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Old 03.01.2015, 10:56
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Suitcase broken on almost every flight - common issue?

In the last months, almost every time I flew from or to Zurich, something happened to my suitcase, and I am wondering whether this is a common issue. What is your experience?

- Flight from the US to Zurich: Case broken (almost new Titan suitcase, known for their durability)
I only noticed at home, when it was too late to complain. So, I got my dad's 15 year old but only twice used samsonite - given that it is more than 10 years old, I do not get compensated for the damages (rule is that you get purchase price minus 10% for each year you had the suitcase)
- Next flight from the US: Way over: Broke hook that holds the divider inside.
- Flight to Paris: Broke lock of the security travel strap band
- Flight from Paris: Broke lock of suitcase, even though I had left it open under the (new) travel strap band, as security rules provide.

Am I on an unlucky streak, here, or have others made the same experience?
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Old 03.01.2015, 11:09
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Re: Suitcase broken on almost every flight - common issue?

We're you late for check in etc ?
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Old 03.01.2015, 11:17
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Re: Suitcase broken on almost every flight - common issue?

Have you ever seen them load or unload baggage? I am surprised there are not more damaged suitcases. Had one destroyed each year I went to Cuba.
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Old 03.01.2015, 11:28
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Re: Suitcase broken on almost every flight - common issue?

Also all depends on type of plane you are flying with if it can take a ULD container or if bags are loaded by hand.
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Old 03.01.2015, 11:39
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Re: Suitcase broken on almost every flight - common issue?

Sorry to disappoint- I've travelled extensively for about 50 years, and I've never had any damage to my suitcase- Our skis once arrived late and were delivered to the resort at midnight, and one daughter's suitcase was once picked up from the trolley from an elderly man changing for Dublin- his wife was a bit surprised to find her underwear- but cases, and underwear- were all back with their owners 2 days later.

My current suitcase I have had for about 20 years- it has been all over the world. 1 zipper for one outer pocked has the tab missing.

Bad luck.
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Old 03.01.2015, 11:40
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Re: Suitcase broken on almost every flight - common issue?

I don't know if you're really unlucky or we're just really lucky but we've never had a suitcase damaged travelling by air ( well except for a few surface scratches) ever and we've travelled substantially over the years.
We've had a few go AWOL but they've always turned up eventually.

I also had the shock of discovering someone else's underwear on opening 'my' suitcase once ( unfortunately all dirty baggy y fronts ). A ( 2 hour)trip back to the airport to swap it for my own identical red case soon solved the problem.
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Old 03.01.2015, 11:43
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Re: Suitcase broken on almost every flight - common issue?

I have never had a broken item, but I haven't used suitcases for years. I use large bags as they are much lighter to carry,
and I can bring back more stuff. The last time I had 37 Kilos using 2 bags.
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Old 03.01.2015, 11:57
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Re: Suitcase broken on almost every flight - common issue?

With regards to broken suitcases, this is a classic.

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Old 03.01.2015, 12:02
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Re: Suitcase broken on almost every flight - common issue?

Paris. Enough said.
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Old 03.01.2015, 12:05
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Re: Suitcase broken on almost every flight - common issue?

I am a frequent flyer and have only had 1 damaged suitcase and that was from a flight back from Montreal. The damaged was very minor - just a small split. I went to the BA desk - this was on a Thursday- and unbelievably on the Monday morning a new suitcase was delivered to my door !!!

Last edited by smackerjack; 03.01.2015 at 12:06. Reason: letter missing
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Old 03.01.2015, 12:06
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Re: Suitcase broken on almost every flight - common issue?

Eight of our suitcases got ruined in the 'eighties and 'nineties, all of them at Athen's old Elliniko Airport, International terminal side (east of the runways).

In 1994, we saw the culprit. Those who knew that airport may remember that it had no jet bridges. You got picked up at the gate by an apron bus that took you to the boarding stairs, very often even when the distance between the gate and the plane was just 50 meters. Seriously! You HAD to enter the bus, no matter what, even if it took much longer than just walking. After all, that's what the busses were there for.

There were no lift loader vehicles either. Every suitcase went up the conveyor belt into the luggage hold.

Well, that time in August 1994, while standing in line at the bottom of the boarding stairs, we could watch a huge guy (think Hulk size) at the bottom of the belt loader. He pulled every suitcase from the luggage dolly, lifted it to to shoulder height as if it were only ten pouds and threw it on the belt, dropping it about four feet. Each and every one of them.

Watching him was amazing. It looked like he was enjoying his job. Needless to say we had to hit the Damaged Luggage counter after arrival in Zurich, three damaged suitcases (out of four). The clerk shrugged, "Well, Athens, you know...."

Yes, we had known already, but that time we had seen how it was done.
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Old 03.01.2015, 12:15
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Re: Suitcase broken on almost every flight - common issue?

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I am a frequent flyer and have only had 1 damaged suitcase and that was from a flight back from Montreal. The damaged was very minor - just a small split. I went to the BA desk - this was on a Thursday- and unbelievably on the Monday morning a new suitcase was delivered to my door !!!
The joys of frequent flyer status. My wife and I recently flew back from North America together. She wrote a (time-sensitive) query and I wrote a complaint.

My complaint was dealt with most generously within a week. Her time-sensitive query took over three weeks. When she pointed out this discrepancy she was informed that they had clear targets with respect to responding to frequent flyers with status.
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Old 03.01.2015, 13:50
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Re: Suitcase broken on almost every flight - common issue?

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I have never had a broken item, but I haven't used suitcases for years. I use large bags as they are much lighter to carry,
and I can bring back more stuff. The last time I had 37 Kilos using 2 bags.
I used to be a great fan of duffle bags because they are light until mine got soaked with something that spilled out of someone else's bag. Then I became a fan of hard shell bags.

Is this a good time to mention my ad where I am selling 2 sets of Delsey suitcases? They have almost 4 years left on the international warranty. I think the airllines treat you differently when there is damage and you don't have a "no name" bag.
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Old 03.01.2015, 14:09
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Re: Suitcase broken on almost every flight - common issue?

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The joys of frequent flyer status. .
Actually Snoopy although I am frequent flyer I do not belong to Air miles / frequent flyer programs at all so was not given any preferential treatment - maybe the guy took a shine to me ( he did compliment me on my hair)
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Old 03.01.2015, 14:16
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Re: Suitcase broken on almost every flight - common issue?

I think hard cases get damaged a lot more. I travel with a large, soft, wheelie hold-all, and it's never been damaged.
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Old 03.01.2015, 15:14
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Re: Suitcase broken on almost every flight - common issue?

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maybe the guy took a shine to me ( he did compliment me on my hair)
Having once worked for an airline I can tell you that goes a long way also...
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Old 03.01.2015, 16:34
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Re: Suitcase broken on almost every flight - common issue?

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We're you late for check in etc ?
Nope, at the airport between 1.5 to 2 hours before departure, luggage well within weight limitations, properly tagged, everything fine… until I got home and found the respective damage.

Oh, and I was flying with SWISS.
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Old 03.01.2015, 17:32
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Re: Suitcase broken on almost every flight - common issue?

I've flown quite a bit and can't recall ever having a suitcase damaged. So, I guess that means that either I've been unusually lucky, or you've been unusually unlucky.
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Old 03.01.2015, 17:56
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Re: Suitcase broken on almost every flight - common issue?

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I've flown quite a bit and can't recall ever having a suitcase damaged. So, I guess that means that either I've been unusually lucky, or you've been unusually unlucky.
Sure you weren't sleeping
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Old 03.01.2015, 18:16
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Re: Suitcase broken on almost every flight - common issue?

Watching the lugage slam down the new conveyor belts at zurich airport this morning... i am not surprised... every single bag came down at an angle onto the corner or wheel of the case, with force and a bang... It may work with minimal human interference, but wow... The force involved.

The soft backpacks from the big group of international scouts that shared our flight seemed to fare much better... They rolled down the conveyor...

I do not think a hard shelled case will survive better under these mechanised processes...
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