I Survived the Christchurch Earthquake and My Airline does not Give a Damn

Posted on March 2, 2011. Filed under: Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The letter pasted below was sent to me from a Delta Airline Customer who literally survived the Christchurch earthquake in New Zealand and was lucky enough to get out of the crumbled place she was staying only to fly Delta on a portion of her trip back to Atlanta from Los Angeles and Delta lost her luggage! Read her story below and share it with your friends, family and business associates.   Folks it is time to stand up and demand to be treated with respect and excellent customer service. The airlines since charging you to check your luggage have created a new multi billion dollar revenue generator at the further expense of their customers. The airlines charge you for your luggage then lose it, damage it or? and they don’t even refund the money you paid because the airlines recently stated they do not promise to deliver your luggage on time or even with you! Read on,  get outraged and take a stand!

 

DELTA COMPLAINT FILED 02/28/11 on their form …

I was on Delta flight on February 26, 2011 from LAX to ATL. My luggage is missing (and last night someone else’s bag was brought to give me … but “not mine” so I told the courier to take it back to Delta.  Today I check and see that the online baggage site still shows Delta as having found my luggage and being in process of getting it to me (which was the wrong bag last night).  Please update this on the site!

My flight originated in Christchurch where I had survived the earthquake … but the house where I was didn’t make it so I had to stay with someone I didn’t know until the airport opened and I was able to get out.  We had no water, sewer (but glad I didn’t go to the shelter where they were making tourists leave on Air Force flights to Wellington and Auckland).

So now despite surviving  all of that, a simple thing such as finding my luggage seems insignificant.  That’s not why I’m writing.  I just want to let you know that a little customer service (meaning the person you talk to demonstrates an attitude of interest … not blank/disinterested and that YOU are the one that needs to figure out what to do).  And I’m trying.

I have called twice to let them know I still need to be listed on the online page … as missing my piece of luggage.  The individuals I’ve spoken with say there’s nothing they can do (but both times they offered – and did – leave messages for the Atlanta baggage claim office to call me).  The first Delta person I talked to said the people there said they were busy but would call me in about an hour or so. When over five hours went by .. and no called still … I called my SkyMiles customer service and she also gave the Atlanta baggage claims office a call … but no one answered.  She said she left them again a message for them to call me.

It’s now been over 24 hours … and still no one has called me!

Please see baggage claim ATLDL#####.

Had Atlanta baggage folk simply checked the barcode on the bag they shipped me (or taken the time to notice the name tag wasn’t my name … and maybe that would have gotten them to check barcode) then THAT customers would by now have their bag.

What happens to my claim … that I can’t get anyone to change … as certainly the site now continues to list my bag as located .. and in process of being delivered.  IT IS NOT!

With the attitude demonstrated by the Atlanta Baggage Claim personnel … it will be no surprise they find it easier to just send bags to the unclaimed pile … without making the little bit of extra effort that sometimes is required to take GOOD care of Delta’s customers.

I love it that you end by asking (below) do you want a reply?  How about someone seeing how well (or how poorly) your baggage claims works for me?  It would tell you a lot of issues that might provide benefit from some attention by Corporate staff.  I don’t know what the problem is … but there is a lack of interest in the customer service attitudes demonstrated by baggage claim personnel in Atlanta during my last two experiences (earlier one was during the ice storm).

Could I suggest you send someone in to have a first hand experience … as this is Delta’s problem to figure out.  I’m just going to sit back now and see if you ever produce my lost luggage.

 

If your not outraged at reading this letter then I can’t help you. Lets put Delta and all the airlines in the spot light until they treat us and our luggage the way we deserve to be treated!

 

Scott T. Mueller

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

http://www.TheEmptyCarousel.com

 

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Where is the security for your luggage at the carousel?

Posted on April 17, 2008. Filed under: Travel, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Air travelers, a lot has changed since 9/11.  Do you remember some airports before 9/11 had those “security” people who checked your luggage claim checks against the bags you were taking with you? Where are they now? Who is watching out for your luggage until you claim it at the carousel?

The answer is NOONE is watching out for your luggage anymore or anywhere that I have heard of!! This means your bags are at risk until you pick them up yourself………. Why you ask? and what should you do? Allow me to offer some expert advise and clarification of what changed and why.

First of all, the airlines paid for the security companies that checked baggage checks against your luggage. After 9/11 the government abolished privotized security companies.

Two things came into play in 2001, the crash of the tech market and the terrorist attacks against our nation and the commercial airlines.  The airlines were already suffering financially due to the loss of a great deal of business travelers from the tech market crash. Business travelers are the bread and butter to the airlines because they pay the last minute higher priced air fare. Second was the entire nations aviation was halted for the first time in our nations history for 3 days before the first flight resumed.

Costs had to be evaluated and money had to be saved now. One of the first things to go was the baggage ID checkers. Then many airline employees lost their jobs as well due to reductions in force (RIF)

Baggage could stand on its own. Also the luggage security people did not exist at all airports nationwide. Many baggage claim areas at many airports did not have the design to coral so many travelers in a baggage area becuase there also had to be appropriate fire exits etc. There were certain safety criteria that had to be in place for the coral system to effectively work.

There was one airport that had security inspectors in place and a theft ring evloved within the baggage check ID inspectors and they were targeting golf clubs.

I highly doubt you will see this type of security return as airlines are focused mainly on their two highest costs, fuel and labor. And that is why you have to take control and responsiblity for your luggage when you travel. Noone has your best interest at hand with your luggage except you.

What can you do to protect yourself?

  • Don’t pack anything you cannot afford to lose, live without, or seal the deal without it!
  • When you exit the aircraft, make a mad dash to the baggage carousel.
  • If you have to make a restroom stop, do it quickly and preferably once you arrive to the baggage carousel, or take turns if you are with your family, group, or travel companion.
  • Most off-loads of baggage take about 20-25 minutes to arrive to the baggage carousel depending on how many passengers and bags are on your flight will determine more or less time as will the size of the airport and distance from the gate to the terminal.  Small airports take less time to get your bags to the carousel than larger airports will.
  • Mark your luggage so it stands out from the crowd, secure ribbons, colored tape etc. to help you identify it quickly.
  • Stand at the beginning area of the baggage carousel where the bags come out so your luggage does not get caught up traveling around the carousel where others may get to it before you do.
  • If you have an oversize bag such as golf clubs, bikes, surfboards, or other such oversized checked items, ask your airline representative where you can retrieve your item as in most cases a different location for delivery of your item will bu used to drop the items than the carousel where regular sized bags are off-loaded.
  • DO NOT stop to eat, have a meeting, wait for a friend to arrive on their flight, shop, get coffee etc.
  • Hesitation on your part leaves an open opportunity to would be petty thieves to roll off with your luggage and personal property.
  • Maintain vigilance at all times while waiting for your luggage to arrive.
  • When you have your luggage, do not leave it unattended or turn your back on it.  I did that once when I had the old heavy camcorder in the large metal case and set it at my feet then turned my back to it without thinking in a small airport, when I turned around, it was gone, stolen while just inches away from me while I had my back turned. Don’t let it happen to you.

Doing these things will certainly enhance your luggage safety at the carousel. You can read more about these valauble tips and more information you should know when you travel at www.TheEmptyCarousel.com

Safe and happy travels where ever they take you and remember you can always post a comment here or at the website listed above. My advice is always free through these venues and by educating youself on what you can do to protect your property and understanding the entire baggage process will not only benefit you but the entire system of air travel and all parties involved.

Scott T. Mueller

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

www.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…. « Airtravelluggageconsultant Weblog

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

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…. « Airtravelluggageconsultant Weblog

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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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