Delta's Plummeting Dufflebag Incident Results In Tragic Loss Of Favorite Dolls

We feel really bad for Abby, the 9 year-old girl who lost her favorite dolls when they plummeted from an open Delta (Atlantic Southeast) cargo hold several thousand feet in the air above Chicagoland.

From the Chicago Sun-Times:

The bag fell out of the Delta Connection plane Sunday after a door in the cargo hold opened after takeoff. The plane landed safely, and no one on the ground was injured by the two pieces of luggage that fell out.

One of the bags was found and returned to its owner, but Abby’s duffel is still missing. Now she is trying to cope with the loss of some of her closest friends.

“One thing you learn as a parent, especially a father, is that little girls treat these dolls much like people,” said Telan, of Orlando, Fla. “The image of these things crashing into a field or a building is rather traumatic for them.”

The family has been contacted by American Girl Place about replacing Abby Ann’s beloved Marisol Luna doll, one of the casualties of Sunday’s mishap.

Telan appreciates the interest in his daughter’s lost dolls, but he said “the overriding concern in my mind is we had a cargo door come off during takeoff.”

“How in the world does that happen?” he said.

Good question. If anyone finds the bag, Abby is missing her friends.

Jet fallout: Girl’s dolls lost from plane [Sun-Times] (Thanks, Daniel!)
(Photo:Leonid V. Kroujkov)


Edit Your Comment

  1. Kaix says:

    This really has to do with ASA, not Delta. Delta just happens to have their name plastered to the side of the jet. Oh, the wonderful world of code sharing.

  2. shan6 says:

    And a lot of other people lost much more valuable stuff I’m sure. The emotional loss may be great for the little girl, but I think she will get over it.

  3. liquisoft says:

    Poor little girl. I was going to say somebody should give her some new dolls, but on second thought that’s not the solution. The solution is to search like crazy for those missing dolls. Nothing can replace lost friends.

  4. shan6 says:

    @shan6: Idiot, read the entire article first!

  5. LiC says:

    Poor child. Sounds like she’s suffering some emotional and psychological damages.

  6. Falconfire says:

    @LiC: You know Im trying to think of the other side.. you know say they are “just dolls” or something… but honestly despite being 26 I can still recall a time as a child when I would have been just as distraught over something like this.

    Infact I had nightmares as a kid of loosing my favorite toys out the car trunk on the way to vacation. God only knows what I would feel if it was out of a damn airplane.

  7. RhymePhile says:

    And do you know how expensive those dolls are? I bet the cost of the flight was cheaper than the doll!

  8. CumaeanSibyl says:

    @LiC: Yep, I smell a “pain and suffering” lawsuit!

    Yea, and normally I’d scoff, but then I think of what would happen if I had lost Mister Duck that way and I want her to sue those bastards for every dime they’ve got.

  9. ornj says:

    I tried looking that doll up but it’s discontinued. It’s an American Girl doll and I remember my sister having a couple of those. There is something about them that I swear my sister would have given her life to protect that stupid thing.

  10. Hobo-NC says:

    The best part of this post is that you used the word “Chicagoland.”

  11. JustAGuy2 says:


    Delta sold the ticket, the plane says Delta, it’s Delta. We don’t say “it’s not Comcast’s fault, the bad customer service is because of a call center in India,” and we shouldn’t let Delta off the hook here, either.

  12. Jordan Lund says:

    Years from now someone is going to go up on the roof of a building to fix a leak or repair an AC unit or something and find a bag full of dolls and go “WTF?!? Where did this come from?!?!”

    It will be a perfect surreal moment enabled by this girls loss.

  13. mandarin says:

    Ugh wanna bet she’ll get 3 dozen in return?

  14. faust1200 says:

    ASA is owned by Delta so – whatever.

    The doll was probably slathered in lead paint and/or a choking hazard anyway.

  15. Crymson_77 says:

    @Jordan Lund: Makes you wish you would be there to see it huh? :)

    I like the father’s reaction…he wasn’t completely focused on “me, me, me…” Nice change…

  16. UpsetPanda says:

    @faust1200: I think it was filled with unmentioned almonds.

  17. Kbomb says:

    I’m more sad for the 10,000 children who die daily from starvation and preventable disease. How news worthy is an lost (overpriced child-status symbol) doll? Please.

  18. LiC says:

    @Kbomb: Not like that Kbomb. Little girls love their dolls because they’re like their own child or best friend. The American Girl dolls are special because you can get one that looks JUST LIKE YOU. Like it’s your own child! Or you could get one with deep blue eyes and curly hair – like it was your’s and Elijah Woods’ infant.

    Besides, a bag fell out of a cargo hold from a flying plane – isn’t that newsworthy? Wouldn’t you want to know what was in it?

  19. Maulleigh says:

    it’s a human interest story. My barbies were pretty generic and could be replaced at any time. Which is ironic because I played with them all the time. My baby dolls, which I never played with, were more human to me. So yeah, if my baby dolls were to fall out of a plane, I’d freak out.

  20. darkclawsofchaos says:

    lesson is, if you don’t need it, don’t bring it, its better to leave your BFFs at home alone rather than lose them, be it to mildew, bbaggage mixup, or falling to a terrible death. It would be terribly ironic is those dolls killed something or struck a car

  21. Neurotic1 says:

    ASA is a wholly owned subsidiary of Delta. It is listed as one of Delta’s holdings to investors. Delta advertises ASA flights as its own when it sells tickets to consumers. ASA is based down the street from Delta. ASA is Delta. Delta tries to reap all the benefits of ownership but as soon as something negative comes out in the press, it is the first to mention that ASA is not Delta. Um…yes it is.

  22. Youthier says:

    I read a similar article in the Chicago Tribune yesterday. The dad laid it on a lot thicker in that one, so I wasn’t extremely sympathtic but I feel a little sadder for her now.

    And American Girl has already replaced it.

  23. King of the Wild Frontier says:

    I tragically lost my RealDoll at sea. The lifeboat was taking on water, the sharks were circling, and it was either her or me. I tell you what, those were some confused sharks.

  24. UpsetPanda says:

    I never understood the fascination with dolls, they all creeped me out, even when I was a kid. I never accepted or played with any dolls anyone got me and eventually my parents told their friends and our relatives to stop buying me dolls. I did, however, love stuffed animals and if I were to lose my favorite stuffed animals, as that girl did with her dolls, I’d be all over the place. I’d want a search and rescue team.

  25. WisingUp says:

    Haven’t any of you watched the Twilight Zone?

    The dolls were unhappy with being cooped up in the cargo hold, so they took matters into their own hands.

  26. rg says:

    Travel newbie! Any body who travels much at all knows that you don’t check ANYTHING that you don’t want to lose. I personally take my doll in my carry on, in case of a water landing I can blow her up and use her as a floatation device.

  27. ZekeDMS says:

    Well, sounds like either mechanical error, or mechanical/human combination.

    There should be an indicator for pilots that every door is closed(actually, a non-specific “open panel” light for cargo, fuel, water, wahtever). All the cargo doors I’ve touched have a pretty solid seal and they’ve all worked the same. To close them you grab the vertical handles, pull down and toward you, then twist 90 degrees counter-clockwise. That moves the door closer to you when it’s lined up right, you slap the handles back down(they pop out to open the door), and that thing isn’t moving.

    It’s really clear, as such, when a door hasn’t closed, because the twisting handle doesn’t pull it forward, and it rolls back up often enough. And if somehow it got missed by the ramp agents(hidden behind a wing or in the dark, whatever), the pilots have a bright red indicator.

    Basically, it means the lock failed in flight and the door opened. Or it had already failed but the pilots didn’t see the warning. Or that the pilots didn’t see the warning AND the door hadn’t been shut properly, but even then lots of planes have nets that are put down between the cargo and door just as an extra layer of protection. Maybe the doll bag was particularly thing or something to slide through that.

  28. Consumerist Moderator - ACAMBRAS says:


    When I was a kid, our cable company carried WGN, even though we were nowhere near Chicago. Lots of the commercials referred to “Chicagoland.” For many years I thought that Chicagoland must be a magical place.