Bogen/Manfrotto Tripod

When traveling recently, I decided to take along my tripod, mount, and video camera to record the training trip (sort of a milestone goal, so it had to be done at some point).  That means on the trip out, I had three items:

  1. Laptop bag
  2. Carry-on bag
  3. Tripod (in its own tripod bag

The gate agent noticed I had the tripod with me and suggested I gate check it as the flight was nearly full and there might not be room for it in the overhead.  Okay, fine.  On the return trip, the gate agent told me I was over the two-bag limit and one would have to be checked to my final destination.  My understanding had always been that tripod bags are not counted against the two-bag limit, but whatever.

Then I was informed that my suitcase would not fit in the overhead bin, and I would have to gate-check that as well.  So now I am going from three bags down to two, and finally one bag in flight.  Huh?  Well, no worries, it’s a non-stop direct flight, what can happen?

On arrival, I get my gate checked suitcase, and mosey down to baggage claim.  After waiting for about an hour in case it got missed in the initial sweep, realized that it either never got taken off and took off for the next destination, or someone forgot to enter it into the belly of the plane and my trusty tripod was still in Kentucky.  So, I head over to the claim counter.  They said it could take up to five days.  If not found in 5 days, I can submit a claim for a replacement.

Assuming the tripod is not found, I need to get a new one, and it will obviously be covered by United.  I have a couple options here:

  1. Give an estimated value for the tripod, ball head, and umbrella, get a check from them and go shopping
  2. Go find the closest make/model, buy it and send them the receipt? (They don’t make my particular model anymore)

What would you do?

My other concern is over the inconsistent policies applied…is that worth writing to UA about to let them know?  I obviously will be compensated if the tripod is lost, so not sure I am really “harmed” here or that it’s worth even raising a fuss about it.  In the past my knee-jerk has been to write and vent, but anymore (maybe because I am getting older) it seems like it’s hardly worth the effort.

What would you do?

5 thoughts on “What Would You Do?

  1. Allton Marsh says:

    I seem to recall a song written by an angry traveling band about “United breaks guitars.” A true story about getting the runaround for weeks over a broken guitar. Let them know you will blog the results–AFTER you have already done it. (2) I mentioned to a Southwest gate agent that I am aware a camera bag doesn’t count as a carryon, meaning you can take your suitcase, camera bag, and laptop bag. She said it was true but, “We don’t like for people to find that out.” When I asked another Southwest agent about it in Denver, I was told that was not possible. Fortunately I was just doing research.

  2. Check the fine print on their baggage liability limits. They may try to tell you that they only pay a maximum of $100 per bag. Might have to fight for it.

  3. If you are expecting consistency from airport security you will always be disappointed. Pack under the assumption you are going to get a ‘jobs worth’ and be happy if you don’t. This is unfortunately one of times we are pretty powerless and have to play ball according to their ever changing rules (or not fly) and any battling will only lead to frustration.

    If it turns up then all is good, if it doesn’t you may also find yourself being offered less compensation than you believe is appropriate.

    I really don’t miss all the air travel I did in my former life. I hope it all works out well for you.

  4. over estimate everything. if you dont say the specific brand and price their claim agents will say a walmart tripod is 15$ so thats all we will give you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *