plane.jpgConsumerist brings us a tragic tale of a man trapped in SF for two weeks with nothing but the clothes on his back.

“On the 16th of May” a man they identify only as “Bryan” tells them “my suit bag was ‘misplaced’ by Delta upon my arrival at San Francisco airport. I have faxed in the missing bag form with confirmation as well as completed the online forms. I have called and left messages and have not received ONE response. [The lost bag contained] 2 suits and 7 shirts worth over $2,000. I’m on a two week business trip here in SF with no clothing.”

Bryan tells Consumerist that Delta’s customer service has blown him off, as has their PR department. Consumerist seems unfazed by his tale, saying he needs to “save (his) energy and stop trying to shame Delta into doing the right thing. An airline losing your luggage is SOP these days.” They advise him to replace his clothes on his own dime and to be prepared to fight Delta for reimbursement.

Jeez, when a consumer advocacy blog tells you to just suck it up, it seems like you’re pretty definitely screwed.

What about you guys, have you ever had luggage problems at SFO? If so, what did you do? Do you have any advice for poor, naked Bryan?

the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at eve@sfappeal.com.

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  • Sarah Fidelibus

    Fortunately, I’ve never had an airline lose my luggage, but Southwest once “delayed” my luggage by putting it on the wrong flight; I got it back the next day, *and* they gave me a $75 voucher. So I was far less inconvenienced than poor Bryan and yet still more than compensated for Southwest’s error.

    Bryan, if you haven’t seen it yet, I recommend you watch the video, “United Breaks Guitars”–if nothing else, it will hopefully give you a laugh:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YGc4zOqozo

    (And maybe time to make your own video–“Delta Stripped Me Nekkid”?)

  • Burgos

    Sarah, thanks for reminding me about this excellent video. I haven’t watched it in a few years, but maybe your suggestion will motivate Bryan to use the power of YouTube to get satisfaction from another company that’s gotten too big for its pants.

  • See me Flyin

    With all due respect that a new poster should offer, the previous responses are the epitome of un-helpfulness. I can’t remember the last time I solved a problem by watching You Tube videos. Caused a few, perhaps, but what kind of solution is that?

    Bryan. I assume you back home with new pants by now. Here’s what you should have spent two weeks doing.

    1. Read your contract with DL. Was it entirely their fault your bag went missing? Were they the last carrier you flew with on that trip? Did you file a claim at baggage service at SFO?

    Good. Read the limits of liability when it comes to baggage re compensation. No matter if you have an empty bag or a bag of gold bars, DL owes you no more than $3,300 total, unless you purchased additional coverage. This is all in an airline’s contract or carriage, and is buried deep in on the website or at the ticket counter.

    2. Locally, an airline will always only be able to update you, or get you a voucher for essentials while the bag is searched for. Everything else is centralized. yelling at the airport is like therapy but gets you nothing. If you couldn’t get a response from a phone line, go to the airport, find their baggage office, and be nice. Give them all your info, contact and all, and wait. Save every receipt, including transportation to and from the airport. wait.

    3. Ask them how long it needs to be “lost” before it is considered “gone” and then make sure you’re compensated for it. 95% of lost bags arrive on the next flight. Very few of the balance are gone forever.

    4. Be nice. Airline reps are industry insiders. They’ll go miles for you, especially the baggage folks if you are calm and cooperative. Think about it, they only get complaints, all day long.