help with delayed baggage, what should i do?

Old Jan 6th, 2022, 08:16 AM
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help with delayed baggage, what should i do?

Hi! I am in a unique position with delayed baggage and was wondering if someone could help me with what to do next. My itinerary on Jan 5 was as follows:

AF7669 MRS (Marseille) -> CDG (Paris)

AF136 CDG -> ORD (Chicago)

DAL5602 ORD -> BOS (Boston)

I missed my Delta connection in Chicago. I was able to rebook on a United flight (UA656) direct to Boston about an hour after the Delta flight left. However, my bag is still in Chicago (I can confirm this because Delta's customer service agent who rebooked me tracked the location using my booking reference number). She sent a request to transfer the bag to my new United flight, however, the bag still remains in Chicago.

I filed a delayed baggage report with United, and they are tracing it right now. My question is, how much can they really do in this situation? The bag in Chicago must still be routed for Boston under Delta's flight. How will United track and find the bag if it isn't under their booking? Should I contact Delta? When I filed the report, the United customer service agent told me he will contact Delta. Should I wait and see if United can find it? Thank you for your help.
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Old Jan 6th, 2022, 09:03 AM
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Welcome to Fodors. More than Likely Delta still has your luggage and it will be up to them to get it to you/Boston. They'll likely be contacting you about delivering it . . . but it could take a day or two.

If you want more 'expert' suggestions about who to contact and how (phone/email/twitter/whatever) You might want to register on FlyerTalk and ask them on the Delta Forum.
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Old Jan 6th, 2022, 09:28 AM
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I don't know other than ask them what to do (United). I've had baggage delays but never where I personally decided to just change my flight to a completely different airline. Do you know if your bag was actually transferred to United or not?

It's easy, they will track it by the luggage tag, they certainly would have put their own tag on it, they would have to, with the arrival airport, etc. The problem is you don't have that tag. You said they were tracing it so hopefully they'll find it.

Unless Delta refused to fly your bag (which I suppose they might as they are leery of flying bags without passengers nowadys due to terrorism), I would have just let it arrive on Delta to begin with and go pick it up when they notified you it had arrived. That's what they do when it is delayed by the original airline. I think they send you a tracking number and you can check where it is. It's been a few years since that happened to me (on United), but the tracking part by them was easy to know where it was. But I didn't have the airline change issue, of course.

I think it's hard to get any CS agent on the phone nowadays, but maybe if you called Delta and asked them how that transfer was handled, they could tell you (ie, how does that work for tracking, they should tell you if the new airline tags it or what).
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Old Jan 6th, 2022, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Christina View Post
Do you know if your bag was actually transferred to United or not?
I don't know if the transfer went through or not. The Delta customer service agent told me that she sent a request for a transfer (and that there is a chance it could make it with me on the flight to Boston), but she also told me in advance that I should file a report with United in the case that the transfer wasn't fulfilled.
I am pretty sure that Delta did decide to refuse flying the bag since it was still in Chicago by the time my connecting flight had already taken off. I have not received a tracking number from Delta, only a file reference number by United (where can I track online through the report, it is in the tracing stage).

Last edited by watermelon_moon; Jan 6th, 2022 at 09:55 AM.
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Old Jan 6th, 2022, 09:55 AM
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"Unless Delta refused to fly your bag (which I suppose they might as they are leery of flying bags without passengers nowadys due to terrorism),"

That doesn't make sense. . . . every airline flies delayed/misdirected bags every single day. How else do the bags and people get reunited.??
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Old Jan 6th, 2022, 10:04 AM
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I think Christina meant refusing to fly the bag on my original connecting flight. I have seen many times on other airlines where passengers do not make it to the plane and they have to parse through the plane's cargo hold to retrieve the bag and keep it in the airport. I can confirm that Delta did not fly my bag on my original connecting flight to Boston.
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Old Jan 6th, 2022, 10:12 AM
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"I can confirm that Delta did not fly my bag on my original connecting flight to Boston."

I understood that. And they obviously did not get it to your UA flight either. Who knows if it still has a DL tag on it or now has a United tag. That is why I suggested you ask on FlyerTalk -- more than likely someone on that (very) active forum has experienced the exact same situation. Plus staff of both UA and DL regularly post there - so that is where your get the best info/advice. Not here which is a more general travel site.


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Old Jan 6th, 2022, 10:13 AM
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. . . FlyerTalk is operated by the same folks as Fodors so a very similar set up . . .
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Old Jan 6th, 2022, 10:36 AM
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Thank you! I will try asking there.
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Old Jan 6th, 2022, 12:26 PM
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Have only skimmed this thread, but on the two times it was lost, the airlines delivered lost luggage either to us in the trip or at home after.
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Old Jan 6th, 2022, 08:13 PM
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I think this is unique because you are dealing with two different airlines. I have had delayed/couldn’t get my luggage twice. The first time my bag did not make the connecting flight while in the UK. I did get it a day or two later at my house as I was coming home. Then this past summer, my luggage went on vacation without me due to delays so I canceled my flight. I got my luggage 3 days later at my house.

My concern here would be the two different airlines. It’s bad enough to trust one but two is stretching it as do they even use the same computer systems? I personally would see if Delta also has a tracking number. If you have tracking for each, I would feel better about the situation as you could better step in if needed instead of relying on just one airline.
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Old Jan 6th, 2022, 09:54 PM
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Did the rebooking of the final leg to Boston on United happen via Delta or on your own?
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Old Jan 7th, 2022, 07:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Seamus View Post
Did the rebooking of the final leg to Boston on United happen via Delta or on your own?
It happened via a Delta check-in agent. I told her my situation and she tried looking for available Delta flights to Boston but there were none left that day. So she just bumped me over to United's flight (she said that she wasn't technically wasn't supposed to do that but she wanted me to get back home on the same day).
I can now go into Delta's booking and see that the itinerary was changed with United's flight now on the booking.
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Old Jan 7th, 2022, 09:14 AM
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I'd give them a few days. I've had luggage turn up weeks later via airlines I never stepped foot on. Every single time it's eventually been delivered, even on a few occasions when it seemed to have taken an around the world trip without me.

Last edited by Melnq8; Jan 7th, 2022 at 09:17 AM.
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Old Jan 7th, 2022, 12:51 PM
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Was the bag definitely tagged to the final destination? I thought bags were picked up at the first point of entry in the US so I would have thought it would be picked up at ORD and then you would recheck it for the flight ORD-BOS yourself. If you missed the DL flight and was rebooked to the UA one, didn't you take your luggage with you to the UA flight? Or is it just people that have to go thru immigration at the first entry point in the US?

Unless Delta refused to fly your bag (which I suppose they might as they are leery of flying bags without passengers nowadys due to terrorism), Normally luggage never flies without it's owners but when luggage is delayed, there is no choice. In those circumstances, luggage goes through extra security checks before being cleared for transportation. unaccompanied. Otherwise, how else will they reunite delayed luggage with their owners?

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Old Jan 7th, 2022, 07:41 PM
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When you did your original check in at MRS your bag should have been tagged for all flights through to your final destination of Boston. Did you pick up your checked bag after immigration/customs at ORD and then recheck it with Delta?
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Old Jan 8th, 2022, 12:06 PM
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I see you did post on FT . . . and got two really informative/authoritative responses (which were totally opposite LOL)

Unfortunately that is a really busy forum and your thread has sunk back 2 days. I'd go back to your thread there and post again to ask for more clarification - and maybe post on the UA board too because one poster said it is absolutely Delta's responsibility and one said it is absolutely UA's
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Old Jan 8th, 2022, 12:20 PM
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Where physically is the luggage?
Who has control of it?
Get these answers and the solution will become apparent.
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Old Jan 8th, 2022, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Seamus View Post
When you did your original check in at MRS your bag should have been tagged for all flights through to your final destination of Boston. Did you pick up your checked bag after immigration/customs at ORD and then recheck it with Delta?
The bag was indeed checked all the way to Boston. However, it has come to light that the check-in agent at MRS gave me the incorrect information. She told me that I did not need to pick up my checked bag at ORD and that I did not need to walk through customs with it, and that the only time I would need to pick it up would be at my final destination. I did not know that in the United States it was required to walk through customs with your bag in hand, no matter what your final destination did (apparently she did not know that either! i think its different in Europe.) The bag is currently still at ORD presumably awaiting to be brought through customs.
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Old Jan 10th, 2022, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by watermelon_moon View Post
The bag was indeed checked all the way to Boston. However, it has come to light that the check-in agent at MRS gave me the incorrect information. She told me that I did not need to pick up my checked bag at ORD and that I did not need to walk through customs with it, and that the only time I would need to pick it up would be at my final destination. I did not know that in the United States it was required to walk through customs with your bag in hand, no matter what your final destination did (apparently she did not know that either! i think its different in Europe.) The bag is currently still at ORD presumably awaiting to be brought through customs.
Oh dear, how frustrating. As you found out the hard way, the rule is, always ask two successive people for advice on critical matters. If the second person contradicts the first, ask a third person. The MRS agent clearly had no idea about international travel and should have answered 'I don't know" = an answer which people are reluctant to give for some reason. ORD-BOS flight is a domestic flight, i.e. both origin and destination are within the same country, and so on arrival in BOS you land in the domestic section of the terminal, and not the international section which would direct all incoming passengers through customs. Whereas it was your CDG-ORD flight that would have arrived in the international section of ORD (you will recall you went through a passport check and immigration at ORD as that was your port of entry into the US. )

If you can, please update what befell your bag. I don't think this falls into the usual category of missing bags.
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