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08 November 2009

Soldier on TDY Leaves Keys in Checked Bag

This complaint was sent in by Tamara in early November 2009, but the lessons here are timeless:

The airline did not have my bag when I came back from a military TDY trip. I explained to them at the desk that all of my car and house keys were in that bag and I needed it, and would have no way to go get it. They told me that they would bring it to me. They said they had another flight coming in this morning and would make sure my bag was on it. They took down my address and number and said they'd call me before heading out to bring me my bag. Then today when I called they said they wouldn't bring it to me because I was outside of Manhattan city limits, and that if I wanted it I could either pay for a cab myself or they could FEDEX it to me, but they would not be paying for expedited shipping and it would not be going out until Monday.

I'm Active duty Army, just returned from a mission and Great Lakes will not drive 15 miles to bring me my bag with my car keys and mission essential items. I do not have $100 to spend on cab fare. Responds
If you fly often enough with checked bags, eventually you will have one lost, delayed, or stolen, so prepare for that possibility when you pack. recommends that some things should never go in checked luggage, and should always stay with you in a carry-on bag. The kinds of things you should not put in checked bags include medicine, computers, electronic files, legal documents; credit cards, checks, or other financial documents; cash, jewelry, keys, and items of great sentimental value.

As for the airline rules on returning bags, remember that each airline has their own rules for returning bags, and those rules will often depend on what resources the airline has at your destination airport. Unfortunately, you usually don't find out what rules will apply to you until you have a lost bag.

For more advice, check out the following pages:
Baggage Basics for Checked and Carry-on Items
Carry-on Baggage Advice
Top 10 Baggage Tips
Top Ten Tips for Dealing with Security

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