AA and Damaged Luggage

As a travel writer and editor, Kyle Stewart travels as part of his job and he’s visited more than 50 countries, stepping foot on every continent except Antarctica.

After coming home from a long trip to Thailand over the winter holidays, he encountered a new American Airlines policy regarding damaged luggage.

“I had made it the entire trip without gate-checking a bag despite eight flights during the trip and lots of carry-on bags—that was until the very last flight,” he says. “I was forced to gate-check my Rimowa Topas ahead of a commuter flight from Chicago to Pittsburgh on a regional jet and when I collected my bag and started down the hallway, I noticed it was difficult to maneuver.”

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As he strode farther, he examined the wheels of the case and discovered that one of the wheels had been split in half.

“I took my case into the American Airlines baggage room at Pittsburgh International Airport and was informed that just after the new year American Airlines installed a new policy to evaluate and in some cases repair damaged luggage,” he says. “The agent filled out the form (I transferred my things to another bag where I had room) and I left the bag.”

A week later, a box arrived at his door with his repaired luggage without any further requirements from him.

“It was a fantastic policy and a quick fix,” Stewart says. “While I would have preferred my bag to have never been damaged in the first place, the carrier fixed it promptly and shipped it to my door within a week with no complaints.”

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Accidents happen in every business; it’s how a business handles those mistakes that makes or breaks a company. American’s response was one hopefully all airlines will follow.

According to a spokesperson for American Airlines, the airline does not do its own repairs, utilizing Rynn’s Luggage service as its primary partner.

“Many times, we will offer the customer the option to replace their luggage with one at comparable value,” the spokesperson says. “This policy has been in a place for some time and it’s one that has helped many of our customers.”

Rynn’s Luggage was founded in 1983 and is the largest airline luggage repair and replacement service in the country, working with numerous airlines. It handles thousands of pieces of luggage each month.

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Stewart notes his bag was definitely completed by a third party. Not only was the wheel repaired, but the company also replaced the interior compartment compressors.

While the AA spokesperson could not guarantee that all luggage would be replaced, he did say that if a passenger takes photos, files all documentation within 24 hours and can physically show the damage, the airline would repair it within a week at no cost. We made a simple checklist on what to do in case your luggage was damaged:

  1. Take photos of your luggage before dispatching it.
  2. File a damage report within 24 hours of retrieving your baggage from the carousel.
  3. You then have 30 days to present your damaged luggage to the airline for repairs.
  4. Prove that your bag met the strict requirements outlined in its baggage policies.

It’s that kind of peace of mind that should make anyone travelling feel good about. Just as LugLoc (lugloc.com) offers travellers the ability to track any bags. By purchasing a tracking system, which combines GSM and Bluetooth technology, and then downloading a simple app, passengers can simply tap to the app, and a map will appear showing the location of any bag, regardless of where in the world it is.

Packing Tips for a Business Trip

Business travelers don’t have any time to waste. Unlike people who are on vacation and have plenty of time to unpack, or even go shopping for items they forgot to take. When you’re on a work-related trip, time is precious because the stay is usually limited and there’s much work to do before and after the trip is over.

In order to make sure you get to that meeting on time and ready to get the job done, here are some tips on how to make your next business trip a success. There are also a few new tools you should consider to ensure that your trip is both problem-free and successful. Read on to find out!

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Bring Only What You Need

When you take a vacation, you may bring an outfit or two that you may not wear or even a golf outfit in case you can get a round in.

But you don’t have that luxury when there’s work to do. Make a detailed itinerary of where you need to be, and what you’ll need to bring. Will you be going to an office every day? If so, what’s the dress code? Pack accordingly.

Will you be going for business lunches or dinner? Or out for drinks, or to see a show? You don’t want to be over- or under-dressed.

Carrying a laptop, business materials and your personal belongings for an overnight trip? This handy video shows what to look for in your ideal suitcase and how best to pack it for stress-free business travel

Carry On Essential Items

Your plane lands, and you need to get to your meeting right away. Pack whatever you need for the meeting in a separate bag, and carry it onto the plane if at all possible. This way, everything you need to get the job done is in one, organized place. No need to open a suitcase and go looking for your materials.

And carrying on this all-important stuff means your career won’t be at risk if your luggage is lost or misplaced. Pack any electronic equipment you need for work (plus chargers), printed materials, notes, pens or samples you need for your meeting or demonstration.

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Know Where Your Phone Is

Your flight has landed, and you’re on your way to a meeting when you hear your phone ringing. It could be a person at the meeting, someone from the office back home, or your spouse checking in.

But you can’t find your phone, you only hear it, and by the time you find it, it’s stopped ringing, so now you have to check messages.

There are products out there that can help, such as a phone leash. One of these is the Phone Fetcher, which attaches a chain or bungee from your phone to a bag, so that when the phone rings, all you have to do is follow the chain to the phone. It’s ideal for women to attach to a purse, but also works with a backpack, the briefcase of choice for many millennials.

“Being a busy mom and businesswoman, I was tired of all the time I wasted during my day looking high and low for my cell phone, digging in my purse, leaving my phone at home, or in my car, even losing it on occasion (expensive mistake),” says Madelyn Goldberg, the inventor of the Phone Fetcher. “This seemed like such a waste of precious time to me. I felt if I was having these issues, other women must be going through the same thing as I am. I had to find a better way.”

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Consider Using Your Hotel’s Laundry Service

Yes, it can be pricey, but one of the easiest ways to simplify a trip is to pack less. By packing fewer outfits, and planning on using your hotel’s laundry service, you won’t be stuffing your bags, which will make it easier to unpack and bring less luggage on a trip.

It also allows you to bring a smaller, lighter bag so that you can move quickly through the airport or hotel lobby. An added bonus: having your clothes laundered means they won’t get them wrinkled inside your luggage.

Speaking of wrinkles, try buying wrinkle-free clothes, or choose clothes made of materials that are less prone to getting wrinkled.

Watch this video in which Ben Popken of NBC News shows us how to pack like a pro with this ‘bundle packing’ technique for wrinkle free clothes.

Buy the Right Stuff

You can save a lot of space by packing travel size soaps, shampoos, and deodorants, though you will want to bring them sealed in a different compartment to prevent leaks. Chances are you’ll use most, if not all, of these items, so you can throw away the bottles before returning home, and prevent leaks that could damage your clothes or other possessions on the way back. 

And don’t forget the most helpful tool of all. The LugLoc luggage locator can help you keep track of all your precious possession while you travel.

Important Things People Check When Flying

Traveling for fun or business can be exciting as you can see new places, visit friends and family, or just spend some time away from the monotony of your home life. Regardless of where you go and why, you will usually need to take some important things with you in your luggage, be it clothes, jewelry or even baby food and accessories.

Now, the last thing anyone wants to think about is just what happens if your luggage gets lost or damaged once you check it at the airport, but when you’re items are important, that certainly comes into play.

Take the experience of Anthony Bianco, a travel blogger with “The Travel Tart,” who traveled from Australia to Washington, D.C. for a job interview, packing his new suit in his suitcase.

“I took a very long haul flight and flew to DC via LAX. However, my luggage became stuck at LAX while I continued onto DC,” he says. “Unfortunately, my luggage had my suit for the interview within it, which meant that I had to buy new clothes for the interview because my luggage didn’t arrive in time.”

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Hillary Bamont, director of business development for San Francisco-based Bishop-McCann, an agency that produces meetings, live events and incentives for companies all over the world, travels on average two weeks a month and has learned her lessons, too.

“Never pack jewelry in checked luggage, not even costume jewelry, especially when traveling to foreign countries such as Mexico or the Caribbean,” she says. “These items are easy to snatch since they are smaller and chances are you may never see it again as security is a bit more relaxed in those airports and theft rates amongst baggage handlers are much higher, regardless of whether or not you have a lock on your bag.”

Other things of value that you may worry about are cameras, skis, musical equipments and artwork. But “valuable” doesn’t just refer to a dollar amount. There are some important and valuable things people pack that you can’t put a price tag on.

For instance, Roger Tuttle, a businessman in Miami, Fla., went on a family vacation to Mexico last year and packed his 5-year-old daughter’s favorite blanket in his bag—and it was lost by the airline.

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“She slept with her blanket every day and can’t sleep without it, so when we realized it was gone, we didn’t know what to do. It was irreplaceable,” he says. “It took a while for her to get back in a regular sleeping pattern and now we know, never pack something that means so much in checked baggage.”

Other items that you might want to consider carrying on instead of checking include contact lenses, medication, glasses, toys or anything with large sentimental value.

Of course, a great way to protect against such worries is with the innovative LugLoc, which provides travelers with the ability to track their bags so if the airline loses them, at least you know where they are.

To take advantage of this system, simply purchase the tracking system, which combines GSM and Bluetooth technology, and then download a simple app. By tapping the app, a map will appear showing the exact location of your suitcase, regardless of where in the world it is.

So tell us, what do you check when flying? Those that give the most interesting answers will get a chance to receive a LugLoc Device for Free, so don’t miss out on this opportunity!

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