Luggage zippers not covered

By Pam Zent
This item appears on page 26 of the March 2014 issue.
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I’ve traveled to many countries on several different airlines, always using the same Samsonite roller bag. It held up very well. However, when my husband, Mike, and I returned to Seattle after checking it through from Budapest via Amsterdam on a Delta flight on Sept. 13, 2013, we were surprised to see my suitcase appear on the baggage carousel wrapped in tape.

The outside zipper had been completely broken off, and the pull on the main zipper was gone. The name tag had been torn from the sewn-on leather holder, which was also torn.

We made a dash to the Delta Air Lines baggage claim office and were shocked to hear that Delta does not cover damage to zippers or luggage tags. (Visit www.delta.com and in the Search box type “Declaring baggage value.”) The damage had clearly been done during the baggage handling, but arguing got us nowhere.

I did get the agent to credit me with some miles, but I was more concerned with my expensive Samsonite suitcase, which Mike had given me several years before.

When we got home, I called around to find a shop that would fix it. They repaired one zipper, but I was told the other zipper and the lovely leather tag were not repairable.

Fortunately, I had saved my original Macy’s receipt. I also had the written report from Delta’s baggage claim office, the baggage claim tickets, the receipt for the new zipper that couldn’t be installed ($8.21) and the bill from the repair shop ($30). I sent all this — along with a copy of some documentation for the land tour we took — to Travel Insured (East Hartford, CT; 800/243-3174)

Our travel insurance policy had coverage of up to $1,000 on baggage and personal effects, with a per-article limit of $250.

Within only a few days I received a call saying they had processed my claim, and I received a check for $108.33 — a prorated amount, based on the age of the suitcase.

I felt Travel Insured was more than generous. I’m so glad we always get trip insurance.

I have a question for ITN readers: Do any of the other airlines cover zippers or is it only Delta that refuses to do so?

PAM ZENT

Chelan, WA

Please login or subscribe to ITN to read the entire post.

I’ve traveled to many countries on several different airlines, always using the same Samsonite roller bag. It held up very well. However, when my husband, Mike, and I returned to Seattle after checking it through from Budapest via Amsterdam on a Delta flight on Sept. 13, 2013, we were surprised to see my suitcase appear on the baggage carousel wrapped in tape.

The outside zipper had been completely broken off, and the pull on the main zipper was gone. The name tag had been torn from the sewn-on leather holder, which was also torn.

We made a dash to the Delta Air Lines baggage claim office and were shocked to hear that Delta does not cover damage to zippers or luggage tags. (Visit www.delta.com and in the Search box type “Declaring baggage value.”) The damage had clearly been done during the baggage handling, but arguing got us nowhere.

I did get the agent to credit me with some miles, but I was more concerned with my expensive Samsonite suitcase, which Mike had given me several years before.

When we got home, I called around to find a shop that would fix it. They repaired one zipper, but I was told the other zipper and the lovely leather tag were not repairable.

Fortunately, I had saved my original Macy’s receipt. I also had the written report from Delta’s baggage claim office, the baggage claim tickets, the receipt for the new zipper that couldn’t be installed ($8.21) and the bill from the repair shop ($30). I sent all this — along with a copy of some documentation for the land tour we took — to Travel Insured (East Hartford, CT; 800/243-3174)

Our travel insurance policy had coverage of up to $1,000 on baggage and personal effects, with a per-article limit of $250.

Within only a few days I received a call saying they had processed my claim, and I received a check for $108.33 — a prorated amount, based on the age of the suitcase.

I felt Travel Insured was more than generous. I’m so glad we always get trip insurance.

I have a question for ITN readers: Do any of the other airlines cover zippers or is it only Delta that refuses to do so?

PAM ZENT

Chelan, WA