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Free first bag may not be such a deal

Free first bag may not be such a deal

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Old Feb 28, 11, 10:22 am
  #1  
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Join Date: Feb 2011
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Unhappy Free first bag may not be such a deal

Greets all,

Posting this in the hopes that it will save someone similar heartache. It is a bit long, but hopefully worth the read. JetBlue likes to advertise that you can check your first bag for free. What they do not mention is the trade off. They appear to have no way to track a bag should it go missing.

Flew a direct flight from Cancun to Boston and JetBlue lost my daughter's bag. After going around in circles with the JetBlue rep at the carousel that yes, we were sure we did in fact check the bag (would think the fact that I had a bag tag number with no matching luggage would be proof of that, but apparently not), they brought us to the JetBlue counter to fill out a claim form. They used the wrong paperwork however, which meant no bag report number was initially generated.

I was told they were sure the bag was left off the plane due to weight concerns, and it would come in on the next flight. This seemed silly to me, as it was the only missing bag on the flight and it was a small duffel that weighted in at under 13 lbs. I was further told they did not have a computer to track the bag because we were at the international gate and customs did not permit it. This also seemed like an extremely silly comment, as right next to us was another airline processing a missing bag, they had a computer, and we could hear their agent telling their customer where the bag was located.

So I was told to call the JetBlue Boston baggage office and they would be able to track my bag. I pulled out a cellphone and started to call the number, at which point the two JetBlue agents mumbled something to each other and took off like a shot. Once I connected I realized why. The JetBlue rep I spoke with informed me that JetBlue does not scan bags and has no way to track them. This kind of blew me away as I've been a frequent traveler for many years, have had luggage misplaced on other airlines, but they've always been able to immediately tell me the last known location of my bag. Apparently my confusion was a bit frustrating to the JetBlue representative as he yelled "YOU ARE NOT LISTENING TO ME!" over the phone, and then I overhead him telling one or more close by colleagues "This guy is an idiot!". I have to say it is the most unpleasant 2 minute and 48 second phone call I have ever had with an airline. At that point we just left the airport.

When I got home I called the main JetBlue number and got an extremely pleasant woman to help me out. She figured out that the wrong form had been used and no bag report number had been generated, and took care of it for me. When I described my experience with JetBlue in Boston, she put me on hold and had her manager (Bev) call them for me. Seems her manager got similar treatment, as when she got back on the phone she told me she her manager got no where with the Boston office, and she has never seen her manager that upset. She then claimed to be able to track my bag using the bag tag number. After a few minutes pause she informed me that my bag was accidentally loaded on a flight to JFK (kind of made sense as the flight leaving the gate in Cancun just prior to the Boston flight was going to JFK). She further told me the bag was clearing customs, and they should be able to get it delivered to my house by the next morning. Awesome. Exactly the info I was looking for.

Next morning the bag never arrived. I called the Boston office numerous times but no one ever picked up the phone. I called the main number again and spoke with a JetBlue rep named "Jed". He was also extremely pleasant and helpful. He looked up my record and told me there was no status update. He could find no mention that the bag went to JFK, and as far as he could tell the bag may still be in Cancun. He escalated my call to someone named "Will" that he said could help me further.

Unfortunately Will was not much help. He also told me that JetBlue does not scan luggage and there was no way the woman I spoke with the night before could have tracked my bag. The process, as he explained it, was bag tags do not normally get scanned. Once a report is filed you basically hope that someone notices the bag out of place and puts in the effort to see if the bag tag number is listed as missing. At that point tracking begins and they can tell you what is going on. Will further informed me that JetBlue considers the missing bag "Boston's problem" (his exact words) until six days have gone by since a claim form is filed. From what I could gather, this does not change the "wait and hope" process. It simply means that JetBlue national will acknowledge the missing bag as being their problem as well.

So since then I've been resigned to calling the JetBlue Boston luggage office daily. They pick up the phone on 1/10 times you call, and about about half of those they take your name and put you on hold indefinitely (I usually hang up after holding for 20+ minutes). Last successful call was a half hour ago, and they still have no idea where my bag is located. I fully expect at this point to lose some or all of the contents. As any seasoned traveler will tell you, when a bag goes missing for more than 24 hours, you are pretty much guaranteed to lose anything of value.

So the customer take away is, if the value of your luggage exceeds the "first checked bag" cost on another airline that actually tracks their luggage, it may be worth the investment.
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Old Mar 1, 11, 9:12 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
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What a tale....I hope you get full resolution/ restitution.
Thanks for sharing

Am quite surprised ( well maybe not) that there have been no other replies/comments
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Old Mar 2, 11, 8:29 am
  #3  
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Thanks 49holding. Much appreciated.

Still calling the JetBlue Boston baggage office daily. Still being told my bag report has no updates since initially being lost.
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Old Mar 3, 11, 8:28 pm
  #4  
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This is getting so ridiculous!!! You lost the bags in BOS. Why you didn't notify the stations manager. He will have more investigators against ramp agents who put your bags on wrong flight. He should have more helpful to figure it out for you. This is not responsible for ramp workers behaviors where your bags went through baggage handling system. You should have track them where your bags go. I do not appreciate for B6 behaviors in BOS. They will get disciplinary action against them.
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Old Mar 4, 11, 7:23 am
  #5  
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Wahoo! Called the JetBlue Boston baggage office last night and was told my bag finally arrived, and was in fact sent to JFK by accident. So this begs the question, did the first national rep fib to me and just get lucky, or was she the only JetBlue rep I spoke with that was capable of tracking a bag??? The latter would be pretty scary as I was calling at least once per day.

In any event, the bag was delivered in the middle of the night as we found it on the doorstep this morning. Thankfully this provided another traveling first for me, after almost a week away all the contents of the bag were still intact.
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Old Mar 4, 11, 1:36 pm
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Originally Posted by cbrenton View Post
Wahoo! Called the JetBlue Boston baggage office last night and was told my bag finally arrived, and was in fact sent to JFK by accident. So this begs the question, did the first national rep fib to me and just get lucky, or was she the only JetBlue rep I spoke with that was capable of tracking a bag??? The latter would be pretty scary as I was calling at least once per day.

In any event, the bag was delivered in the middle of the night as we found it on the doorstep this morning. Thankfully this provided another traveling first for me, after almost a week away all the contents of the bag were still intact.
Wow! I'm glad you got it! I am bit worried about your bags. B6 should have more capable rules and not try to losing the bags in JFK or anywhere else. They should have more responsibilities to put the bags into the aircraft and read the bags tags should says ORD or someplace else. They should be correctly right bags to put on right aircraft.
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Old Mar 9, 11, 4:45 pm
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Join Date: Oct 2006
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This is interesting, I had a case where my boss, whose flight I had booked on jetBlue Winter of 2009 never arrived with him to SJU. I called jetBlue with his Bag Tag number, they informed me the bag didn't make it onto his flight, but would be on the very next SJU flight, which it was and delivered to his Hotel room the next day. The agent I spoke to was able to tell me where the bag was and when it arrived in SJU.
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