When Delta Ruins A Passenger’s Bag, It Becomes The Bonanza Of A Lifetime

Perhaps the two most common airline complaints on twitter are damage to checked luggage, and gate agents making passengers gate check bags only to board the plane and find out that the overhead bins are practically empty.

Scroll an airline’s twitter feed and you’ll find damaged bags almost every day.

Sometimes damaged bags work out in a customer’s favor. If you’re mid-trip the airline may have a replacement bag to offer you at the baggage office, to at least keep you going. They may also be willing to replace the bag, instead of paying out compensation. And maybe they’ll just keep sending you new luggage?

Delta Air Lines promised to replace a customer’s damaged bag and did so – thirteen times.

@gisele_rochefort Thanks Delta! #delta #deltaairlines #interiordesign #ricardobeverlyhills #travel #fypシ ♬ Monkeys Spinning Monkeys – Kevin MacLeod & Kevin The Monkey

Some were large bags, others were smaller bags inside the large bags as part of a set: “Each of the large bags seems to retail between $120 and $200.”

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. What a boring life one must have if one considers this “the bonanza of a lifetime”

  2. Now they can take 12 trips and get their luggage destroyed on each trip and still come out ahead.

  3. Somehow Tim Dunn will come in here and try to explain how Deltas’ refinery gives them an advantage at replacing bags–or something something 772’s bad gas mileage.

  4. I don’t get the people complaining on Twitter about this. Why not just go straight to the baggage desk in the first place – before you even leave the airport? I could see minor damage not being noticed until you get home, but stuff like what’s in the pictures here is obviously going to be noticed as soon as your bag comes out at the claim. While it’s rather rare that my checked luggage has been damaged, I did have a bag that got beat to death on a Southwest flight last year. Just walked straight over to the baggage desk, showed it to them, verified that the contents weren’t damaged (just the bag itself,) and they gave me compensation (which was plenty to replace the bag) immediately. Not difficult stuff.

    Now, if they tried to refuse compensation, then I could certainly see shame-posting them on Twitter about it, but otherwise it serves no useful purpose unless someone just really likes attention that much.

  5. “Delta Air Lines promised to replace a customer’s damaged bag and did so – thirteen times.”
    Delicious that it was Delta. Sometimes the karma bus go fast, sometimes the karma bus goes slow. But it gets there in the end.

  6. The second post – the copper colored bag – is just normal wear and tear that could be expected from any minor conveyor hangup. And OMG, an hour delay? Obviously someone who rarely travels.

    One of my pet peeves is cheap luggage. The polka dot bag looks really cheap – not much needed to break it.

    Briggs & Riley is the only way to go for checked bags for me, unless I dust off the Atlantic Luggage Vaults (with their pre-TSA locks).

  7. Stop buying cheap bags and you over pack them ,it will definitely damage your bag because you have over packed ,I believe the agents take care of the bags because the bags are stocked well .stop blaming Delta and stop over packing

  8. John,
    you’ll have to make the connection between multiple replacement bags and 777 fuel efficiency and the refinery since you, not me, suggested there is one.
    I do appreciate the opportunity to live rent free in your head – which might be more valuable than 13 extra bags.

  9. Damaged bags are much more of a hassle than a bonanza. I had a hard sider banged up by United/Lufthansa. United resisted recognizing it forever. They argued that it should have immediately been reported at Paris, my final destination. Paris CDG has bascially no United staff anywhere near baggage, and the final leg was on Lufthansa. United than claimed it was Lufthansa who should take responsiblity – and on and on!
    I shared a photo which I took at the baggage carousel, which included time and location information, along with a trail of emails sent on the date of arrival. United did finally pay for a replacement based on the actual purchase receipt, which I had kept.
    Not a happy encounter!!

  10. They’ll never take my bag. I will.skip the flight before they take my bag from me. Luckily, i only travel with a small backpack, even on months long trips, so they’ve never tried.

  11. Another post critical of Delta Airlines. As someone who has had a uniformly excellent experience flying Delta domestically and internationally on a regular basis for the over twenty years, I am skeptical of the disproportionately high number of negative stories about the carrier, especially given its consistently high ranking in the industry.

    No airline is immune to the occasional mishap. The fact that Delta attracts more attention than its competitors, even while it has fewer instances warranting negative publicity, is more due to the unfortunate trend in American journalism—if you can call a blog journalism, where strength success are demonized. Pandering to the mob in this instance is no better than the incessant claims that we are a nation founded upon slavery, rampant racism is everywhere, or that one is guilty of murder for the simple act of using fossil fuel or eating meat. These simplistic narratives may gain clicks, but they are lazy and divisive.

  12. @Philip – the post says this happens at literally every airline but handed kudos to Delta for overcompensating the customer, I do not think you read the post that is actually published here

  13. wow.. I get a two story house to boot!

    psst. you don’t think Gary is capable of figuring that kind of stuff out?

  14. Who is @Tim Dunn? No idea.
    The only Tim Dunn I am aware of is a young(ish) over-enthusiastic British TV presenter of a London Underground (subway to Americans) series.
    That Tim Dunn I like a lot!

  15. People complain about damaged bags, but as a former airline worker. People need to be more considerate, you think the cargo bins are spacious? Most of the time employee are on their knees on a bin, so imagine yourself being 6”0 or taller Is super uncomfortable, to then stack a bag that weights 55 lbs or more.

  16. @ Pam, “…imagine yourself being 6”0 or taller Is super uncomfortable…”

    Naaah… they chose that job, so if they can’t do it without taking their frustrations out on OPP, they need to 1) be held accountable, and 2) go elsewhere to work.

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