We hate to stir up bad memories, but luggage nightmares happen.

Anyone who travels often has likely had an experience where a bag gets lost or damaged. It isn’t funny at the moment, and some experiences are harder to get over than others, but after enough time goes by, sometimes we can look back and have fun with the bad memory.

That’s why we asked brave travelers to dig into their past and share stories with us that they’d likely prefer to forget.

Not the Car Seat!

Jeff Neal, founder of Jason Coupon King remembers a time when he, his wife and their two daughters traveled from Pennsylvania to Florida. They lost something that stopped them in their tracks.

“You can take baby car seats onto the flight for free, but once we landed, one of our car seats was missing,” Neal says. “We were stressing out because you can’t just have a kid bouncing around in a car without a car seat. And they’re expensive.”

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They went to the help desk and after two hours of waiting (and two kids getting increasingly grumpy), they were told the car seat was lost.

“The vacation was off to a terrible start, but this story has a happy ending,” Neal says. “After letting us know it was lost, they had a loaner car seat (which luckily fit our daughter), and they said we could borrow it until they found ours. If they didn’t find our car seat, they would have let us keep it. But two days later, we get a call from the airport, letting us know that they found the car seat.

“If you have kids, then you know that traveling with them is a nightmare because you need to pack strollers and car seats in addition to the luggage, which only adds to the stress and anxiety.”

A Ruined Suitcase

Catherine Shovlin, U.K. director for the firm Synthetron, once flew from London to San Francisco with a tight transfer in Philadelphia. Her nightmare began when her luggage showed up on the carousel in Philly.

“My 9-year-old daughter’s small hard shell case was practically destroyed,” Shovlin says. “The lid was broken, the zip had ripped open and there were two dirty great tire tracks across the top of it. Distraught we gathered up the items scattered across the carousel and headed to the customer service counter with the sorry apology for a suitcase.”

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They didn’t get much help in Philly, the airline representative directed them to a table with tape and bubble wrap to fix it.

“We were flabbergasted,” Shovlin says. “Not only no apology but no surprise either. Is this such a regular occurrence that they have a table especially for it? I tried to reassure my daughter but she was pretty upset.”

Everything worked out OK, though. She found a more helpful crew in San Francisco, and the airline gave her a new, better, suitcase and a toiletries pack.

“My daughter got a new holiday wardrobe,” Shovlin says. “We completed the paperwork and within a few weeks they had refunded the cost of everything we had bought, including replacing my laptop, which I had stupidly put in her case thinking the hard shell would protect it.”

They Found the Bag, But…

Not all stories have a happy ending, though. Four years ago, Julie Bonette, of Laura Bishop Communications, spent five weeks in Greece, and had an experience that was, let’s say, colorful.

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“On my way home, Al Italia lost my bag,” Bonette says. “They kept telling me they would send it to me in the mail and I’d see it ‘tomorrow’ but I didn’t get it until eight days later. When I opened up my bag, an expensive liquor I had purchased, that was a specialty to one of the islands in Greece I had visited, had shattered and turned all of my clothes orange.”

The LugLoc luggage locator can help keep your dream vacation from turning to a nightmare. For more information, go to










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