I was recently spending time with a friend who just flew home on Delta from a two-week business trip. He flew from LAX-ATL-MCO and while his flight was delayed over an hour due to a mechanical issue, the biggest grump he had was that it took over 45 minutes for his luggage to arrive after landing.
Now I grew up flying out of Newark Airport so long waits for luggage are nothing new for me. In fact, I was always amazed at how fast my baggage showed up when flying to Orlando compared to what I was accustomed to at home.
Times have changed and Orlando Airport is no longer a small airport in Central Florida. It’s the biggest airport in the state and is going through some growing pains.
While most departing passengers notice the long lines at the TSA checkpoints, Orlando residents know that it’s been taking longer and longer for checked bags to show up at the carousels.
Fortunately, Delta has a guarantee that your bags will show up at the carousel within 20 minutes. Honestly, it takes almost 20 minutes to get off a Delta flight in Orlando, take the APM (Automated People Mover) from the gates to the main terminal and walk down to the baggage claim area. If you’re waiting more than 5 extra minutes for your bags, that’s too long.
But yeah, Delta says if it takes more than 20 minutes for your bags to arrive, they will pay you 2,500 SkyMiles:
We’re committed to providing you with reliable and on-time baggage service every time you fly. That’s why we’re backing your bags with a guarantee: if your checked bag doesn’t arrive at the carousel in 20 minutes or less after any domestic flight, you are eligible to receive 2,500 bonus miles. Just complete the below form no later than three days after your flight’s arrival. Requests should only be submitted after your flight.
He put in a claim for the delay on Delta’s website at https://www.delta.com/bags/bagsClaimAutomation.action
Per Delta, it may take a little while to get your Skymiles.
Please allow up to two weeks after submitting your request for your bonus miles to appear in your account.
His revelation was that he’s likely to earn more SkyMiles from his delayed luggage claim than he will receive from the flight. Since he doesn’t have any Delta status, he’s earning 5 SkyMiles per dollar for the cost of his ticket. The one-way ticket price would have to be more than $500 to earn more than 2,500 SkyMiles.
That’s the world we live in. One where you can earn more points from a delayed baggage guarantee than you will from flying across the United States. To make things worse, on top of the luggage delay, his seatback entertainment screen was broken on both legs of the trip and the APU was broken, causing the plane to have no air conditioning while it was sitting on the ground in Los Angeles until they eventually got it hooked up to a GPU.
While he already put in a claim for the SkyMiles for the baggage, I told him he should ask Delta for some extra compensation for the hot airplane and the lack of entertainment options on both flight segments. If the airline is going to compensate so little for what we pay to fly with them, we need to tell them to pay up when they don’t deliver on the things they promise, like providing a plane with a comfortable temperature and a functional TV screen.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary