon the condition that the passenger agree in advance and in writing to release the carrier of liability for loss or damage resulting from the unsuitability of such items as checked baggage and/or the inadequacy of their packaging, in a Limited Liability Release form to be provided by Delta.

Last edited by Widgets; Feb 25, 17 at 8:26 pm
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Old Feb 25, 17, 8:07 pm
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I agree with Widget's suggestions. And as far as I know, The Montreal Convention would only apply on international itineraries.

If you do fly on an international itinerary and you do happen to have >$1000 worth of items in a bag, you should declare excess valuation at check-in.
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Old Feb 25, 17, 8:35 pm
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Originally Posted by noobConsultant View Post
Flew with Delta on Feb 23 from MSN to SEA and the gate agents at MSN said they were expecting a full flight and needed volunteers to check-in their luggage. I volunteered and voila! they ended up losing my luggage.

Since this has never happened to me before, I read the Montreal convention allows for a maximum liability of 1000 SDR (USD 1350 approx). I have secondary insurance with AMEX with a cap of USD 500. However, I had items in the bag valued more than that at time of purchase.

Is there precedence for flexibility for maximum liability? Especially when the airline asked people to check their bags and then lost it?
When you reported your bag as missing, did they have any idea where the bag was located at that time? Usually bags are put on the wrong flight or are a later flight due to a tight connection.

I never understood why people check bags at the gate unless they have to. It seems like extra effort to schlep the bag through security just to check it anyway. I would never volunteer to have my bag checked at the gate. I still remember when someone realized they wrote the final destination on a bag tag as SLC instead of SCL. Oops.
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Old Feb 25, 17, 9:10 pm
  #5  
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Originally Posted by SJC ORD LDR View Post
When you reported your bag as missing, did they have any idea where the bag was located at that time?
The delta representative said the bag was scanned at the arrival airport at SEA and was scanned at the carousal so we reviewed the video tapes with police but didnt find the bag.

I would never volunteer to have my bag checked at the gate.
I was trying to be nice so that we could have an on time departure. Turns out I am paying the price for that.

Does delta pay for clothes I bought within 5 days of baggage loss? Is there a limit to this compensation?
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Old Feb 25, 17, 9:13 pm
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Originally Posted by Widgets View Post
What does the bag tracking show?
Says the bag was scanned at arrival airport's carousal but i never got it and delta cant find it
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Old Feb 25, 17, 9:45 pm
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As others note, you are off on the wrong path. The Montreal Convention limits won't apply to a domestic ticket. So, luckily your claim may be for as much as $3,500.

But, note that the $3,500 is purchase price less depreciation, e.g. fair market value. A shirt which you purchased for $100 and wore 3 times is not worth $100, but likely has a FMV of $10-15. I believe that Amex secondary will apply the same FMV.

As a general rule of thumb, don't ever check valuables in luggage. But, having put them in your carry-on, volunteering to check them may have cost you a lot here.
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Old Feb 25, 17, 9:49 pm
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Originally Posted by Widgets View Post
Edit: the Montreal Convention doesn't apply to you. The maximum liability for you is $3,500.
That may not be entirely correct. If MSN-SEA was the entire trip, you are correct. If the OP was traveling MSN-SEA-PEK, then the entire trip is covered by the Montreal convention.
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Old Feb 25, 17, 10:29 pm
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Originally Posted by spamkiller View Post
That may not be entirely correct. If MSN-SEA was the entire trip, you are correct. If the OP was traveling MSN-SEA-PEK, then the entire trip is covered by the Montreal convention.
If the file was created in SEA then domestic tariff rules apply.
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Old Feb 25, 17, 10:37 pm
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Originally Posted by noobConsultant View Post
Does delta pay for clothes I bought within 5 days of baggage loss? Is there a limit to this compensation?
My bag has been delayed twice and I was reimbursed for everything I purchased as a result of the delay. I've landed in very expensive cities and paid over $250 for clothes, shoes, etc and there was never a question, they just sent me a check a few weeks later. There was an online form at the time (this was about 4 years ago).
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Old Feb 25, 17, 10:42 pm
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Originally Posted by noobConsultant View Post
Says the bag was scanned at arrival airport's carousal but i never got it and delta cant find it
I'm not sure if that's DL's fault or a criminal matter being that the bag was taken by someone other than yourself. Sorry to hear about that.
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Old Feb 26, 17, 12:27 am
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One other issue is if OP had "high value" items in the bag.

Obviously this is a vague term. But for me, as you cross the $2K line for a single bag it would apply.

As far as somebody grabbing the bag (either by intent or mistake) DL still owes. DL might be able to recover from the third party, but that has nothing to do with the contract between DL and OP.

EDIT: I guess in theory DL could recover their damages from a thief, and OP could also go after him for his excess damages. But this is never going to happen.
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Old Feb 26, 17, 12:41 am
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Originally Posted by exwannabe View Post
One other issue is if OP had "high value" items in the bag.

Obviously this is a vague term. But for me, as you cross the $2K line for a single bag it would apply.

As far as somebody grabbing the bag (either by intent or mistake) DL still owes. DL might be able to recover from the third party, but that has nothing to do with the contract between DL and OP.

EDIT: I guess in theory DL could recover their damages from a thief, and OP could also go after him for his excess damages. But this is never going to happen.
I don't want to sound like a Delta apologist here, and Delta is still liable for up to $3,500, but I don't think it's true to say that Delta lost the bag. If the bag traveled with the OP on every flight and was scanned to the carousel in a timely manner, and since the OP filed a police report, I think it's more true to say that someone stole or mistakenly grabbed the bag from Delta. It's semantics, but there are cases when a bag is lost due to an airline's negligence or incompetence, and I don't think this is one of those cases.
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Old Feb 26, 17, 2:27 am
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What expenses can I get reimbursed from them in the 1st five days? This was possibly the worst time to lose my luggage because I had to leave for an international project next evening.

I had to buy jacket, shoes, dress shirts, pants, undergarments,daily necessities like toothpaste etc and the bill for clothes itself was over $600. Do they reimburse for clothing? Or should i just wait for 5 days and claim what I lost from the bag?

The sad part here is there are no follow-ups from Delta and baggage service at Seatle sounded unapologetic to say the least.
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Old Feb 26, 17, 3:20 am
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Yes, they reimburse for clothing. I had an international trip CDG-SEA where my bag was delayed for 2 days. Had to buy 2 days worth of clothing. They paid for it all - about $450. Was a DM flying on a paid J ticket, so your experience might differ.
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