Hell of a Guy
If everything seems under control, you're not going fast enough. - Mario Andretti

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Baggage Wars…


Over the years I have purchased suitcases of many shapes and sizes, and over the years they have enjoyed numerous trips on a wide variety of airlines.  Some even survived that ordeal well, some others not so much.  A horror story follows, so get out the Kleenex.

The past summer The Nancy and I enjoyed a trip to Ireland.  We knew when we booked our Irish vacation we would need to give thought to how in the hell we were going to pack just the right amount of clothing to last the eight days we would be there.  We quickly realized a new luggage purchase would be in our future, so we made a trip to the Samsonite store at a nearby outlet mall where we met Mr. John Q. Salesman, an affable guy, seemingly knowledgeable, sincere and believable.  John talked a good game as we looked at what is supposed to be latest innovation in lightweight, low-cost, nearly indestructible luggage.  The bag was the type on rollers that can be pushed or pulled, and was of a size we could fit all our stuff in and still weigh less than the 50lb limit. 

My only concern of this bag was the material it is made of, it seemed to be flimsy – it had a lot of give to it, and looked like something might puncture it easily.  I worried how it might hold up under the “care” airline baggage handlers routinely dole out, which basically is no care whatsoever.  John either did not know, did not care or just lied like a politician, but to top off his sales presentation told us the bag had a warranty covering materials and workmanship.  We bought two of them.

Fast forward to October 11, 2012; these bags take a trip to Phoenix so The Nancy and I can attend a conference.  We arrived at the Phoenix airport about 7:30 local time (10:30 eastern), tired and hungry.  I retrieve the bags from the carousel and notice one of the indestructible bags has a huge split on one of the corners and a long crack on another.  I am pissed…but tired and hungry as previously noted.  We left the airport with me figuring I would file a complaint with the airline as we checked in for the return.  I screwed up, which The Nancy has only reminded me of fifty or sixty times.  I was told I had just four hours to report the damage.  What to do, what to do?


I complained to US Airways via their website.  I got a very nice email back with some forms attached apologizing for the damages and asking me to provide details and make a claim.  I did.  I followed the instructions in their request.  I assembled all the information, took photos of the damage, and even made a short video of it.  I explained to them I could have claimed this damage took place on the return flight, but my integrity would not allow me to lie. I was encouraged US Airways might take pity on this old senior citizen living on a fixed income. I faxed the information to US Airways on November 30th, and within about 10 minutes…count them 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10… got a reply letting me know I hadn’t filed this complaint within four hour time limit after discovering the damage and therefore US Airways was turning down my claim but hoped I would continue on as a loyal customer.  I then counted to 10 before dropping them another email expressing my displeasure in using “guy words.”

The second part of this goes something on the order of a request to Samsonite to replace the bag.  Not so fast, Zoo Breath!  Samsonite tells me the warranty I have does cover materials and workmanship but, get this, but not airline damage.

It appears both US Airways and Samsonite had a form of sex with me.  I just have to ask, where is the love?

And that is all I to say about that…