Luggage lessons

We were booked to take United Airlines flight No. 899 from Los Angeles to Narita, Japan, on Oct. 16, 2006. We checked our luggage, then checked in for boarding. Just before boarding, it was announced that the flight was overbooked and that anyone who would take Singapore Airlines flight SQ11 a few hours later would receive an incentive credit of $400. We volunteered for the offer and felt lucky to be among the few people to benefit from such an offer.

However, upon arriving at Narita Airport on Oct. 17, our luggage was missing. We finally received it at our hotel in Nagasaki on Friday, the 20th; apparently, it had arrived at Narita on Oct. 18.

When I opened my suitcase, my digital camera, extra batteries and a memory chip were missing.

From the foregoing, I conclude the following:

  1. On a last-minute transfer from the original flight to a new flight, there’s a greater risk of the luggage being lost by the luggage handlers.
  2. Do not place valuables in checked luggage.
  3. Lock your luggage with a TSA-type lock*.

Incidentally, while we were getting our railpasses, a Singapore Airlines representative caught up with us and gave us $200 to help us get started in purchasing essential items.


Torrance, CA

*Combination locks with the TSA logo and which can be opened with a key only by TSA agents are available at all travel stores.