USAirways Loses Costumes, Ruins Carnivale

Lost luggage makes people sad. It makes Carol sad. She writes:

Some of my friends and I went to Venice for the Carnivale last month, and we wound up without our costumes, due to incompetence or theft overseen by US Airways….We were trying to connect from a US Airways flight to Philadelphia onto another airline, we got separated from our bags, and only the bag with “boring” contents came through – the suitcase containing the “interesting” contents has somehow still not been located!

Their suitcase went missing about 4 weeks ago. Mine went missing 3 weeks ago. Both while trying to get through Philadelphia, both coming in on US Airways. It seems like a bit much of a “coincidence”.

Carol and her friend Kristi (pictured above) have started a website in the hopes of locating their lost costumes. Sadly, it seems they may have done all they can through the regular channels. Any kind-hearted US Airways employees want to help them out? —MEGHANN MARCO


Edit Your Comment

  1. JPropaganda says:

    Philadelphia is the worst airport I have ever flown through. I have never NOT lost luggage going through philly, although i’ve always gotten it back.

  2. ddrager says:

    Philadelphia is my ‘home’ airport and almost everyone I’ve known who has flown through it has had some lost luggage. Is this the fault of the carriers or of the airport?

  3. phypennwl says:

    It’s been well documented in Philly papers how incompetent US Airways’ luggage handling in Philly is. That department is severely understaffed despite Philly being one of their hubs. Supposedly, it improved in the past year, but took another nosedive because of the snafu with their merger with America West.

    Bottom line– if you’re flying out of, into, or through Philly via US Airways, do your absolute best to limit yourself to carry-ons, or ship it via FedEx or UPS.

  4. robman8023 says:

    This sounds alot like the time I used USAirways from PHL to LAX.

    They lost ALL of our luggage, kept breaking promises about when they’d drop it off, and 2 days later it arrived while we were AT my Grandma’s funeral. We had to scrounge around Target for a suit for myself and dresses for my wife and sister.

    Needless to say, they were a day late and about $300 short. I’ll never fly USAirways again…that much I do know.

    USAirways + Philadelphia airport = You’re screwed.

  5. John Stracke says:

    Come to think of it, the two times I’ve had (temporarily) lost luggage were flying to or from Philadelphia.

    And then there was the IETF meeting in Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh’s hub), where a large fraction of the attendees had lost luggage via USAir. One guy I knew had gone to the lost luggage office and asked the blasé clerk what they were doing about his lost suitcase, and she said, “Sir, we’ve lost 400 pieces of luggage today.”. She didn’t sound ashamed of it or anything; she was just exasperated with a customer who didn’t understand how they could have lost a whole plane’s worth of luggage.

    I was very glad I’d come by train.

  6. mac-phisto says:

    ditto above. us airways may be responsible, but philadelphia is a logistical nightmare. i’ve flown thru a lot of major airport hubs – newark, atlanta, denver, chicago, dulles – philadelphia is the only airport i have ever been to where the tarmac counts as gates & you get bussed into/out of the terminal. that place has been needing some renovations for a long time.

  7. robman8023 says:

    Double ditto.

    Flew to LAX through PHL on USAirways last year for my Grandma’s funeral. They lost ALL of our luggage, and didn’t deliver it until 3 days later, AFTER breaking delivery day promises twice and telling us we’d have all our stuff for the funeral (including a new suit I had just bought specifically for the funeral).

    Needless to say, it finally arrived (during the funeral while we weren’t home) after we had to buy all new clothing at Target of all places (the only place open in time to make it to the funeral).

    The only upside is that they did refund $175 towards what we had to buy.

    I won’t be flying USAirways ever again, that’s for damn sure.

  8. drierp says:

    file a police report in philly.. USAir will never recommend you do, but once done, actual police will look into the matter for you.

    Chances are, someone at the airport is stealing luggage. I’ve had luggage “delayed” for a day, only to show up with everything valuable missing…

    Since the airline “takes no responsibility for what you check in” (at least if it’s special or electronic), they’re basically sanctioning theft by those trusted with your possessions.

    Only the police at this point can help.. Or a class action lawsuit, but with the length of the rider, that would be tough..

  9. acambras says:

    I’m not victim-blaming or anything, but this is why I never check anything that I couldn’t easily replace (either at home or in my destination city). When my boyfriend and I flew to a formal wedding, we carried on his tux and my dress in a garment bag. Sure, it was a pain in the ass, but it beat taking the risk that we’d have nothing appropriate to wear to his brother’s wedding (and no time to shop) if our bags were lost.

    I hope you get your stuff back. :-(

  10. juri squared says:

    Oh crap… having made costumes of that sort, I SINCERELY hope you get yours back. I’d be beside myself (not to mention the amount of money that goes into one of those dresses)!

    If you made it, and you’re going to claim the luggage as lost, be sure to add in the cost of the hours spent making the costumes.

  11. thrillhouse says:

    I’ve flown thru Philly before and people were shocked that I made it thru with my bags. I thought maybe they were over exaggerating, maybe not.

    Since the FAA doesn’t seem to notice, can we get Dateline or somebody to investigate?

  12. adamondi says:

    Yet another reason why I will do absolutely everything in my power to travel with carry-on luggage only. There is no shame in doing a load of laundry while you are on a trip. Or in getting a suit or tie pressed after you arrive because it had to be stuffed into the carry-on.

    I would certainly never put anything of value into any piece of checked luggage. I have met some of the people who sort luggage for a living.

  13. channelx says:

    US Airways is a joke. They used to be my preferred airline, however with the recent “merger” (more like debacle) of their two ticketing systems, everything has gone to hell.

    My home airport is the US Airways national hub and people were hit with 6+ hour waits to check in, ridiculous delays for no other reason than a scheduling conflict with the new system, and flat out cancellations for no reason.

    They merged it on CLT’s busiest weekend of the year 2nd to Thanksgiving and Christmas, and a spokesperson for US Airways said “We fully expected there to be no slowdowns whatsoever.” Un-freaking-believable! They have the most incompetent people, the furthest removed from what is going on behind the curtains, claiming that they did not expect to have anyone affected by this monstrosity.

  14. celyn says:

    This is Kirsti, the poor person in the photo sans costume. Thanks for the suggestion of filing a police report. That’s probably another option we’ll pursue.

    Here’s a little more detail for folks who haven’t visited the web page:

    After returning home, we learned that US Airways has the worst lost luggage stats (10 in 1000) of any airline in the US and their Philadelphia operation has a lost-luggage rate about four times the airline’s as a whole.

    When I went through Philly on my way home a few weeks later, I was selected at random for extra TSA screening where I was told my souvenir snow globe had more than 3 oz. of liquid and I needed to check it or they would confiscate it. When I told them about the problems I’d just had with checked luggage, the TSA screeners told me, “Well, yeah, that was US Air. You’re flying Delta today so you shouldn’t have that problem.”

    So while TSA is confiscating snow globes at the Philadelphia International Airport, security is lax enough in the luggage bays of US Airways that suitcases are disappearing. Do you feel safer? ‘Cause I don’t. If someone can take something from where it’s supposed to be, they can also put something where it doesn’t belong.

  15. itchy feet says:

    File a complaint with the FAA about your lost luggage. They keep monthly stats and the airlines take their rankings seriously (usually).

    Your case should be included in the company-submitted stats — but do really trust them?

    1-866-TELL-FAA (1-866-835-5322)

    This is also a good way to get a pound of flesh over your strandings, fishy delays (not legit weather delays), ground strandings, involuntary bumps, animal mistreatment by airlines, civil rights complaints concerning airlines, etc.

  16. Mojosan says:

    Philly is my home airport and there are time (specifically PHL to LAS) that you can only get a seat on USairways.

    I have actually UPS’d my clothes home in a huge cardboard box (paying hotel business center rates) rather than have to get my luggage thru philly.