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An angry passenger posted on Reddit that Delta Air Lines and Air France destroyed his checked bag and returned it with everything missing … including the sides of the bag. The photo (embedded below) was both shocking and hilarious.
Before I give my advice for preventing this from happening to you, here are some of the funniest comments left on both Reddit and Twitter:
“Was that thing hanging out of the plane for the whole flight?” ~ Frankbamas
“That’ll buff right out” ~ popstrippn
“Bag got ruined on the way to the ruins” ~ Alex Oha
“At least the baggage arrives on time!” ~ @JosefinoBernal1
“If you’re a Diamond you should just keep rechecking this bag as your 3rd piece of luggage and see how many sky miles you can collect” ~ cinemec
The person who posted the photo goes by Time_Wall1561 on Reddit. He wrote quite a few comments and trying to piece things together, it looks like he was traveling from the U.S. to Athens via Paris. He wrote “Air France operated by Delta,” so I’m guessing he flew Delta to Paris and then switched to Air France since Delta doesn’t fly between Paris and Athens.
I’m guessing he flew from Seattle since he said he’s “6100 miles away from home with one pair of underwear for 30 days.” Delta has a nonstop flight from Seattle to Paris and the distance from SEA to Athens according to the Great Circle Mapper is 6,196 miles.
It looks like he didn’t get his bag back when he arrived. He wrote that the bag was three days late and he had to go back to the airport. He also said: “Was for the first two days, they thought it was trash and tossed it to the side.”
He did say, “They gave me a new nice bag” and that he’s “Saving all receipts though hopefully for reimbursement.”
That’s smart. One thing you have to do after an airline loses your bag is immediately file a lost baggage report. I interviewed an expert for my podcast and he said, “Don’t leave the airport without a handwritten or a printed-out report with an actual number on it.” You have to insist on having a file reference number.
Time_Wall1561 seems like he has a sense of humor. “I was in the lost missing bag lane, I had others worried and some crying after they saw me waving my bag around,” he said.
A reader asked him, “Did you check a duffel bag? With automatic sortation, I wouldn’t trust anything that wasn’t designed as stow luggage. That bag is as thick as a rain jacket.”
Time_Wall1561 said: “That strap was strapped down, what you are not seeing is half the bag that was torn off, there was more to the strap system. It was strapped down firmly and tight to the bag.”
I’ve checked a duffle bag dozens if not hundreds of times, although I use a leather duffel bag that’s stronger and sturdier than something made from fabric. The trick is to take the strap off and put it inside your bag. But one reader on Reddit didn’t think it got stuck in the conveyor belt. SplendidSavage wrote: “Undoubtedly, the bag was in a conveyance being driven by a Transfer Driver. Driver probably hit the same bump he/she hits everyday only this time this particular bag fell out and was dragged long enough to destroy it in its entirety. Once found, the bag was probably returned to a ReRoute office agent who is still under obligation to return what is left to OP, applied a new expedite bagtag and sent it on. Scanned as is on to the aircraft because passengers will check absolutely anything and everything when traveling so one destroyed bag may give those loading a momentary pause but they aren’t paid to question why it’s checked; they’re paid to labor. And eventually the bag made its way to OP.”
I think that’s logical so my advice to prevent this from happening to you is:
1. Don’t check a bag.
2. If you do check a bag, make sure it’s durable and can handle being run over by a baggage cart.
3. If you’re checking a duffle bag, make sure it’s tough and take all the straps off.
I think Time_Wall1561 has learned from his mistake as he wrote to a commenter who was worried about checking her bag, “Just get hard shell bags and an airtag.”
Has an airline every destroyed your bag? If yes, leave the details below and let us know if they reimbursed you.
–Airline Executive’s Number One Tip For Avoiding Lost Luggage When You Fly
–Don’t Let the Airlines Lose Your Bag – Ship Them Instead
–8 Ways To Make Sure An Airline Doesn’t Lose Your Bag … And That You Don’t Get Robbed or Stalked
–Airline Lost Your Luggage? Do This If You Want to Get Compensated
–Why Frequent Fliers Use Apple AirTags or Samsung SmartTags When They Travel
–An Airline Executive’s Number One Tip for Avoiding Lost Luggage When You Fly