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Astoundingly, horrifyingly, mind-bogglingly rough baggage handling at EWR

Astoundingly, horrifyingly, mind-bogglingly rough baggage handling at EWR

Old Apr 13, 15, 10:36 am
  #1  
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Astoundingly, horrifyingly, mind-bogglingly rough baggage handling at EWR

Returned to the USA on a UA flight through EWR yesterday. For a very unusual change, I had a checked bag. After clearing customs and entering the Term C bag recheck area, I actually had to stop and watch this operation from the base of the escalator for a few minutes.

Honestly, while I've had my fair share of baggage damage and breakage over the years, I have never actually witnessed anything quite as egregious as what I saw yesterday.

First, when we arrived in the baggage re-check area, there was one woman scanning tags and directing people to which re-check belt. She was literally the only person in the area awake. Sitting on the edge of the belts, the guys supposed to be handling bags had their heads in their hands, basically asleep.

Walk up to Belt #3, say "Hi, how's it going". Guy stands up without a word, grabs my bag, grabs a big grey plastic tub from the stack, literally swings my bag up to shoulder-height with one arm, and drops it 3-feet into the bin on the belt. Then promptly sits back down and puts his head down in his hands again.

I just stared... So I walked towards the exit, pulled out my cell phone, and just stood there checking email. The next person arrives about 45 seconds later. He does literally the same thing. Over at Belt #2, the two guys standing there have now gotten up and are now chatting to each other, ignoring the line of 2 people standing in front of them. One of the passengers says something like "do I give my bag to you, or put it on the belt?"

The guy grabs the bag, flings it into a bin in a one-armed underhand arc. The passenger actually says "Hey - be careful with that! There's breakables inside."

... to which the handler replies: "You can file a claim at your destination if anything's broken.", and then goes back to talking to his co-worker. The guy at Belt #3 is asleep again.

And oh yeah... I get home to a bag full of laundry soaked in Portuguese Ginja, because the boxed-and-bubble-wrapped bottle, surrounded by laundry on all sides, was broken.

Absolutely, positively unreal.
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Old Apr 13, 15, 10:38 am
  #2  
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Please tell me that you filmed this with your phone.
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Old Apr 13, 15, 10:40 am
  #3  
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Originally Posted by iluv2fly View Post
Please tell me that you filmed this with your phone.
Alas, no - and I really regret it, actually. I blame the jetlag for not thinking clearly enough to do so, as it would have become the next YouTube sensation.
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Old Apr 13, 15, 11:46 am
  #4  
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It's Newark, this is exactly what I'd expect.

Worst hub in the system.
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Old Apr 13, 15, 12:14 pm
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same issue yesterday

I had significant damage to a bag that came in on belt #2 yesterday. very frustrating to hear this was done intentionally

Last edited by johnsmith; Apr 13, 15 at 12:31 pm
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Old Apr 13, 15, 12:46 pm
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Everything at EWR is a disaster. The airport is a third-world embarrassment - actually, scratch that, it's far worse than most third-world airports I've flown through.
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Old Apr 13, 15, 12:48 pm
  #7  
 
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EWR baggage handling is just abysmal - slow, poor and unfriendly.
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Old Apr 13, 15, 1:45 pm
  #8  
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Originally Posted by ExRSA View Post
United EWR baggage handling is just abysmal - slow, poor and unfriendly.
My experiences on DL have been a bit better, though far from outstanding.

Alaska is pretty good w/ bags at EWR, as they are in most locations they operate.
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Old Apr 13, 15, 2:02 pm
  #9  
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Originally Posted by PV_Premier View Post
My experiences on DL have been a bit better, though far from outstanding.

Alaska is pretty good w/ bags at EWR, as they are in most locations they operate.
Alaska has...gasp...STANDARDS to which they hold their luggage handlers. The other airlines might try this route. Incentive the handlers to do an excellent job every time.
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Old Apr 13, 15, 2:22 pm
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That is why you buy mid-price baggage bag and do not put anything fragile in the baggage. So the bag can take the abuse and you don’t feel sad when you need to replace the baggage.

Polar Bear
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Old Apr 13, 15, 2:51 pm
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Originally Posted by Polar Bear View Post
That is why you buy mid-price baggage bag and do not put anything fragile in the baggage. So the bag can take the abuse and you don’t feel sad when you need to replace the baggage.

Polar Bear
Explain to me how the OP is supposed to get his EtOH back from the foreign country.

1. Can buy duty free, but only if there isn't a connection. And the selection is poor.
2. Can buy it and drink it over there, but then you don't get to share it with friends.
3. Can buy it and ship it back, but the cost of shipping may come close to the cost of cost of a ticket(!)
4. Or just pack it in the suitcase in bubble wrap and hope some thug doesn't try to throw your luggage around. There is a difference in regular abuse and a determined effort to break things because they're having a bad day.
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Old Apr 13, 15, 4:07 pm
  #12  
 
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Originally Posted by Darlox View Post
And oh yeah... I get home to a bag full of laundry soaked in Portuguese Ginja, because the boxed-and-bubble-wrapped bottle, surrounded by laundry on all sides, was broken.
Maybe time to get a hard-sided case to mitigate baggage handler damage? I've had my share of checked baggage issues, so feel the pain.
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Old Apr 13, 15, 4:15 pm
  #13  
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Originally Posted by gobluetwo View Post
Maybe time to get a hard-sided case to mitigate baggage handler damage? I've had my share of checked baggage issues, so feel the pain.
I love my Pelican bag/ case
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Old Apr 13, 15, 4:46 pm
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with threads like this, why doesn't the person who saw it say SOMETHING?!
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Old Apr 13, 15, 5:01 pm
  #15  
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You've got to assume that bags will be dropped, etc., and pack accordingly. I stopped bringing back bottles after a gin-soaking of my bag many years ago.

And it doesn't surprise me that this happened at EWR.
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