United Lost My $900 Camera, Says Policy Absolves Them

Harold says he paid $40 to check luggage with valuable camera equipment on a multi-leg United flight from Hawaii to Tucson, only to discover his camera had been lost. When he complained, United would have none of it, claiming it’s airline policy not to assume liability for camera equipment.

He writes:

I wish to share an event that occurred to my wife and me with United Airlines. On 2-7-10 we were returning from Hawaii after a vacation. We left Honolulu on Flight #72 with stops in San Francisco and Los Angeles and our final destination of Tucson, Arizona. When we boarded in Honolulu the agent from United indicated that our carryon luggage was too big and had to be placed in baggage. We paid $40.00 for it. In my luggage was a Nikon D60 camera with the accessories valued at over $900.00.

Upon boarding we were not given any instructions regarding any liability or insurance for my baggage. When we arrived at home in Tucson I discovered my camera was missing. I contacted Honolulu Police Department and reported my loss. I then contacted United Airlines by phone and by the web to notify them of this theft. On 2-19-10 United wrote me a letter stating that they do not assume liability for photographic equipment. This item is excluded from their published baggage liability. I find this information from United lacking when you board their flights. Consumers should be made aware of this information before placing their luggage in United’s care.

United is not responsible for any theft, according to their letter. This letter is going out to you in an effort to inform the public about this hidden information that can be very costly to the consumer. The Federal Aviation Administration has been notified about this reprehensible conduct from United Airlines. We would like to hear from those of you who have had similar circumstances.

If you’ve dealt with United regarding similar issues, or are a ninja at winning battles with stubborn airlines, please give Harold some advice.