Luggage Left Behind

September 16, 2009

in Luggage Stories

My father and I arrived at Chicago O’Hare airport 5 hours before our scheduled flight to LA. This being Chicago during the winter, our flight was delayed because all the planes had to be de-iced. We began to panic, as we would most likely miss our flight to Sydney, Australia. Once we arrived in LA, an hour or so late, we ran outside and into the terminal, rushing through security. We ran and ran to the gate, and the flight to Sydney was also late, thank goodness. We boarded the plane to fly to Sydney, and arrived 15 hours later.

After passing through customs, we went to the baggage claim to get our luggage. We waited, and waited, and waited. Twenty minutes had passed, and everyone received their baggage except us. We went to the information desk, who informed us that our bags were halfway around the world. They were still sitting in the O’Hare airport. We had nothing except the clothes on our back. We were still wearing our winter clothes from Chicago, and it was the middle of summer in Sydney.

We angrily left the airport, and went out into the heat, wearing long pants and sweatshirts. We had to buy everything, as it would take several days for our luggage to flown to Australia. We ended up spending close to $400 on clothing and other items. Finally, our luggage came 3 days later, on Christmas Day. Thank you, American Airlines, for leaving my luggage in another country.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

madachode September 17, 2009 at 7:06 am

No, you got to where you needed to go right? Quit complaining.


iloveflying September 7, 2015 at 11:14 pm



saw September 17, 2009 at 10:57 am

Well… you know… when you're that close to an international connection, it was sort of foolish of you to believe your luggage would make it. It takes about 20 minutes MINIMUM to transfer luggage within the same airline domestic. You have to allow at least an hour or more if you're connecting internationally.

Lesson learned – when making travel plans that include an international connection, leave at least a 4 hour window at your stopover.


Aaron September 17, 2009 at 12:04 pm

Given your timing, this was highly predictable. Not a flight from hell.


david September 17, 2009 at 1:48 pm

if you booked the flights seperatly (who knows) than your the one who has to claim it and re check it in, but yeah it takes time even if it is connecting

i found that out when i was flying from EWR (NY) to Singapore, we were delayed out of newark and we made it just in time for the Singapore Airlines flight, we arrived in singapore and waited a while for our bags, we figured it may take a while because it was on the A380 and it was a full flight so we assumed it would take a while…..but we got a call from singapore airlines that our bags were in london heathrow and that they will be on the next flight

so im not sure why it took 4 days to get to you, unless it was the delivery service


Bruce Weatherby September 17, 2009 at 7:43 pm

At least you got your bags back! Read my story Lost Bag Leads To Lost Business. When I moved to Germany, Jet Blue lost my bags and they were never to be seen again! Vanished forever!


MJ September 20, 2009 at 9:24 am

Actually, the bags should have made it at least to LA…if they were still in Chicago, the airline did fail…


AfricaNomad September 21, 2009 at 5:02 am

I am not an expert in these things but I find that whether or not my luggage makes it has a lot more to do with the airport than with the airline. An example? CDG airport has lost my luggage during transfers over 50% of the time. AMS airport has never lost or delayed my luggage. That is using various airlines.

I would say AA screwed this particular person at least a little as their luggage doesn't appear to have ever left Chicago. That said, I generally always travel with my toothbrush, a small travel toothpaste, 1 spare shirt, pants or shorts and underwear in my carryon.


Brad October 31, 2009 at 4:01 am

Some of you need help with reading comprehension. The OP stated they arrived 5 hours early for their intial flight. More than enough time to put the bags on the flight, even if there were no delays.

Op does not state how long a stopover was originally scheduled, it may have been several hours, but someone assumes it's 20 minutes. (That's how long they waited at their destination for their bags).

The bags never having left Chicago is inexcusable. 3 days late is inexcusable, they should have been on the first available flight to catch up.

AA manages to leave my tool box behind, everytime I fly, so I'm not surprised. Unfortunately when travelling for work, I have no choice who I fly with.


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