Some things should never, ever be checked - Granite Grok

Some things should never, ever be checked

I don’t travel all that much anymore, but I used to – was a Premier Exec in United’s frequent flier program for years.  Now, I may not be the brightest bulb in the lot, but this is one thing I would never have tried to make it easier in the cabin:

Family’s Laptop Missing From Checked Luggage

Ugh!  For me, this is akin to sneaking a ride in the nose wheel of the jet – never to be tried!  Now, I realize that I may have a tad more experience in riding in planes and bringing stuff with me (too  much too often) but what thinking person would ever think of putting something both expensive and BREAKABLE in a suitcase or duffel bag?  And then letting it be stuffed in the bottom of a plane, often with lots of other suitcases on top of it with handling not to be described with the words ‘white kid gloves" in the same sentence?

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) ? Each day this holiday weekend more than 100,000 people will travel through Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and most of them will check baggage.

Most people expect their stuff to make it safely to the destination but for one Minnesota family that didn’t happen. Somewhere between check-in at MSP and luggage pickup on the other end their brand new laptop disappeared.

For the Dillons of Edina, Minn. it was supposed to be the perfect vacation for this family of seven. When you travel with five kids it’s usually easier to check as much luggage as possible.

"My carry on bag wasn’t big enough," said 14-year-old Samantha Dillon. So she checked her new laptop in her suitcase. When she got to San Diego it was gone.

Now, this is a young teenager – I’ll cut her some slack…but what about her Dad or Mom?  Egad, a laptop is generally a valued item – WHY would they allow her to put it in th bag? My carry-on bag IS my computer bag and when I have to use the RJs, I know it doesn’t fit either overhead or under the seat in front of me…..I carry a sleeve to make sure that breakable electronics stay with ME! 

Note to infrequent travelers – look out the window just after you have boarded and just WATCH how your luggage is treated!  You quickly will adopt new attitudes towards packing….. 

"I thought someone might have stolen it at the airport maybe," she said.

In her suitcase was a notice from the Transportation Safety Administration. Agents had opened her bag and searched it so Samantha’s father immediately called them.

"They basically said we’ll send you a claim form and a check for lost and found at the airport," said Tom Dillon. The Dillons filed a claim and got a notice back that their claim was denied.

It doesn’t take a genius to see where this is going…

A TSA spokesperson said that MSP International uses surveillance cameras to watch screeners check the checked luggage. After viewing the tape the TSA denied the claim.

"To me it curious that they need to have video camera on their screeners so obviously they’ve had a lot of problems with this type of activity," said Tom Dillon.

The TSA insists it doesn’t have a problem and that these numbers prove it: Since 2002, 269 screeners out of 100,000 TSA screeners in the U.S. have been fired for theft.

Tom Dillon interprets those numbers differently. He’s so mad he plans to sue the TSA over the $600 laptop.

Good luck with that….they will do what all good government agencies will do – paperwork!  This will go nowhere.

The TSA has also suggested the family file a claim with Northwest Airlines, the carrier they were flying.

Right, let’s cost and blame shift!  However, I bet the TSA knew the outcome of this before stating it too!

However, fine print from Northwest Airline’s luggage policy that explains the company’s zero liability policy for computers.