Lost carry on baggage on American Airlines flight

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Jun 4, 2018
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#1
Hi,
Most of the lost baggage complaints are for checked-in-baggage. However, on a recent American Airlines(AA) flight from Washington DC to Detroit, I lost my carry on baggage. I placed it the bin right above my seat. Thereafter, the flight attendants came in and helped other people with their carry-on baggage. In the process, they might have moved my bag. I had a window seat and therefore was last in my row to come out to check on my baggage. When I came out of my seat, I did not find my bag in the overhead bins. I do not know whether the flight attendants displaced it, or someone else took it.
As I was returning from a job interview I had my best clothes, shoes, suit etc in the bag and the loss was significant.

Hoping to get back my luggage I went to the baggage claim department and waited there fore some time in case someone returns it assuming it was mistakenly taken by another traveler in the same flight. That did not happen. Eventually I filed a complaint with the american airlines baggage claim and waited for them to search for my bag. Also, this was in February and I had lost my winter jacket with my bag, so I had to experience the full wrath of Michigan winter when I came out as I was only left with the one full sleeves t-shirt I was wearing.

Almost a month passed by and I did not hear back from them. Then the baggage claim department suggested me to fill up the extensive passenger property questionnaire. I completed it and sent it to american airline baggage claims on paper and and also over an email.

Another month passed by and they contacted me to tell me that they did not find it and would want some more time. I was fine with it. A week or so later, a lady from AA called and said that they did not find my baggage and will not provide me any claim as only checked baggage can be claimed.

I wasn't holding my bag with under my seat or in my hand. I had placed it in the overhead bins where flight attendants do move bags to fit in everyone's bags. Also, I lost my bag in an AA flight, so is AA not liable at all for this? I made no mistake, but put the baggage in the overhead bin as directed, then why should I be responsible for the loss?

I am planning on filing a legal case on this and therefore would ask for your suggestion on this. I don't know where to go for legal recourse. I would really appreciate any suggestion on this topic.

Thanks
 
Mar 14, 2018
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#2
Your bag was stolen. I don't see how you have any legal recourse against AA as they never accepted responsibility for the bag nor can you show they had anything to do with its disappearance.

Your best best is to file a report with the police and file a claim with your homeowners insurance, assuming it's not too late. Some credit cards (eg Amex Platinum) also provide insurance for carry on luggage.
 
Jun 4, 2018
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#3
Thanks smd for your response.
I am not sure about the bag being stolen, there is always a possibility of that being misplaced by the crew or someone else taking it by mistake. The only thing I am sure about is that I put my bag in the over head bin and it wasn't there when I looked for it at the end of the flight. I understand that I did not check the bag in, but does the airline have no responsibility towards the baggage in the flight?
In the baggage section of american airlines, it is nowhere explicitly written that passengers are responsible for their carry-on lost baggage. There is information only about the check-in baggage and AA's responsibility if that is lost. The information on carry on baggage very limited and not clear. Further, it is also nowhere written on the ticket, boarding pass or anywhere when you buy the ticket from the website. To me it seems a bit unreasonable to think that even though the bag went missing from the airplane, the carrier is not responsible for it at all. I am not a law student, but the bag went missing from the overhead bin of the airplane, doesn't that make a case.

Details of the report
File number: DTWAA02722651
Date: 02/23/2018
Location reported: DTW (Detroit)
 
Last edited:

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#4
What an awful thing to happen, Ray. Every time I'm in my seat and someone starts rummaging around in the overhead, I get nervous. I'm always in an aisle seat, so I get up and check my stuff before the door closes.

Little doubt in my mind that someone walked off with it. If you have full ID on your carryon and someone makes off with it by mistake, you usually hear from them within hours. I agree with my colleagues, your best bet is homeowners or your credit card. I'm so sorry this happened ... especially the part about having to go home in your shirtsleeves ... brrrrrrr!
 
Likes: Neil Maley
Jun 4, 2018
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#6
Hi Neil
I did tell the flight attendants about it and they asked me to go to the baggage claim and report there. In fact there was another baggage left there which no one took, so I thought probably someone took my luggage by mistake and left his/her bag. I took that bag and gave it to the baggage claim of AA as suggested by the FAs. I was expecting AA will figure out whose luggage was that and may be call them to get my luggage. Unfortunately, none of this helped and I neither got my luggage back nor my claim.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#7
Sorry this happened to you. I have heard reports of thefts from the plane how awful.

AA does specifically state that they do not cover and are not responsible for “items you carry on the plane”.

The bag was not under AAs control and the fault is with the person who took it.
 
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Jun 4, 2018
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#8
The baggage claim at the american airlines did not inform me that they will not cover my claim in case they will not be able to locate my bag. I could have contacted my credit cad company and ask them for any claim if possible. AA baggage claim asked me to file a report and wait for them to locate it. Later when I called them after a month, they still did not tell me that they will not cover my loss, and asked me to fill in a passenger property questionnaire that includes a comprehensive details of objects, including he type of material, date of purchase, color, texture, price etc) that we present in the lost bag. While filling up the questionnaire or with my conversation with the AA customer care or AA central baggage authorities, I never got a feeling that I am not eligible for the claim. They looked for it for two more months and finally after three months of the event they said they were not able to locate it. By that time it was too late for me to be eligible to file a claim with my credit card company. AA authorities should have informed me in the very beginning that there is no way I can will get a claim and I should have looked for other options and probably not engaged with them so diligently for so long.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
#9
You need to write to our contacts at AA. We have company contacts on top of our page - read the information on how to write and then start the writing campaign and include the questionnaire report number.

I honestly don't see AA reimbursing you for this as the bag was never in their possession as checked luggage. You as the traveler need to keep track of your carry on in the plane. If my carry on bag is not in the overhead where I am sitting, I always carefully watch the bags people are taking off ahead of me to make sure no one takes my bag. Even if I am in a window seat, I make sure I know if the bag is moved it where it is and watch for it.

If you didn't have travel insurance, contact your credit card company and see if they have any lost baggage coverage or file a claim with your homeowners insurance. Even if you had coverage, since the bag wasn't checked, I don't know if that would even cover you.
 
Jun 4, 2018
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#10
You need to write to our contacts at AA. We have company contacts on top of our page - read the information on how to write and then start the writing campaign and include the questionnaire report number.

I honestly don't see AA reimbursing you for this as the bag was never in their possession as checked luggage. You as the traveler need to keep track of your carry on in the plane. If my carry on bag is not in the overhead where I am sitting, I always carefully watch the bags people are taking off ahead of me to make sure no one takes my bag. Even if I am in a window seat, I make sure I know if the bag is moved it where it is and watch for it.

If you didn't have travel insurance, contact your credit card company and see if they have any lost baggage coverage or file a claim with your homeowners insurance. Even if you had coverage, since the bag wasn't checked, I don't know if that would even cover you.
Thanks Neil. I will do it.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#11
Definitely follow up with your CC if it has any travel benefits. They may extend their usual deadline, since AA was stringing you along all those months. Good luck and please let us know what transpires.