I am now a self proclaimed expert on all things relating to lost luggage. I recommend that all travellers be aware that most credit cards offer lost baggage coverage of some variety and purchase protection for most items if you used the card to purchase either the plane ticket or the lost item. Saturday morning my husband flew from FLL to JFK, and upon deplaning realized he had someone else's black Hugo Boss canvas suit bag and they had his. He was heading to a family wedding so it became clear that he would arrive at his final destination slightly underdressed and extremely exhausted by the process of tracking a lost piece of carryon luggage. By Sunday afternoon, I was feeling optimistic. A tip from a Facebook friend pointed me in the direction of credit card purchase protection. Thank you Rachel. I thought we had hit the jackpot with protection from our credit card if the bag didn't turn up. Here's what I've learned and I thought it might be helpful to share.
American Express insurance will protect its cardholders if you purchased your ticket with them (which we did) but only if your CHECKED baggage is lost, NOT your lost CARRY ON items. Disappointing. My next phone call was to Chase VISA. I was determined to remain calm in the midst of the missing bag tumult. Chase told me they offered 2 benefits to cardholders- lost luggage protection and purchase benefit protection. So we slept well last night knowing that in case the suit didn't find its way home, we would be left feeling naked. I feel case #1160222 getting colder with every passing minute so I wanted to have all of my ducks in a row early on, if we needed to file a claim. There is a chance however that this other passenger is en route to India or somewhere far off and hasn't even made the realization that his hanging bag is still sitting in the baggage deparment at JFK and he has been travelling with Alan's. There is also the possibility that someone took Alan's bag, and not by accident. I don't want to put my energy into that scenario.
This morning I called to have someone at Chase help me read the fine lines. The eyes aren't what they once were and neither is the brain. So I was looking for a translator for the mumbo jumbo jargon and to set up a plan for the plan if and when we needed one. I now understand that yesterday's conversaton had a few holes in it. The lost luggage protection Chase offers would only help us if we bought our ticket with Chase. We purchased our ticket with American Express because they give 5 points for every 1 dollar used for any purchases made related to travel and Chase only gives 3 points. Dylan has been getting us up to speed on all of the benefits we've never taken advantage of and bringing us into the 21st century. It's all about the points and the miles. So lost luggage would not be a fit and now the other avenue to explore was purchase benefit protection which goes up to $10,000 for up to 120 days. This would be a sure thing, or so I thought. The glitch is that for whatever reason, purchase benefit protection does not cover loss on an airplane. The explanation as to why sounds like a Saturday Night Live sketch and far exceeds my comprehension but suffice it to say, we're screwed.
So I remain hopeful that some man somewhere has Alan's bag and has no interest in keeping it. I'm imagining him feeling as eager to get his belongings back as we are to get Alan's. Alan left the phantom black suit bag he was left with at the Delta baggage claim department. It didn't belong to him. I'm envisioning this man calling Delta from wherever. When that happens, I am hoping the forms we filled out and the 5+ hours of phone calls I sat on, will kick in and we will be notified. In that moment, it will all have been worthwhile. I realize I have exhausted all appropriate channels of communication (as you well know) and have to turn this over to the baggage gods. Thank you for your enthusiasm. It really does take a village. It was my intention in sharing that you may avoid some of this insanity if you find yourself on a similar path. Every situation in life has a silver lining if you look for it. I hope my next post to you will be a victory dance and of course, Alan will be wearing his suit. C'mon Universe, let's do this!