Which Airline treats your checked luggage the best?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by determined09, Sep 6, 2015.

  1. determined09 macrumors 65816

    determined09

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    #1
    This may be a silly question since due to the fact that I can't control how my checked luggage will be handled. But does anyone knows which airlines treats their checked luggage the best? Southwest? United? American Airlines? I'm asking because while I was at the luggage store, the Sales Representative stated that Southwest treats their checked luggage the best. Then someone walked in with their damaged luggage after one trip with United Airlines. I use to fly Southwest while I was in college and I never had any damage to my luggage. Any tips or suggestions will be greatly appreciated.Thank you
     
  2. AustinIllini macrumors demi-god

    AustinIllini

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    #2
    I know this isn't super helpful, but I doubt there is any difference. The only thing I will say is because Southwest bags fly free, there are a lot more checked bags so a lot more things your bag can crash into or get crushed by. The reality is, on United, Delta, American most non-business passengers carry on if they can.
     
  3. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

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    #3
    Generally the 'airline' dosnt handle loading and unloading. It's the airport that provides that service to the airlines.
     
  4. determined09 thread starter macrumors 65816

    determined09

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    #4
    Thank you! That clears things up.
     
  5. determined09 thread starter macrumors 65816

    determined09

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    #5
    The luggage that I saw at the Tumi store and it had looked like someone had just slid her luggage across the cement or something. It looked terrible. I think I may just get some really cheap luggage off QVC.com.
     
  6. Roller macrumors 68020

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    #6
    It depends what you mean by "treat." All baggage handling systems at airports have the potential to cause damage, so having high-quality, durable luggage is a must, as is packing well. There are statistics that show how often airlines delay delivery or lose baggage outright. I just did a quick Google search and found a few.

    Having said that, I've had good experience with Delta. I like the way I can check the status of my bags using their app, so I know that they've on the plane.
     
  7. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #7
    Unfortunately that does not clear it up. Some airlines use contact help, (not the airport) but the majors I'm familiar use their own employees (not the airport). There may be a location where "airport" employees handling bags, but that is not the norm, at least it was not the norm before I retired from the airline industry. No intent to start a confrontation, but @Gav2k which airport(s) are you thinking of?
     
  8. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

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    #8
    All major uk airports do. The only one I know that dosnt is Southend at the moment but that may have changed.
     
  9. Blujelly macrumors 65816

    Blujelly

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    #9
    Southend is just a hole in the wall, one of the worst airports I've every used.
     
  10. determined09 thread starter macrumors 65816

    determined09

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    #10
    Which luggage brands are good? Tumi? Samanite (sp?
     
  11. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #11
    That must be a difference between the U.S. and U.K. Thanks for clarifying.
     
  12. Scepticalscribe, Sep 7, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2015

    Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #12
    Samsonite are pretty good. They have good warranties and honour them. Their luggage can be a bit pricey, but it is durable and rugged - all of my suitcases are Samsonite, and they have - quite literally - travelled the globe with me.

    I agree with @Roller; spending money on good quality luggage (especially if you travel a lot) is a must. Not only is it built better and more durable, but it is usually better balanced as well. Re price and Samsonite, I have bought some of my bags during sales, when you can get quite generous discounts. Of course, this means that sometimes you may find yourself buying a suitcase for which you may have no immediate need.

    Mandarina Duck also make highly regarded bags and suitcases; I have never actually had one, but I have met those who have used them and rated them highly.

    Re airlines and luggage, not surprisingly, they tend to treat business class travellers a lot better.

    The other thing to bear in mind is that if you fly with the same carrier all the way through, they tend to be a bit more concerned - and professional - about things such as the safe transport of luggage. In Europe and Asia, I have noticed that difficulties tend to arise when, for whatever reason, a multi-leg journey is undertaken with two or more carriers; their sense of responsibility for your possessions tend to be somewhat reduced when others are also flying you to your destination.
     
  13. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #13
    My wife once spent $350 on a bag which I consider to be high end. It's a brown corduroy type material and the first time we went somewhere, it came back to her from the plane with a large black grease-like smear across the front, just to make her feel bad. ;)
     
  14. Roller macrumors 68020

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    #14
    No matter what carriers you fly or where you go, it's best to assume that your luggage will be handled roughly at some point, be it in the airport, while being brought to or from the aircraft, or during loading and unloading. Whenever I watch suitcases and other containers rolling off the conveyor belt at baggage claim, I always marvel at how poorly some people prepare their own belongings for transport. I've seen bags and cartons held together with duct tape and cloth ribbons. Overpacking contributes to the problem - the zipper or other latch mechanism is a likely point of failure if a bag is too full.

    Admittedly, not everyone can afford premium luggage, but as Scepticalscribe notes, suitcases are often available at a discount. As I see it, the cumulative value of what I pack is usually much less than the cost of decent luggage, which I can use over and over.
     
  15. b0fh666 macrumors 6502a

    b0fh666

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    #15
    i'd never buy quality luggage to check... it would be destroyed after 20-ish trips anyway :)

    currently using some plastic 'ifly' things that I bought on walmart for 50 bucks or so. holding up so far.

    for carry-on, get the best your money can buy tough.
     
  16. Scepticalscribe, Sep 7, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2015

    Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #16
    Well, @Huntn, most of my luggage is coloured black, for that precise reason.

    Several years ago, I did get a mid sized suitcase (Samsonite) at a discount in a sale; I bought it because it was a size I needed (great for say, a week, away, rather than the very large suitcase I use for longer periods away), had a generous discount, and was made by Samsonite. And I rather liked the colour, though I recognised that it might not be as practical as the black I more usually buy.

    In fact, it came in an attractive sand, or khaki colour - which may have been one of the reasons for the price discount. Needless to say, precisely because it is in that lovely sandy or khaki colour, of course, it shows solid evidence of the rough treatment it has received over the years.

    Actually, the irony is that the khaki coloured midsize suitcase looks a good bit more battered than the very sturdy large black suitcase by Samsonite that I also have and which - as it happens - has been used an awful lot more. At the time I bought it around 15 years ago, - and happily paid full price for it - this was the best suitcase that I could buy - their largest top of the range model. That is the suitcase that accompanies me everywhere.

    Such is life, and a battered suitcase is a well travelled one. Besides, this is what it has been designed to deal with.

    Thus, brighter colours will show scruff, and bashes, and marks, and smears.

    My mother, who, when she was healthy and active, travelled quite a bit, had always advised me that spending good money on good quality luggage was something which would pay for itself over time. Indeed, as a student, I used to borrow her luggage sometimes, and since then, have always invested in good quality luggage for myself, something which I have always found to be a well worthwhile investment.
     
  17. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #17
    I live 20 minutes from Logan Airport and I can confirm that the airlines do infact hire people to load/unload the planes. My stepson worked for an airline doing just that, and while working there we could have flown for free (non-comp)
     
  18. Brian Y macrumors 68040

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    Oct 21, 2012
    #18
    I just bought luggage which comes with a damage guarantee. I tend to find it's not the baggage staff that damage it, but all damage my luggage has had has been caused by the machines. At KC airport, for example, it got crushed coming down the chute onto the belt as it got caught between another bag and the edge of the chute.

    As for staff, most airlines have their own staff load/unload the planes, but it's the airport staff who handle it on its journey from the check-in desk to the plane.

    Its amazing how many bags you see without a $5 strap wrapped around them though! The if the zipper breaks, I don't want my undies being flung all over the conveyor!
     
  19. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #19
    There are extraordinarily heavy - and rugged - bags and suitcases available. The American company Saddleback makes some extraordinarily robust and rugged leather bags, briefcases, and suitcases.

    On a recent mission abroad, in an environment best described as 'challenging', my lovely Italian leather briefcase proved rather unequal to the task, and I needed something more robust.

    Thus, while subsequently on leave, I bought a Saddleback ('medium' - which is still pretty large) sized 'classic' briefcase. The thing is heavy, capacious, rugged, and comes with a one hundred year guarantee; it is a wonderful and superbly made bag, but quite heavy.

    They do stunning - and pretty indestructible - suitcases; but they are also extremely heavy, and very expensive. As a sort of indestructible back-up, I also bought what they call their 'water-bag', in the discontinued 'small' size. This is not 'small' as the world understands that phrase; it is an extraordinarily rugged and heavy piece of leather.
     
  20. mobilehaathi macrumors G3

    mobilehaathi

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    #20
    It's called American-small.;)
     
  21. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #21
    Hm, yes. I see.

    Thanks for this clarification. That means that what the Americans call 'large' and 'extra-large' are what the rest of us might view as 'extra-large' and 'positively, massively, ginormous'.

    Re that water bag, I would say that it is close to indestructible; it is also uncomfortably heavy to carry (and that is the discontinued 'small' size; I doubt I'd even be able to heft the others). So, as with many other things in life, there is something of a trade off, this time between durability, and ruggedness, versus comfort and ease of transport.
     
  22. mobilehaathi macrumors G3

    mobilehaathi

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    #22
    They look like great bags, but if they're unreasonably heavy that sort of limits usefulness ...
     
  23. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #23
    My thoughts too.

    The briefcase (that 'medium' - which is almost anything but - in the 'classic' style) is superb, for rugged settings and situations, and is something I shall more than readily find a use for on future travels. Great for 'challenging' spots. Granted, it, too, is heavy enough, but I wear it across body if I am walking with it for any length of time, such as those huge airports with endless passages between terminals.

    Their suitcases don't have wheels, (I wrote to them about that) and they suggested that you buy one of those little portable retractable carts (or trolleys) the ones with handles and wheels to go with their incredibly sturdy suitcases. That is what they themselves do, I was informed.
     
  24. mobilehaathi macrumors G3

    mobilehaathi

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    #24
    Just how heavy are these briefcases? I've been on the lookout (without actively searching) for a high quality bag and these are tempting. I'd rather spend a lot of money once for a lifetime bag then spend half as much on a bag that will fall apart in a few years.
     
  25. QuarterSwede macrumors G3

    QuarterSwede

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    #25
    Get Costco Kirkland luggage with the ballistic nylon fabric (NOT the hard shell, they crack easiest). They have massive YYK zippers (the size of a thumb) so they don't pull out and I've yet to have a handler damage one even in 10 years of owning my oldest. I won't buy another type. They're fantastic.

    Oh and handlers prefer the 4 wheeled type as they still down the hold and they don't have to toss them which can cause damage.
     

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