An American Airlines passenger shared photos on Reddit showing that her luggage had been crushed by a luggage truck.
The passenger explained that the airline forced her to check in her luggage at the gate. When they arrived at baggage claim they were reportedly told by officials that it was “banged-up” but didn’t elaborate on the extent of the damage. The passenger said they discovered that not only the suitcase had been destroyed but “every non-clothing item” as well. All of the clothing within was “filthy” and caked with dirt.
A baggage claim worker kindly filed a claim for them, according to the passenger. In light of what happened, the airline tried to ameliorate the situation, but the passenger wasn’t satisfied: “They gave me a new carry-on, but like… what the heck was I supposed to put in it??”
They asked their fellow Reddit users if they had had similar experiences. A maintenance worker for another airline replied to the post, describing an incident in which a bag got stuck beneath their work truck. “One night, raining heavily – with that stupid asphalt/concrete mix that seems to turn into a black hole yet make every light super glaring into my eyes – just driving as usual with a colleague to one of our overnight aircraft in our work truck. I swear there’s a [weird] noise coming out of the front end,” the maintenance worker wrote.
Their colleague brushed it off saying that they were probably stuck because their truck was a “piece of s***.” The maintenance worker proceeded to drive another “hundred feet” before stopping the vehicle to investigate the problem. “Sure enough,” the worker said. “[A] standard black generic bag like every other piece of luggage is wedged basically under the front of the truck.”
The worker said that black bags were “impossible” to see on rainy nights, and dubbed those situations accidents.
Unfortunately, baggage getting run over by work trucks is more common than one might think. A Delta Airlines passenger posted a similar incident on Reddit, detailing their own experience, but in their case, their bag was “ripped apart.” They replied to Redditors, explaining that when they picked up the bag, officials told them: “I could either (1) take a new (cheap) [carry-on] from the baggage office, or (2) file a claim to have my bag replaced.”
The passenger continued, “Since I was in the middle of a trip and needed a bag for everything that was inside, and didn’t have time to go shopping, I opted to take them up on the new bag. They didn’t make me sign any sort of waiver in exchange for the bag, so I pursued a claim anyway. Fortunately, my bag’s contents were fine.”
These stories, while unfortunate, do not hold a candle to an incident at Chicago’s Midway International Airport in 2019, in which a bag was accidentally run over by a luggage truck. The bag reportedly exploded while being loaded onto its corresponding flight and caused officials to declare a Level 1 hazmat situation and suspend airport operations. At the time, local police deduced that the explosion may have been caused by a mobile phone battery or charger.
The Independent has contacted American Airlines for comment.