Southwest and SFO Mangled my luggage!

Old Dec 30, 11, 12:20 pm
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Cool Southwest and SFO Mangled my luggage!

After a flight from DEN last night, my suitcase didn't show up on the carousel. I asked around about it, and was finally directed in to the counter, where they sheepishly pointed out my previously well cared for bag mangled as though it had had an encounter with a hungry grizzly.



Luckily the sturdy metal supplemented construction had prevented any serious damage to the contents, so that wasn't an issue. I was a little annoyed they made me wait till well after the carousel had stopped to let me know what had happened, but... "it was busy".

Initially the girl at the counter tried to get me to accept a straight trade for a "new" piece of luggage, but the stuff they were trying to pawn off on me was Kmart quality. (By the way, they had 20-30 pieces of this junk waiting, so I suspect the equipment mangling stuff there is not an isolated experience.) After waiting about 20 minutes for the manager to show up, I finally got $90 to replace my bag. That won't cover it, but I figured it was about as well as I would be able to do, since they kept low-balling me with offers of a free piece of crap, then plus a $50 flight voucher.

Hope no one else gets their baggage chewed up, but if so don't take the first low ball offer... of course.

Happy New Year!

Last edited by Doc Savage; Dec 30, 11 at 12:31 pm
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Old Dec 30, 11, 12:43 pm
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Take the $90 and make a down payment on an Eagle Creek (or similarly lifetime warranty) piece of luggage. WN broke my ORV 30's back and it was repaired quickly and at no cost except for one way shipping. There are others with warranties that cover even airline abuse, not just Eagle Creek. You will find many discussed in the Travel Products forum.
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Old Dec 30, 11, 5:42 pm
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Geezus...........It looks like they dragged it down the runway.

This past summer they broke the handle off of my daughter's swap meet quality bag. They offered one of those cheesy bags or $50. I took the $50 and found a very nice Ricardo of BH spinner on clearance at Costco for $50.
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Old Dec 30, 11, 6:29 pm
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Cool

Originally Posted by Michael El View Post
Geezus...........It looks like they dragged it down the runway.
LOL... You may be right. I initially assumed it got chewed on by a machine...
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Old Dec 31, 11, 3:52 pm
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Wow. I've seen some bad luggage before but nothing like that. That's crazy. Glad you at least or something for it.
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Old Jan 3, 12, 11:21 am
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The same thing happened to a bag I checked when flying from DEN to BNA. It looked like it got dragged behind one of the tugs at some point. It even ripped the bag tag off and was replaced with a hand written tag, so I assume it happened in DEN prior to luggage loading.
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Old Jan 3, 12, 11:27 am
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I worked in baggage for a while as a CSA. I saw more people have problems with their "high end" luggage than Travel Pro, Traveler's choice, Coleman, and other simular luggage that is use as our trade Bags. When a bag gets caught by a belt system, accidentally dragged, or something heavy damages it when things shift in the cargo hold in the belly of the plane, brand is meaningless. They all damage when s""" happens.

The reason why Southwest offers the brands they do instead of the high end brands is simple. High end or not, luggage is designed to protect the containts as it's only function. When the bag no longer able to protect the contains, then Southwest will provide a replacement or funds for you to buy a replacement. Not to mention, buying a high end piece of luggage is strickly voluntary on the passenger's end.
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Old Jan 3, 12, 11:56 am
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Originally Posted by Seat13c View Post
I worked in baggage for a while as a CSA. I saw more people have problems with their "high end" luggage than Travel Pro, Traveler's choice, Coleman, and other simular luggage that is use as our trade Bags. When a bag gets caught by a belt system, accidentally dragged, or something heavy damages it when things shift in the cargo hold in the belly of the plane, brand is meaningless. They all damage when s""" happens.

The reason why Southwest offers the brands they do instead of the high end brands is simple. High end or not, luggage is designed to protect the containts as it's only function. When the bag no longer able to protect the contains, then Southwest will provide a replacement or funds for you to buy a replacement. Not to mention, buying a high end piece of luggage is strickly voluntary on the passenger's end.
After years of broken wheels, handles, and latches with my mid level quality luggage, I finally bought some high-quality stuff based on the reviews here. There is a difference.

While protecting the contents is a function, for every week travelers there are other functions that are just as important. Ease of packing and unpacking, how it rolls and ease of handling are all important. My luggage is my mobile bedroom chest of drawers and it is much more than a contents protector. I buy high end luggage because it suits my needs. All of them. And it is not a status thing. After a couple of trips in the belly of the plane any of it looks pretty rough anyway.
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Old Jan 5, 12, 12:23 am
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The reason why Southwest offers the brands they do instead of the high end brands is simple. High end or not, luggage is designed to protect the containts as it's only function. When the bag no longer able to protect the contains, then Southwest will provide a replacement or funds for you to buy a replacement. Not to mention, buying a high end piece of luggage is strickly voluntary on the passenger's end.
WOW. If this is the mindset on WN's end, I better look into some insurance - stat - that will cover luggage.

At least they don't have the nerve, as other airlines, to charge you for the privilege of mangling - I mean carrying - your bags....
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Old Jan 5, 12, 11:05 am
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Originally Posted by InkUnderNails View Post
While protecting the contents is a function...
It is the primary function. All other features and functions are strickly secondary. We don't dispute people need to bring stuff when they travel. That's why we allow 2 free bags to be checked. And the best way to protect it is in a suitcase/luggage. Again, the ease of packing and wheels are great things, but a great secondary feature.

Not to mention, we wouldn't buy luggage and offer it as trade out if we thought it was such bad luggage. The last thing we need is it falling apart on you the next time you travel on us. Replacing suitcase cost us money. Having to do it repededly is a worse idea that costs even more money. Plus, if the contents get damaged, that is also a bad thing also - even worse if it was from a trade out bag. We don't want to leave ourselves in a position to cause a worse situation that will continually drain our pockets.
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Old Jan 5, 12, 11:21 am
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Southwest is the only airline to have ruined luggage of mine.

While mine was as bad as the OP's it was ripped in the front and I was lucky it wasn't raining or snowing or the contents would have been soaked and luckilly nothing was missing or damaged.

They must handle things differently now with luggage. Mine was ruined in 02 or 03 and I wish they would have offered me money on the spot since I was in MDW and could have bought a decent replacement in Chicago and had it for the trip home.

Instead they told me they had to send the bag out to have it looked at. They gave me this vinyl/plastic "suitcase" to use for the trip. It was shaped like the old style sofsided suitcases with the two handles on top and no wheels and looked like it was the inside vinyl lining of one of those. That was a real pain to carry with me on the El to my hotel and back. They called me and said it couldn't be repaired (DUH it was ripped) and they would replace it. It was a cheap bag they ruined and the replacement bag was of at least the same quality but it was pretty stupid they sent out the bag to a repair place and then paid the money to ship me a new one instead of just cutting me a check for a resonable amount.

That's why I don't understand people buying expensive designer luggage. I am gong to buy luggage based on how durable it is. I know the baggage handlers aren't going to treat a gucci or louis vuitton bag any differently than they will a piece of walmart brand luggage.
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Old Jan 5, 12, 11:22 am
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Originally Posted by Seat13c View Post
It is the primary Not to mention, we wouldn't buy luggage and offer it as trade out if we thought it was such bad luggage....We don't want to leave ourselves in a position to cause a worse situation that will continually drain our pockets.
Southwest does not buy the highest quality bags, but many casual travellers are thrilled to replace a 10 year old bag with a new piece if it gets damaged by WN.

I don't know what airport they work at, but none of the baggage claim offices I've ever been in will cover scuffs, small rips/tears, dents, damaged wheels, handles, zippers, etc. It has to come off the carousel looking like OP's photos in order for WN to cover it... So very little risk to WN of a 2nd claim.

In my opinion even a $69 piece from Costco (rollerblade type replacable wheels and a lifetime mfr's wear out warranty) is far superior to what the baggage claim offices have offered for damage. I can make a $50 Sears bag last 3-6 months, but by then the wheels have self destructed, start dragging, and end up being square.

Last edited by expert7700; Jan 5, 12 at 11:30 am
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Old Jan 5, 12, 11:43 am
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A couple years ago my bag came off the belt at MDW with a large triangle-shaped tear, and they offered to replace it with a new bag from their giant closet of replacements, which I thought was fair. The new bag I received was an American Tourister; at least as good quality as the bag it replaced. I don't understand why anyone would pay a lot of money for luggage -- regardless how it's treated by humans, it's just going to eventually get trashed going through mechanized conveyance systems.
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Old Jan 5, 12, 11:51 am
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Originally Posted by Seat13c View Post
It is the primary function. All other features and functions are strickly secondary. We don't dispute people need to bring stuff when they travel. That's why we allow 2 free bags to be checked. And the best way to protect it is in a suitcase/luggage. Again, the ease of packing and wheels are great things, but a great secondary feature.
May I offer you a suggestion? You allow me to determine what features I find more important and I will let you decide what is important for you. The luggage I buy automatically provides the feature you deem most important so it is not even considered in the decision on what I will buy.

21 years of 40 weeks a year on the road and I know what is important to me.
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Old Jan 5, 12, 4:52 pm
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Originally Posted by Seat13c View Post
I worked in baggage for a while as a CSA. I saw more people have problems with their "high end" luggage than Travel Pro, Traveler's choice, Coleman, and other simular luggage that is use as our trade Bags. When a bag gets caught by a belt system, accidentally dragged, or something heavy damages it when things shift in the cargo hold in the belly of the plane, brand is meaningless. They all damage when s""" happens.

The reason why Southwest offers the brands they do instead of the high end brands is simple. High end or not, luggage is designed to protect the containts as it's only function. When the bag no longer able to protect the contains, then Southwest will provide a replacement or funds for you to buy a replacement. Not to mention, buying a high end piece of luggage is strickly voluntary on the passenger's end.
Hey, I know I wrecked your Ferrari and the accident was my fault, but here's a Ford Escort as compensation. You did voluntary choose to buy a high-end vehicle.
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