Oops! United loses Dave Carroll’s bags, guitar is intact

by Charlie Leocha on October 29, 2009


United Airlines has done it again. The same Dave Carroll, who responded to United Airlines’ total lack of response to breaking his guitar with a series of videos, just had his checked bag lost as he flew into Denver on United.

From what I have read in published reports, there was no broken guitar this time. Only a lost bag. (Hat tip to Karen Cummings.)

It just goes to show, even when you pay extra for the airlines to take your luggage, the service is the same as it used to be when it was included in the ticket price.

When, luggage was considered free, perhaps the airlines could be excused for “losing” a small percentage of luggage as they struggled to provide a customer service. Today, however, most passengers are paying to have their luggage transported by the airline. There is no excuse for the airlines “losing” anything. Transporting these bags is now a multi-billion-dollar part of the airline industry.

Though, I feel that the baggage fees are misdirected, when the airlines take our money for transport of checked luggage, they assume additional responsibilities. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem that the billions of dollars being collected are being used to improve baggage service.

Here’s Dave Carroll’s second video:

If the airline industry has any information on how they have improved the baggage systems, I would love to hear them.

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  • Frank

    1998 TICKET PRICES!!
    In this year’s airfare wars, just how low did they go?
    The average domestic fare in the second quarter was nearly identical to ticket prices during that period in 1998, according to statistics released Wednesday.

    The average fare for a domestic trip from April to June was $301, down 13% from a year earlier and the steepest year-over-year dip in nearly 15 years, the Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics reports.

    Before this year, the biggest year-over-year drop was between the fourth quarter of 2000 and the fourth quarter of 2001, after the terror attacks of Sept. 11. The average price of a domestic trip slipped 11.8% then, the bureau says.

    Airfare trackers say that the decline isn’t surprising. Since late last year, airlines have repeatedly slashed fares to try to entice cash-strapped travelers who are forgoing vacations and business trips in the midst of a deep recession.

    THOSE BILLIONS OF DOLLARS at 1998′s level dont compare to the price of fuel at today’s level. (Oil $78.90 today)

    Oil in 1998???
    The news sent oil prices tumbling to their lowest level in more than 12 years Monday with the January light sweet crude oil futures contract sliding to $11.15 Monday afternoon, down 71 cents.
    Earlier, the crude-oil contract fell to $10.82 a barrel, marking the lowest intraday trade since July 27, 1986 when it fell to $10.65 a barrel. The last time crude oil closed below $11 a barrel was on July 25, 1986 when it hit $10.90. The all-time intraday low for crude-oil futures in New York was $9.75 a barrel set on April 1, 1986.

  • Hapgood

    Funny you should mention fees and lost luggage. You surely are aware that recovering lost luggage represents a significant hit to an airline’s bottom line. I think we’d all agree that it’s grossly unfair for airline executives and shareholders to absorb that expense, especially when their companies are struggling to survive. So just in time for the holiday travel season, United, American, and Delta will demonstrate their industry leadership by announcing a new fee for the special customer service of recovering lost bags.

    The announcement will stress that this innovation greatly benefits passengers, since it gives them a choice they never had before. Passengers can choose to pay the fee, and be assured of the same level of assistance in tracking down and returning lost bags they have always enjoyed. Or they can choose to save the cost of the fee by abandoning their lost bag. Let us all applaud these airlines for their leadership in continuously improving air travel with an expanded range of passenger choices!

  • http://www.tripso.com/author/leocha Charlie Leocha

    Too funny! But also too close to the truth.

  • Michael

    Why do I suddenly get the impression that United is going to have more problems than it’s worth?

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  • Mike

    So, if I understand the first comment, it is to try to show us that flying is, factored for inflation, cheaper? Is it still cheaper, once you factor in the non-fare revenue (ie, meals purchased onboard, baggage fees, cancellation fees, etc) that was either greatly reduced or included in those 1998 fare prices?

    Trying to say things are cheaper today than they were years ago is not always valid. What does a Pentium II 350 MHz, which cost thousands when introduced then, cost today? How much would you have to spend to get the equivalent processing power? It becomes especially murky when comparing “similar”, but not the same, products.

    Charging doesn’t change the obligation to the customer either. The obligation is spelled out in the contract of carriage. We’d LIKE to think that paying for something means more, but it doesn’t. We paid for baggage all along, we’re just paying for it unbundled now.

  • Laura Townsend Elion

    Losing track of luggage is still a slightly better option that losing track of where your plane is (NWA 188). Coming soon to a plane near you – the Navigation Safety Fee….

  • http://www.tripso.com/author/surjaputra Steve Surjaputra

    Looks like Mr. Carroll wil have material for video # 4.

  • DCTA

    Well I’m certain they’ll be more than willing to help him out this time!

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  • Ron

    What is Mr Caroll doing flying United in the first place? After all the headaches they cost him, you’d think he would take the bus.

  • Michael

    Ron, he was flying United because in this case it was the ONLY airline that could fly him to and from where he was going.

  • Steve

    Per Hapgood’s comment: “So just in time for the holiday travel season, United, American, and Delta will demonstrate their industry leadership by announcing a new fee for the special customer service of recovering lost bags.”

    Does this mean Southwest will advertise that they will continue to lose your bags for free?

  • DCTA

    What I don’t get is why UA hasn’t somehow “flagged” him to have a “priority baggage” label attached to his bags whenever he checks them. How hard is that? They’ve got all kinds of people flagged in their systems as “celebrity”, “VIP”, etc. How stupid is it to not have been proactive and devided that if this guy ever flies us again, we will not screw him up!

  • Robert

    Frank wrote – “Airfare trackers say that the decline isn’t surprising. Since late last year, airlines have repeatedly slashed fares to try to entice cash-strapped travelers who are forgoing vacations and business trips in the midst of a deep recession.”

    Airlines pricing policies are their own worst enemy. Here’s how it goes. Airlines drop fares to try to get people on the planes. It doesn’t work. Airlines reduce capacity to try to keep load levels up. It doesn’t work. Then they reduce fares some more, and now more capacity reudtions are being announced. Personally, I’m pleased as I recently paid $210.00 for a round trip transcontinental ticket for which I would have been willing to pay much more.

  • CG

    Regarding Hapgood’s comment on lost baggage fees…has anyone checked into whether this is a true statement?

  • BP

    CG, many blogs, tweets and facebook entries on the internet verify it is true. Further, when you Google it, you will see it must be true!

  • Michael

    he should get a travel guitar that fits in the overhead bin so you never have to check it with your bags. Maybe a Martin Backpacker

  • Bill

    “United loses bags” is the same number of syllables as “United breaks guitars”, so he could redo the first song.

  • WildBill

    DCTA – Priority Tags??? As a Million Miler with Delta and CP with US, I have renamed these “Lose me 1st tags”…… and unfortunately, every time they go to attach them to my bags, I make a joke about that…..then, like clockwork, at least one of the three doesn’t show up…. I gotta quit making that joke (I have to joke at the ticket, now that joking at security is a federal crime :(-)

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