- An American Airlines flier couldn’t believe her eyes when her checked bag was returned to her.
- The traveler told Insider the bag was apparently “run over,” leaving $1,000 worth of her belongings destroyed.
- Now the 32-year-old Texas resident says she never wants to fly again after the hellish ordeal.
This novice flier never wants to get on a plane again after American Airlines forced her to check her carry-on bag at the gate, only to have the luggage returned to her in a “mutilated” state with more than $1,000 worth of her possessions completely destroyed, she told Insider.
The 32-year-old traveler told Insider her luggage had been apparently “run over” at some point during an “absolutely nightmarish” 16-hour-long journey last week from Houston, Texas, to Nashville, Tennessee, that included lengthy delays and a canceled connecting flight in Dallas.
“I don’t want to fly anymore,” the American Airlines passenger who asked to only be identified by her first name, Tiffany, said during an interview on Friday.
When Tiffany finally landed at Nashville International Airport last Friday morning on American Airlines flight No. 1118 for a friend’s bachelorette weekend and went to fetch her luggage, she said she was told by an airline baggage claim attendant that her suitcase had gotten “a little banged up.”
But what she then saw was nothing like she imagined.
The baggage claim attendant brought Tiffany’s luggage to her, holding it sideways as her clothes protruded out of it, she recalled.
“The zipper was completely off. It had been torn off of the luggage. It could not close and my clothes were coming out of the bottom,” Tiffany told Insider, explaining, “This is not at all what I was expecting with ‘banged up’ — this is mutilated.”
When she opened her bag, she could not believe her eyes
Tiffany was even more shocked when she opened up the mangled bag at the airport to find her clothes, makeup, medicine bottles and other personal belongings like her pricey Invisalign retainer ruined.
“My personal items like some makeup and skincare, haircare stuff — it had all been completely smashed, thrown around,” she said. “My skin creams, my lotions, my shampoos and stuff was all over everything.”
Her eye shadow makeup palettes were “smashed to pieces,” Tiffany added.
At that point, a helpless Tiffany said she just began to cry.
The baggage attendant who helped Tiffany file a claim “felt so bad” for the sobbing woman that the airline employee even offered to give her a hug, which Tiffany said she gladly accepted.
Tiffany was not given an explanation as to what exactly happened to her suitcase, but she’s been “running under the assumption that it was run over,” possibly by a maintenance or baggage truck.
The airline gave Tiffany a hard-case luggage to leave with and when her friends picked her up from the airport and took her back to their hotel, she said she was “catatonic” as she sat on the floor staring at her “broken” belongings.
“I cried at the airport. I cried in the car the whole way to our hotel. I cried taking pictures” of the destroyed items at the hotel and “when I finally got in the shower, cried a bit more,” Tiffany said.
Some pieces of clothing were salvageable after her pals washed them at the hotel, but the rest was destroyed, according to Tiffany. Her friends let her borrow their clothes and makeup for the party weekend out in Nashville.
Tiffany, a Texas resident, has now been in a back-and-forth with American Airlines to get reimbursed for just over $1,000, including for the cost of a new $525 invisalign retainer. So far, she says she’s only been credited with 5,000 American Airlines miles.
“It’s unfortunate to have to jump through so many hoops,” said Tiffany, whose trip from hell marked only her 7th ever time flying and left her “traumatized.”
All she says she wants now is “accountability” for what happened to her bag.
American Airlines did not immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment on the matter on Friday.