Last Updated: August 08, 2023, 16:11 IST
Instances of airline passengers going to extraordinary measures to reclaim their lost luggage have become more frequent. This highlights the ongoing concern of airlines mishandling suitcases. These occurrences have spurred a surge in traveller demand for investing in tracking devices in order to safeguard their belongings.
A recent incident shows how a woman recovered a lost bag by using AirTag. Sandra Shuster, a resident from Denver, took the matter into her own hands when her bag seemingly vanished without a trace, and her chosen airline, United, seemed to be sluggish in response, as reported by CNN.
Shuster, along with her 15-year-old daughter Ruby, was returning from a lacrosse tournament in Baltimore, with a layover in Chicago on July 17th. While they carried their clothes as carry-on items, they had checked in another bag containing Ruby’s precious lacrosse equipment. Upon their arrival in Denver after midnight, they were dismayed to find their bag missing from the luggage claim conveyor belt.
In response, United representatives in Denver provided them with a case number and offered reassurance that the bag would be on the 8:30 a.m. flight, arriving from Chicago. Yet, at the specified time, Shuster did not receive any bag or any information about it. She dialled the toll-free number for lost baggage provided by the airline, hoping for a breakthrough.
Despite promises from United, the bag remained out of sight. However, the matter looked suspicious to Shuster when she checked that a tracking device she had purchased earlier, an Apple AirTag, was signalling that the bag was still at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport baggage claim area.
“I told them I could see it at Terminal 1 baggage reclaim in Chicago, and they said ‘We have no record of it.’ I asked them to call Chicago, and they said ‘No, we’re not allowed.’ They said they’d put notes in the system and the baggage team would take care of it,” recounted Shuster while talking to CNN.
A closer look revealed that the tag on her bag’s claim number was mismatched – it belonged to another traveller. This misstep led to the bag being rerouted to the baggage claim area in Chicago instead of being loaded onto the Denver-bound flight.
With Ruby’s valuable lacrosse gear still at large, Shuster took matters into her own hands. She booked a flight to Chicago, which is roughly 1,000 km from Baltimore, and upon arrival, she headed straight to O’Hare’s lost baggage office. There, the bag was handed over to her without much fuss. “It took them 30 seconds to give me my bag,” she told CNN.
Despite finding her lost bag at last, Shuster further said that she had to take a day off from work just to get her bag and was extremely disappointed with the kind of customer services airlines provide at the current time, despite ample technologies and the availability of advanced systems. She wishes that airlines would do better in order to make travelling seamless and worry-free for all.