Consolidated UA Lost/Delayed Baggage Issues

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Suggested reading is UA's lost bag info on the web: Baggage Info, Checked Bag Issues, checked UA's Baggage tracing and Damaged Bags

Delayed baggage and claim form
For bags still lost after three days

For bags checked June 1, 2017, or later, if we're unable to find your bag after three days, we'll pay you $1,500 for the value of the bag and its contents without requiring any documentation. The Baggage Resolution Center will contact you to process a compensation payment. We will also reimburse you for the amount you paid to check the bag.

If the value of your lost bag and its contents is more than $1,500, you may document and claim higher amounts up to the DOT required maximum of $3,500 per traveler for flights with the U.S., and applicable maximum for international flights. To do so, please use the link below.
https://www.wheresmysuitcase.com/

IATA convention on bag issues when multiple carriers are involved -- you deal with the carrier that should have delivered the bags regardless on which carrier may or may not created the issue.

Montreal Convention - Wikipedia
The Montreal Convention changes and generally increases the maximum liability of airlines for lost baggage to a fixed amount 1,131 SDR per passenger (the amount in the Warsaw Convention is based on weight of the baggage). It requires airlines to fully compensate travelers the cost of replacement items purchased until the baggage is delivered, to a maximum of 1,131 SDR. At 21 days any delayed baggage is considered lost, until the airline finds and delivers it.
Montreal Convention - IATA
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Old Dec 13, 13, 7:48 pm
  #1  
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Consolidated UA Lost/Delayed Baggage Issues

I seem to have poor luck with bags making connections, particularly international ones in SFO and/or CDG, despite being on time and intentionally planning for a minimum of 2 and up to 4 hours of connection time. I'd say my bag is delayed in 1/3 of those situations. That can't be average... I never check a bag unless I have to, but this time it was expanded, stuffed with Christmas gifts from VIE and CDG.

Case in point: Yesterday, CDG-SFO-PDX. Arrive SFO at 12:20, flight to PDX leaves at 3:26. TONS of time for my bag to make the connection. Arrive in PDX, no bag. Baggage folks look at the record and say that, to their confusion, the bag was attempted to be put on a flight to EUG multiple times - and duly taken off multiple times. They don't, however, know where it is at the moment. Given reference link etc.

I finally get word (from calling and demanding - the online reference check NEVER updated once) that it's on a flight this morning that left at 7 something - the second flight of the day from SFO-PDX. And let's be clear, there were 4 other SFO-PDX flights yesterday it could have made. Instead, it was put on it's 7th opportunity, including the original one it should have made.

I don't get it. What's really happening on the ground? Doesn't someone go, "Oh look, the tag says PDX - not EUG. We should probably send this over to the PDX flight [It was a UX flight as well]. What, you say? We missed that intended one? Okay, let's put it on the very next one out." But clearly that doesn't happen. And it doesn't even make it on the first flight out this morning. It's at SFO the entire time, who knows where and who knows with whom. What gives? What's really happening / not happening? Why is it taking so long?

Delayed baggage can be really, truly frustrating, and the seeming lack of urgency / priority / etc. just adds to it. I'll admit I'm particularly sensitive to it, but with good reason, given a completely lost bag (never turned up) 3 years ago.
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Old Dec 14, 13, 4:17 am
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Did you pickup the bag at SFO and take it through customs? From your description it sounds like you checked it at CDG and were just expecting it to appear at PDX.

If you did pick it up at SFO, do you know at about what time you dropped it off again for the PDX flight?
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Old Dec 14, 13, 6:24 am
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....another mystery on FT solved, and no need for a new puppy each Christmas
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Old Dec 14, 13, 6:33 am
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Originally Posted by LaserSailor View Post
....another mystery on FT solved, and no need for a new puppy each Christmas


u2vox is not unfamiliar with international travel, including US arrival processes.
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Old Dec 14, 13, 7:19 am
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Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post


u2vox is not unfamiliar with international travel, including US arrival processes.
Lol, thanks. I most certainly picked it up and dropped it off just as required. Flyining in C, I was done with that and customs and through the domestic security via TSA pre-check in perhaps 20 minutes after exiting the plane. Mystery far from solved.

Next?
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Old Dec 14, 13, 11:50 am
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Originally Posted by u2vox View Post
Lol, thanks. I most certainly picked it up and dropped it off just as required. Flyining in C, I was done with that and customs and through the domestic security via TSA pre-check in perhaps 20 minutes after exiting the plane. Mystery far from solved.

Next?
Next time, why not try taking the baggage tag off in the customs hall, then exit like an arriving pax with no connection, take your bag to the domestic check-in counter in Terminal 3, and hand it over there?

That would save a couple of steps in the transfer process and increase the odds of the bag being on your connecting flight.

I've actually done this at SFO and it's worked like a charm. Also provides time for repacking after a shower in the arrivals lounge.
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Old Dec 14, 13, 2:39 pm
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To be fair, I think UA has gotten quite a lot better at tracking the bags. I feel like I see them scanning them a lot more frequently and the granularity of tracking them has gotten much better.

As for the delay in forwarding them, I don't know what happens. They seem to sometimes stick them in random lockers and forget about them. I would say that UA's top talent does not end up in the baggage offices.
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Old Dec 14, 13, 2:49 pm
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Originally Posted by transportprof View Post
Next time, why not try taking the baggage tag off in the customs hall, then exit like an arriving pax with no connection, take your bag to the domestic check-in counter in Terminal 3, and hand it over there?

That would save a couple of steps in the transfer process and increase the odds of the bag being on your connecting flight.

I've actually done this at SFO and it's worked like a charm. Also provides time for repacking after a shower in the arrivals lounge.
When doing to bag transfer after customs, there is a baggage handler who scans the bag as you give it too them. I'm not sure how rechecking the bag at the domestic terminal would be any different.

I'm also curious about the process of when a bag "isn't where it's supposed to be"
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Old Dec 14, 13, 3:16 pm
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Originally Posted by wethereyet View Post
When doing to bag transfer after customs, there is a baggage handler who scans the bag as you give it too them. I'm not sure how rechecking the bag at the domestic terminal would be any different.

I'm also curious about the process of when a bag "isn't where it's supposed to be"
Yeah, and that's really the basis for my question. We already know from my initial post that somehow my bag made it to a (wrong) EUG flight in plenty of time. From that point it's sort of incredulous that it took an overnight in SFO to get it on its 7th opportunity since I landed in SFO to get to PDX. Bags are transported from one flight and gate to the next all the time, sometimes in mere minutes. Top talent or not, it's just really hard to reconcile, and obviously results in quite a bit of frustration and concern over when and if the bag will ever show.
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Old Dec 14, 13, 3:24 pm
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And its for these reasons that so many of us prefer not to check bags.. and so we become gate lice making sure to board in time to stuff our bags into the overhead... Bag delayed in route, though infrequent, is very annoying given situations like this. It's great that the bags are scanned and can be found in the UA system. But it would also be great to convey that to the pax, without the need for repeated calls because other tools are useless. And it would hurt much less if the bag simply made it on the next flight - there have been times (well, in the past, when there simply were more flights) when I'd have been happier just waiting a few hours at the airport to get my bag and be done with it rather than play this game.

The only explanation for the ground behavior that makes sense is that they are under staffed and as a result just don't care. Now the guy at the bottom of the bag ramp is going to get a beep when the destination for which the bag is tagged does not match the flight he's loading, and put it back on the cart, but what then? You sort of feel like maybe it just sits there unless someone happens to notice...
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Old Dec 14, 13, 4:02 pm
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Here's another reason for the long delay in getting the bag beyond SFO: weight restrictions on UX aircraft, which run full and have lots of bags full of Christmas presents these days.
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Old Dec 14, 13, 4:04 pm
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LOL its no mystery. When you pay the absolute minimum to the ramp personnel and continually replace UA employees with contractors (who could care less) I am abosutley shocked it doesn't happen more often!

When a bag gets on the cart for the wrong plane it is sent back to the central distribution area - and what happens next makes all the difference. If it is someone who cares who takes a look at it then it will get on the next flight to the destination - if it isn't then it can take a while - and esepcially if it is on an express flight - that are constantly weight restricted these days - especially in winter (because the yload extra fuel). I do agree that tracking is much better than it used to be - unfortunately better visibility doesn't improve perofrmance....
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Old Dec 14, 13, 5:23 pm
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I appreciate the consideration of weight restrictions. Theoretically that could indeed happen. Would they deprioritize a "Priority" checked bag on a full fare Y ticket, having flown in on a D fare biz class ticket CDG-SFO? They probably shouldn't, but I'm guessing that sort of thing doesn't come into play when deciding which bags make it and which don't - but correct me if I'm wrong.

However, I will point out that of the 7 opportunities my bag had to get from SFO to PDX, only 3 of 7 were UX - the rest were mainline. Unless there is something about the fact that I had originally booked on UX, so they had to find the next non-weight restricted opportunity on UX, which could have been the flight it made it on (which was, in fact, a UX flight it turns out - the 3rd of the three opportunities I mention...)

bmwe92fan, I'm guessing you're probably closest. Just depends on whether someone decides to notice and care. Which isn't really acceptable, unfortunately.
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Old Dec 16, 13, 3:21 pm
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Bag goes for transatlantic record

A friend of mine flew from Newark to Shannon on Friday night. Unfortunately his bag didn't. 27 hours after he landed, they finally located his bag in Paris CDG. He still hasn't got it. They think it may have gone back to Newark, and are suggesting (but not promising) that it could reach Shannon tomorrow morning (Tuesday). Or perhaps not.
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Old Dec 16, 13, 3:31 pm
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Originally Posted by 1P View Post
A friend of mine flew from Newark to Shannon on Friday night. Unfortunately his bag didn't. 27 hours after he landed, they finally located his bag in Paris CDG. He still hasn't got it. They think it may have gone back to Newark, and are suggesting (but not promising) that it could reach Shannon tomorrow morning (Tuesday). Or perhaps not.
I had a bag go from LFW-CDG-YUL-CDG-IAD over a six day period. You're friend is far from the record.
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