Directly From Me to You, Get Your Popcorn and Soda And Your Spare Underware:American Airlines Baggage Mess – iReport.com

Posted on July 31, 2008. Filed under: Travel, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Howdy air traveler another day in the life of your travel these days. Below is what I left as a comment on the USA Today article on this problem. Enjoy! (This awesome video is at the bottom of this page and the guy did a great job narrating for you.)

(A short disclaimer on this video: Although American Airlines is the airline in the spotlight for this major problem, I want to let you know as I have written this in my book as well that it is quite common for the “Airport Authority” to own the baggage moving equipment and not the airline. In many airports the airlines lease this from the airport in their monthly fees. I am not sure if this is the case with AA at JFK or not. The airlines like their customers end up paying the price for something that is out of their control.)

My friend sent me a video of this luggage mess last night that a passenger took at JFK. She knew I would be interested since I am the author of The Empty Carousel a Consumer’s Guide to Checked and Carry-on Luggage and a former system manager for baggage services and veteran with the airlines for almost 20 years.
See folks you do not need weather or even natural disasters to cause this kind of chaos for the air traveler and your luggage. It’s what the airlines are not telling their customers who have faith that if they leave and go ahead to their destination without their luggage, chances are exceptionally high that the customer will not see their luggage on the next flight or even the next day!! This happened not so long ago in Orlando and many thousands of bags did not travel with their customers either, I was there and saw the mess that outdated baggage equipment can cause and does cause every day around the country.

What you have now is a logistical nightmare when there are this many bags that have to be processed by airline workers at one time. Once you identify a bag and its destination or “When” you have to get it on the correct flight and the agents on the other end at your destination have to then process the bag, set up delivery with usually a private company which operates on their own schedule and availability for delivery of bags.

Now lets say the customer is traveling with an old name tag on their luggage (believe me this happens all the time) Now the airline is trying to process a bag for a person that may not exist with old contact information. What about the bags that are tagged with the wrong bag tag and goes to another destination than the owner of the bag.

Airlines have limited staff to handle this mess. I have seen this kind of mess happen from one snow storm and it usually takes a week to process all the bags for all the customers and still you end up with bags that you cannot find owners to.

This is just a small sample of what can and will go wrong for many of these travelers who leave without their luggage. I am also pretty sure the airline is not telling their customer what they are entitled to when luggage goes missing. A false promise of a bag arriving on the next flight or the next day during this kind of mess is not a good thing and I would hope the customers are being told EVERYTHING they need to know by the airline but then I am an optimist and I know how things usually end up for the unsuspecting traveler.

What the airlines should do that charge fees for checked luggage is simple. By refunding the new fee for every bag mishandled that was charged a fee would take HUGE chunks of potential profits out of the airline’s revenue and would force airline executives to place increased emphasis on improving their luggage handling performance. But the airlines have made the bold comment that even if they mishandle your luggage, they will NOT refund the new checked baggage fee!

To me that is an unbelievable statement to make when luggage handling has been on the decline for many years in a row and as Congress said in 2006 when they addressed the increasing problems of mishandled luggage with the ATA (Air Transportation Association) Congress concluded “we are sympathetic to the problem but it is clear that there is no help on the way.”

And that folks is why I wrote my book for you the air travelers. I would love travelers who are directly impacted by this to contact me through my website so I can hear their story and possibly add it to my website so others can hear their experience. I will not stop working until you the traveler leave and arrive with your luggage in hand, intact, with all the contents you packed! Safe travels to you always.

Scott T. Mueller
Author The Empty Carousel a Consumer’s Guide to Checked and Carry-on Luggage

 

www.TheEmptyCarousel.com

Scott@TheEmptyCarousel.com

 

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Don’t Pack it….Just released from the TSA, Can you afford to lose it?

Posted on April 11, 2008. Filed under: Travel, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

This is my damaged bag, what would you do if it were your bag?A special report just released in 2008 from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) reveals that in a three-year period nearly 42,000 travelers have reported items as lost from their luggage at an estimated value of more than $31 Million. We are not talking lost for a couple of days. We are talking lost for good!! Listed as MIA are medicine, clothing, fine jewelry, laptops, perfume and even cell phones. (Keep in mind that these numbers do not necessarily reflect reports of missing items directly reported to the Air Carriers) The Empty Carousel will teach you how to avoid becoming one of these statistics.

Now I have had folks file claims for “alleged” stolen items out of their bags such as: shirts, shorts, shoes, pants, breast pumps (Yeah that is what I said) dirty underwear, fake boobs used in stage theater for an actress, cameras, keys, marijuana (Yeah that is what I said) People have claimed that their illegal drugs were stolen, medication (legal, that is) wallets, make-up, jewelery and the list goes on and on……..

The question you need to ask yourself is, do you know what items mentioned above would be covered and paid for by the airlines if it was taken from your luggage?

Even of the airline pays your claim, do you really think they pay full value back to you? Folks don’t end up being another victim of theft, know what you can do, ask me here or through my website www.TheEmptyCarousel.com and I will be happy to offer you my expert advise for free.

The problems with your luggage when you travel is getting worse by the day and by the year. It is time to turn the tide of this growing problem and I can help you to do that, it all starts with you becoming a savvy traveler.  More blogs and more interesting stories will be coming so sign up to get this blog and share what you learn or take from it with your friends and family, together we can make a difference. Safe travels to you always.

Scott T. Mueller

Author The Empty Carousel a Consumer’s Guide to Checked and Carry-on Luggage

 

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When you pack your luggage, do you know what your doing? This elderly woman did not have a clue she packed her husband and his dog….

Posted on April 10, 2008. Filed under: Travel, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Information for today\'s air travel consumerWhile working as an airline baggage service manager, I received a call one day from a woman who said her bag was lost, that is not uncommon these days as many of you know.  She was frantic, so I did what I did best, used empathy (sincerely) and listened to what her itinerary was etc. From Maine on airline “A” then connecting to another airline “B” of which the two are not associated you see.  But carrier “B” being the final carrier accepts responsibility even though when the dust settled, airline “A” created all the problems to begin with.

So I listened to this nice elderly lady and then told her that everything would be ok and if the bag was not found in 30 days from the date of loss, I would buy her a new bag and replace the contents that would be covered by my airline’s “Contract of Carriage” (Do you know what this is?) And of course, items that are not covered certainly would pertain to what she had packed in her luggage in this case……………. Yes, you already have the clue from the tag line.

Unknowingly, she had packed her husbands remains and that of his favorite dog to take to their vacation home and sprinkle his and doggies remains together per his dying wish and a good wish.

She thought anything would be safe in her checked luggage, even her beloved husband and doggies ashes.  So I offered her my home phone number to call me when ever she needed to while I did my best to locate the checked bag that mysteriously disappeared.  She continued calling and crying and of course her distraught sons one who is a reporter and the other an attorney were preparing to put my company out of business.

I did all I could to find her beloved loved ones but to no avail.  Finally 30 days later, airline “A” called my customer at home and told her “Are you missing a bag” Oh my!! yes with tears streaming down her eyes so plans were made to express mail her loved ones to her where she lived.

That was the happy part of this story, although tragedy was avoided, elderly customer called me to chew me a new back side and told me I did nothing to find her bag and loved ones because airline “A” had the bag for 30 days.  Here in lies the problem, since it came to be that airline “A” never entered her bag into the world wide lost luggage computer system that most airlines use, nor did they use the ID tag she had on the bag with her name, address, and phone number until 30 days later!  You may also be asking why the lost luggage store in Alabama stocks its shelves with 7000 of your lost luggage items every day for resale.

You see, when bags are delayed, lost, damaged, or pilfered, it does help to understand the process and your rights, what a Contract of Carriage is and what it covers.  Allow me to help you with my new book on this topic specifically written to turn the tide of this growing problem. Go on and check it out plus I will offer you free consulting through my website or here. Safe travels to you always.

Scott T. Mueller

Author The Empty Carousel a Consumer’s Guide to Checked and Carry-on Luggage

www.TheEmptyCarousel.com

 

 

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Breaking News, Airlines are charging you to mishandle your luggage

Posted on April 10, 2008. Filed under: Travel, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Dear Air Travel Consumer, not that things are getting any better with your checked and carry-on luggage, released today in the Washington Post, airline luggage mishandles are up 8 percent in 2007 from 2006, that is 4.4 million bags mishandled in 2007, that is up from 2006, 2005, 2004………. You get the idea and it is not going to get any better.

United Airlines started charging for a second bag to check for 25.00, since then these carriers have followed on their heals, US Airways, Continental, Northwest, and Delta, don’t think it will end there, I would expect to see most carriers following suit very soon.

The airlines made a bold statement “Airline representatives said they would not refund that charge if the bags are mishandled” Not only do you have mishandled bags but now you are paying for the lack of service, frustration, lost time, lost money, etc.

The only option you have is to understand the system, know what you can do to take back some control, and what to do and what your entitled to if you and your luggage don’t arrive to your destination at the same time.  I wrote a book on this exact topic because I know the only way to turn the tide in this growing problem is to offer you my inside knowledge as a veteran of the airline industry and former System Baggage Service Manager for more than 50 cities.  I am also available through my website to offer you free advice as I am here.

I will act as your luggage consultant for free to help you avoid becoming another statistic and what to do if you are another statistic. Lets start our own grass roots movement to turn the tide in your favor. Hope to hear from you soon.

Scott T. Mueller

Author The Empty Carousel a Consumer’s Guide to Checked and Carry-on Luggage

ISBN: 978-0-9791209-0-9

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What are your legal rights when you travel by air?

Posted on April 8, 2008. Filed under: Travel, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Air travel consumers, did you know that when you purchase a ticket for traveleing, you are now bound by the airlines “Contract of Carriage” Do you know what information the Contract of Carriage contains regarding your legal rights for delays, cancellations, mishandled baggage, bumping and so much more? Do you know where to find an airlines Contract of Carriage? Give me a shout and I can help advise you. As the author of a new book The Empty Carousel a Consumer’s Guide to Checked and Carry-on Luggage, I will offer you education to protect you and your property when you travel.

Just released yesterday, airline complaints have increased 60% in 2007 over 2006! One third of those complaints were about your luggage. How can I help you?

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Air Travel Consumer Take back your control of your luggage

Posted on April 7, 2008. Filed under: Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

As reported by the New York Times last November 2007 which stated that 5 million travelers last year would have stood at an empty baggage carousel scratching their heads at the end of your travel. How many of you felt this gut wrenching experience and what did it cost you in lost time, vacation time, business time, money, or?

As an author on this topic, an expert and veteran of the airline industry, I am trying to turn the tide of this rapidly growing problem and I would like to hear from you and how my expertise with the luggage process can help you and those you know.  

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