Airlines are well known for breaking peoples’ luggage. I mean, it’s enough for a “thing” that the Bureau of Transportation puts out a quarterly report of which airlines mishandled (fancy talk for “lost, damaged, delayed, and pilfered”) the most luggage, every quarter.
In 2021 alone, over 1.9 million bags were mishandled by U.S. carriers. That’s…a lot.
Of course, of the damaged bags, sometimes it’s something that you could almost see happening. A handle breaks. A wheel falls off. Maybe the corner of a big, hard sided bag sharply hit the side of another bag and cracked or squashed it.
But one man was recently traveling and this is how his bag came back to him. It’s. by far, the most damaged bag I’ve ever seen.
The photo was posted on Reddit by someone named an0nym0ose and according to them, the bag is owned by the person’s uncle. The comments (over 4.6k of them, at last count), not surprisingly, ran the gamut. Here are just a few of them:
- Did the flight land or did they just throw it off on the way by? — prawduhgee
- My wife says this is how her bottom felt after giving birth — Careless_Emergency66
- I can tell you exactly how this probably happened. They use conveyors in airports that run quite quickly, that probably got jammed up where there is no photo eye sensor to detect jams (some can cause a “logjam” of bags 30+ feet long with dozens of bags). So for potentially a few minutes the conveyor was zipping along with the bag stuck. Hard bags are usually better, however diverters and pushers will damage them worse in the right situations. Unfortunately until we find a better way to transport checked bags none are truly safe from damage.– 5quirre1
- Airline Spokesman : How do we know it didn’t always look like that? — Eternal_Bagel
- Hard cases work as long as you made sure to get a good one. I can tell from looking at this bag that it was a good quality suitcase. Cheap hard cases blow up just as well as the cheap soft side ones when the baggage conveyors get moody. — blob537
- Did his stuff at least survive? — BerdedNerd22
- And this is why people say it’s not safe to check your car seats. Buying a ticket for your kids (even under 2 yo) and Bringing the seats on the plane is the only way to guarantee the seats aren’t damaged. — PossibilityMission25
- Out of curiosity, exactly how much does it cost to fly out of Mordor Intl. Airport? — Catoblepas2021
- This will probably get buried but I’ve worked for a couple of airlines and this is what you do when this happens: You go directly to the ticket counter and don’t leave until they’ve either replaced your bag with one they have on hand (they do have brand-new bags for this purpose) or they’ve filled out a damage claim and given you a printout with the claim number and the phone number to call (and call and call) until they issue you a voucher for a replacement. Don’t leave the airport until you’ve done this. — garflnarb
- We lost a tire and your suitcase was the perfect fit. — Unknown-U
There were plenty of comments, usually jokingly, about what airline did the damage:
- Here at Spirit, we take pride in your luggage handling. By that, we mean we drag yo s**t behind the plane as an anchor to slow us down after a flight. For all complaints please see attached tag that was probably lost during handling. Have a nice day! — Intelligent_Sir_6410
- Handled by British Airways then? Same thing happened to ours. — Jellybeenjean
- I bet money he flew American Airlines — brant1019
- Was his flight with Malaysian Airlines lol — corinair717
- Stand with frontier — BlewOffMyLegOff
- Did he fly air Canada? — FoundationDry8957
- United Airlines: I’m sorry sir, our baggage policy doesn’t cover that.
Source: United literally told me this after they did the same thing to my brand new suitcase the first (last and only) time I ever used it. – OKBeeDude
- Was it Qantas? 😂 — Nexmo16
A few people all had similar ideas:
- As a retired baggage smasher, that bag was run over by a tug and cart and got drug on the tarmac from whatever gate it came into to the baggage claim. — Illymost
- My guess would be that it fell off an open baggage cart, and became trapped underneath by an axel. It the made the trip from the tarmac gate to the baggage claim carousel. Road rash was the result.
I had bowling ball experience the same outcome, except the road sanded down one side to a flat plane. I filed a claim with the airline’s baggage service office, and kept the misshapen bowling ball as a souvenir/paper weight/door stopper. — VegasBjorne1
- I’ve worked in the airline industry for many years and what this looks like is a tug driver accidentally ran over the bag and got stuck underneath as they drove around the airport. Seen it happen a few times… — Mysterious_Fisher
- Had this happen to me but even worse. My suitcase fell off the little vehicle they drive luggage to the plane with and got dragged underneath it. Thankfully they paid for my bag and everything inside it, then a little bit more. — Duckforducks
I suspect they may be right. The original poster did a follow-up a day or two later:
Yeah, he said most of the stuff inside was undamaged. Nothing major got fucked up.
The suitcase now joins the honored dead in the halls of luggage Valhalla.
EDIT: updating with some answered questions.
He wasn’t comfortable sharing the airline, which I’m respecting
The only things damaged were a hairbrush, the heel of one of his shoes got taken off, and had a grinder destroyed
The airline didn’t tell him how it was damaged, but he did find asphalt gravel inside it so he assumes it somehow ended up dragged across the tarmac
He is being reimbursed for the suitcase and the items damaged
So I guess there was a happy ending. But wow, could you imagine how the guy felt when he saw luggage came out looking like THAT? I mean, I’m sure there have been some bags that looked even worse. But I’ve never seen them.
Featured Photo: Pexels
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