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:
- Laptop bag
- Carry-on bag
- 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:
- Give an estimated value for the tripod, ball head, and umbrella, get a check from them and go shopping
- 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?