December 26, 2010

The Delta Pilferage Report

By now you've probably guessed I had a fairly rotten travel experience with Delta this Christmas. I shared part one of the debacle in Thursday's post but opted to retain the rest of the story until after the holiday, and what shred of feel-good spirit I had, was finished. Here is a chronological timeline of events:

Thursday, December 23
  • Finally arrived in South Bend after 10 hours of travel. I was elated to be home.
  • Got to baggage claim and the bags were out in record time. I was thinking it might be the first stroke of luck I'd had all day.
  • Alas, no bag.
  • Went to the Delta counter where they informed me my bag was listed in the system as having arrived in South Bend. Yeah, not quite accurate. They agreed it was absurd that a bag with a four hour layover didn't make the flight. I got a file number and called it a night.
Friday, December 24
  • My brother picked up my sister at the airport around 11am and stopped at the Delta counter for an update. They said my bag would be on the next flight, approximately one hour.
  • My brother went back two hours later and still no bag. Now it was in Cincinnati.
  • I called Delta repeatedly and not only was my file number not in the system, no one had a clue what was going on. All flights were full and at weight capacity so my bag remained in an airport - maybe Detroit? Maybe Cincinnati? Who knew.
  • The family Christmas celebration started. I was in the same clothes as the day before and had no gifts for anyone. How festive.
Saturday, December 25
  • My cell phone rang at 7am... it was a baggage delivery person from Delta just miles away with my bag. I sprang out of bed, totally relieved.
  • I quickly checked to be sure the multiple gift cards I packed were still there. They were. I went back to sleep.
  • A few hours later I decided to unpack. This is when things went South yet again. My Garmin 405 and iPod were missing. Merry F'ing Christmas.
  • I waited a few hours for a friend to go by my apartment and see if I'd left the two items by mistake. I hadn't.
  • I spent about 30 minutes on the phone with Delta reporting a claim and was instructed to fill out a Damage/Pilferage form as soon as possible. Pilferage - such a delicate way to say "theft by our employees."
  • Most of my Christmas day was spent sitting on the phone, filling out forms, copying luggage tags, etc. Good times.
  • Delta informed me I likely won't be reimbursed since the items stolen were electronics. What exactly do they reimburse for then???
Needless to say, this experience affected my enjoyment of the holidays. I tried to keep a positive attitude but it felt like one blow after another and the fact that Delta wasn't bending over backwards to make up for it really disappointed me. There is no excuse for such epic failure during the holidays when they know they will be busier than ever. They should have been prepared.

I tried to shake it off by heading out for a run since I finally had my shoes and clothes. It definitely lifted my spirits and I got right back on track with my marathon training, including my long run today. I did 9 miles in the frigid wind and have never felt better. No pain, no fatigue and I actually enjoyed it.

It will be about 4-6 weeks before my claim is settled, but I think I know the outcome. The moral of this story is carry on when you can and lock up your luggage. You never know who is going through your personal things.


  1. Oh my goodness! I am so so sorry girl!! I can't believe that happened!!! Great run especially because it was pain free wahoo!!

  2. That totally sucks. I've been flying for many years, carefully following the rule my airline pilot father taught me. "Never put anything you love or need into a checked bag." I've never had anything stolen, but one thing was broken and I can't for the life of me figure out how it was done without damaging the suitcase.

    Airline service is horrible, and what you have to go through to get to the airplane is even worse. Eventually, people will stop flying. I just don't know what it will take. Until then, we can be amused by this.

  3. Oof, that totally blows. I hate airlines (especially United), and it's especially galling after they've reported a record year for profits. I hope your experience did detract too much from time spent with the family.

  4. Delta sucks. And so do pilferagers.

  5. That's horrible! :( Delta definitely sucks and whoever stole your stuff has a major case of sucky karma coming their way!

  6. I learned long ago to always take my electronics in my carry on bag. Sorry you had to learn this one the hard way. And, yes, it sucks.

  7. Oh Good Lord, that is totally ridiculous and uncalled for! We had a similar experience some years ago with American West (aka: American Worst) and my husband lost a pretty pricy piece of work equipment - but somehow it showed up like 3 weeks later. Crazy. Sorry about your ordeal...but glad the training is back on and going well! :)



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