Lost luggage disrupts an otherwise fabulous cruise vacation almost as much as if we were to show up at the pier and the ship was not there. Where to go? What to do? Less frequent than canceled or delayed flights, it is easy to get a false sense of luggage security if it has never happened to you. I had that confidence, never experiencing lost luggage ever in my lifetime, until I got to know that loss first-hand on two consecutive trips. When it happens, travelers have been at the mercy of airlines to find and deliver that luggage later, usually a port or two down the itinerary. But what if it never comes?
My Sad Story Of Lost Luggage
Being told that that the airline had an efficient system for locating and delivering lost luggage was oddly reassuring at the time. Looking back I wondered if it might not have been a better idea to have a more efficient system for not losing it in the first place. Still, the airline did try to be comforting and offered a personal care kit that included a toothbrush, disposable shaver and a t-shirt with the airline logo on it that Barbie would probably have loved to see Ken in. Another “why bother?” moment, much like the less-than-delicious meals served on long flights.
Eventually, our luggage found us with our cruise in-progress, the first time. On our second “lost” luggage incident, we learned the hard way not to book connecting flights really close together. While we were able to run to the gate and caught the flight, our luggage did not. Compounding the loss, I was traveling with Whitney at the time and her lost luggage had a number of oversized bottles of beauty products in it. The world ended, briefly.
In both cases, the procedure for what to do is rather simple: file a claim with the airline and wait. If the luggage is never found, comes back damaged or has contents missing, the airline will eventually reimburse travelers appropriately. Still, in this scenario, it’s the lone traveler on one side and the mighty airline on the other and all the yelling and screaming in the world won’t improve that situation. Until now.
Let Someone Else Scream At The Airline
Blue Ribbon Bags is the one and only third party service that tracks and expedites the return of bags lost by an airline. Much like having a cruise-focused third-party travel agent on your side, the Blue Ribbon service deals in the world of lost luggage daily and knows it well.
A satisfaction guarantee of $1,000 per bag is paid for a $5 service fee if Blue Ribbon Bags is unable to assist in finding the passenger’s bag after 4 days. Started as a way to give travelers “peace of mind” when checking luggage with an airline, Blue Ribbon Bags is currently available for customers traveling on any airline in every country around the world.
Basically The Lost Luggage Coverage Of Travel Insurance, On Steroids
Blue Ribbon Bags is inexpensive assurance that protects every bag taken on a plane for $5, paid in advance of travel, up to the minute before a flight actually takes off. In the event that a bag is not returned, Blue Ribbon Bags will track and expedite its return and pay a minimum of $1000 per bag if the bag is lost by the airline, and not returned within 4 days of your flight’s arrival.
Unlike airline reimbursements, no proof of what was in the bag is necessary to receive payment. All US and International flights are covered with this service, including all code share partners and connections.
The jury is still out on how effective Blue Ribbon Bags is at the tracking and expediting lost luggage element of what they do. After all, many airlines have smartphone apps that will tell us where our luggage is at any given time and it’s a bit of an iffy benefit to believe that the service really has much say in how quickly the airline system works.
“With over 20 million bags misplaced last year alone, we feel that our service gives our customers an efficient way to ease the inconvenience of lost luggage, and the hassle that goes along with it.” -Gabriel Menkin, CEO, Blue Ribbon Bags
Still, the $5 fee could be worth a bit extra peace of mind when faced with a less than optimum flight schedule. Traveling over holidays, having flights with tight connections or terrified due to our lost luggage experience would be good reasons. Also, the fact that Blue Ribbon allows the service to be purchased at the last minute could be helpful when flights are canceled, unanticipated storms cause a cascading delay effect on the entire transportation system or you did not make it to the convenience store to buy that lottery ticket and like to gamble.
This video gives a good overview of what Blue Ribbon Bags is all about-
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