Archive for May, 2008
Air Travelers, Summer is Upon us. What Should You Safely Pack in Your Checked or Carry-on Luggage For Your Long Awaited Vacation? An Excerpt From Chapter 2 of My Book The Empty Carousel Will Guide You!
Howdy fellow air travelers and vacationers who no doubt will be heading out to warm destinations especially after the brutal winter and severe weather many of you have experienced this past Winter and Spring. First I would like to take a moment to think of all the people who have suffered losses during these terrible spring storms recently in the U.S. not to mention the devastating events which have recently happened over seas. You and they are all in my thoughts and prayers as I sit and face another uncertain hurricane season here in what is now sunny hot, fire stricken with more losses of property happening as I write this. WOW what is going on in the world? I guess some idiots thought it would be funny and caused these fires in Florida that have already claimed more than 100 homes and forced so many into an uncertain future with losses that cannot be replaced.
As mentioned above in this blog’s title, what do the airlines and TSA cover in your checked or carry-on luggage in the event your luggage suffers, loss, damage, or pilferage when you travel this summer? Well the easiest way to answer this question for you is to list all or most of the items as listed in the airline’s Contract of Carriage which states what they do not cover which is certainly more than what they do cover. The problem is by the time you travel, you have not seen this information and most have no idea of the mistakes they are making when packing their luggage.
As the airlines state: The following is a list of what airlines will not cover in checked luggage with or without the knowledge of the airline. Carry-on luggage is considered in the possession of the owner so airlines will not cover any of these listed contents in your carry-on luggage either. Even if they force you to check your carry-on bag due to lack of overhead storage space in the aircraft cabin, your carry-on bag is now subject to the same rules as if you checked your bag at the counter.
- irreplaceable items
- One-of-a-kind items
- Negotiable papers
- Precious Metals
- Business documents
- Software and electronically stored data
- Artifacts and antiques
- Paintings and other works of art
- Photographic and electronic equipment (which includes PDA’s computers, camcorders, and digital cameras)
- Fragile articles
- And other similar valuable items and commercial effects.
As a summary of the items listed above, the only items generally covered to any extent in your luggage is clothing, toiletries, cosmetics, linens such as towels, sheets, pillow covers. If you have a doubt and are thinking about packing something, I would suggest carrying it on or checking with me or your airline before you do check the item.
Expect another very busy summer travel season which will no less suffer more of the same problems from the past summer i.e. delays, weather, cancellations, crowded flights, and more. Plan for the worst and hope for the best. You can always email me for free advice through my website at any time and I will do my best to help you http://TheEmptyCarousel.com This is just a small part of the information my book will provide you to help you make sense of this system of unknown obstacles for you and your luggage.
Also remember that the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) adopted from the airlines pretty much the same rules covering what they will pay you for lost, stolen, or damaged items in your luggage as well.
One thing to keep in perspective is my recent blog regarding TSA theft and the report that they released recently stating that over 42,000 travelers in the last 3 years reported items missing from their luggage at a cost exceeding 30 million dollars. TSA calls this a small number of travelers opposed to the number of bags they process each year. Let me ask you this, since most of the items claimed as missing forever are not covered by the TSA or airlines, who do you think had to replace the missing items valued at over 30 million dollars????? Your right if you guested the air traveler who suffered the loss. With Fuel and food costs skyrocketing out of control, how much more unnecessary financial woes are you willing to accept in your life?
If the TSA had to repay the 30 million dollars plus cost of the alleged missing items out of their pockets, I highly doubt they would be calling this report insignificant or small!!
One of your losses is too many for me.
I hope you find this helpful and please pass this along to your friends, families, co-workers and anyone who you think would benefit from this post.
Happy travels to you and yours and may your luggage always arrive with you and intact.
Author The Empty Carousel a Consumer’s Guide to Checked and Carry-on LuggageRead Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )
Theft of Your Luggage at the Baggage Carousel! See This Video for Yourself on This Topic from CW 11 News “Fact Finders” Report with Emmy Award Winning Reporter Peter Thorne’s Interview With Me
Air Travelers, you have seen my blog on “Security of Your Luggage at the Baggage Carousel” now see for yourself what reporter Peter Thorne found regarding your property being at risk. I commend Peter and the entire gang at CW 11 News for bringing this story to your attention; they did a great job on this report because it matters to you. Thanks CW 11 News in NY and Peter!!
Here is the link and please do pass this along to your friends, business colleagues, and family so everyone is aware of this problem. Why the airlines do not want to talk about this is amazing to me, after all when your bag is stolen, the airlines pay your claim minus depreciation of the value of your contents of the bag if they even cover everything you had in your bag! Who pays the ultimate price? You do. Click on the story with the roller bag and Enjoy.
Best Travels to you,
Scott T. Mueller
Author The Empty Carousel a Consumer’s Guide to Checked and Carry-on LuggageRead Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
Almost 5 Million Travelers Stood Facing an Empty Baggage Carousel in 2007, Imagine The Entire City of Los Angeles Deserted!
Putting this problem into perspective for you; 5 Million people is more than the entire city limit population of Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Antonio, Dallas, and San Jose (Not total of all cities combined but populations of each city listed according to the U.S. Census Bureau is less than number of travelers affected by mishandled luggage in 2007).
Imagine those cities completely vacant; where did all the people go, where is Oprah? (Well Oprah probably does not fly commercial airlines so we won’t count her) But all the other equally important people in these cities are at the airport looking for their missing luggage and filing lost luggage claims and suffering this major inconvenience!
Why do bags go missing you might ask? Are you at risk? Absolutely!! Let me explain.
Bags are lost for due to many different reasons and not because some distracted baggage handler makes a mistake, the scope is so much larger than that and the following bullet points will explain what can happen to cause your luggage to go missing:
- Agent error in tagging your luggage.
- Skycap errors in tagging your luggage.
- Not tipping a skycap has purposefully caused your bags to not make your flight.
- Inadequate airport baggage conveyor systems that can no longer handle the masses of luggage being moved these days. Example witnessed by myself, Orlando, FL International Airport and its baggage system was designed to process approximately 22 million travelers a year and now moves 250,000 bags per day, or about 92 million bags per year and the systems cannot handle it and break down constantly. Unless millions of dollars in upgrades and redesigns are done, the problem will grow worse before it gets better and this means your bags become more likely to be in this mess and you will suffer for it.
- Baggage handler error and loading your bag on the Columbus OH, cart instead of your destination in NY.
- How about an entire cart of bags missing the intended flight! It happens every day around this country and the world. The U.S. is not the only problem area in this world of travel these days.
- Weather can cause mishandled luggage, aircraft down grades in equipment (going from a large aircraft to a smaller available aircraft.)
- Cancelled flights
- Aircraft swaps, when you are ready to get on one airplane and then the gate changes to another aircraft and gate.
- Commuter flights or regional jets have extreme weight and balance issues and many times bags are bumped to accommodate passengers and the you have no control over whether your bag is one of the bags taken off to accommodate another passenger. Your bag will not follow you until another airplane can carry your bag to reunite with you. This problem is growing as more carriers are looking to replace large jets in certain markets to maintain cost effective.
- Weather can play a major role in whether your luggage makes it with you or not because of the complications it can cause for an airline.
- TSA has also added to the problem, short staffing will delay the processing of your bags even if you arrive to the airport on time and your bag can and will miss your flight.
- How about this reality, you the traveler cause problems for your self and your fellow travelers by taking the wrong bag with you off the baggage carousel! I have had customers contact their attorney to file a law suit against the person who took their bag by mistake and held it hostage until the airlines footed the bill to pick up the mistaken bag and deliver the passenger’s bag who was at fault. Then the airline has to get the bag and pay for delivery to the customer who innocent in all this and it is not the airlines doing but your mistake. This is not rare folks, it happens every week and every day in this country.
- How about theft at the baggage carousel? The airlines do not tell you about this but I will in my next blog and I will let you see for yourself what the news media discovered and why they came to me!!
- There are more reasons why your luggage goes missing but I think you have an idea now.
Everyone thinks the know what to do with their luggage when they travel until I start to talk to them and then they are amazed and fascinated at what they don’t know. The Empty Carousel a Consumer’s Guide to Checked and Carry-on Luggage will provide all the answers you need to make your travel experience the best it can be. http://theemptycarousel.comThe website will be redone soon with more features and more informative information. Please take time to look through the website as there are links to help you see which airline is working the hardest for your luggage to be with you when you arrive and on the downside, the airlines who you have the most to worry about with regards to your luggage.
As always best travels to you and your bags, may you both arrive together where ever you may be going.
Scott T. Mueller
Author The Empty Carousel a Consumer’s Guide to Checked and Carry-on Luggage
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