The next time you book a low cost airline ticket to one of your favorite destinations on a low fare airline, be aware that if you’re checking a bag, you won’t know exactly where your bag is and neither will the airline.
Although many of us are excited to save on low airline rates to visit family members, have a getaway or for business travel, be aware that those low priced fares can potentially equate to significant missing services. One such service that I recently discovered was absent while traveling on a low fare airline was a centralized baggage system, which is standard when flying on a major commercial airline.
To say I travel a lot is an understatement. I often say, I hop planes like New Yorkers hop the train. Over my decades of traveling, I have been very fortunate to experience very few incidents regarding missing baggage. If my bag was missing when I arrive from a flight, it was always located, retrieved and returned to me within 24-48 hours. That was the case until recently.
Normally, I always fly on major airlines, but on occasion, when I find a significantly discounted fare, or it is the only flight available during a particular needed time, I will fly a low fare airline.
Earlier this year, I was flying to Chicago to attend the premiere party of my television show “Women on the Move,” when my luggage was lost while traveling on Spirit Airlines.
Unfortunately for me, there were thousands of dollars worth of items in my suitcase (exceeding the $3,500 maximum reimbursement amount). It was bad enough my bag hadn’t arrived, but what added insult to injury was the fact that due to their unsophisticated baggage system, they had absolutely no clue where my bag ended up and were unable to access a centralized system to locate it. So, realistically they didn’t even know if my bag made it on the plane at LaGuardia airport.
If I was on a major airline, they would be able to locate exactly where my bag was with just a few keystrokes. They would know if it was still in New York, in another city or if it was currently in route to me on another flight. With Spirit, they had absolutely no idea at all.
If you don’t check a bag and you just do a carry-on, then you don’t have to concern yourself with this non-existing baggage system.
But if you’re checking a bag with contents that are important to you, just know that depending on what you have in your bag, that great $100 round-trip deal that seems so wonderful could literally cost you a lot more than a major commercial airline ticket you were trying to avoid.
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