So you’re boarding your flight having arrived in plenty of time to get through security, visit the lounge, and walk unhurriedly to your gate in time for your zone when you’re presented with one of those lovely pink tags and instructed to leave your carry-on to be checked plane side and go to the last row on a CRJ. Have you ever felt slightly uncertain about this process? Ever wondered what to do if, on arriving, your plane side checked bag fails to appear when you went to collect it?
On a recent flight from MSP I was somewhat amused to hear on the way to the gate over the PA repeated again and again for a passenger to return to her arriving gate, and then to observe said frantic woman huffing and puffing after having taken the wrong pink tagged bag. Yes she had to run back to that gate to return the five finger discount pilfered bag in exchange for hers, and then run back to her departure gate in time for the flight. It made me think, and thus today’s post.
I have talked a lot about luggage and have two posts listed for you in the “Essentials” tab above. While some may plan to plane side check a bag as a means of avoiding bag fees, many other times this practice is not the preference of the passenger but due to overhead bins already filled or change of aircraft resulting in space too small to accommodate the bag. Obviously if you brought these items in the bag with you on-board, you’d prefer to keep them with you as you travel. What are your rights if the airline loses or damages it? Or what if it just walks off with another passenger? Well now that I’ve got you worried, don’t be. It is in fact covered in Delta’s contract of carriage on page 40. If you have a smartphone, this pdf is a good thing to download into your phone for handy reference for not just this but other situations.
In checking into this I found several complaints from passengers who had plane side checked a bag and subsequently had it go missing in action in a variety of circumstances. Several encountered denial of responsibility by Delta since the flights were operated by Delta connection carriers. In the end, even if you were on a regional jet carrier like Comair, they all point you to Delta.com and the official contract of carriage. So ultimately Delta will be the one liable if the bag is lost.
We need to know the rules. Follow the TopTips ahead of time to protect yourself, and make sure you grab the right pink tagged bag! In fact, why not tell us all if this has ever happened to you, or, if you are brave, have you ever grabbed the wrong bag plane-side? Any answer will work for a chance to win the SDHC Micro 8GB card for your phone or digital camera – René
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