The tale of Sandra Shuster’s lost bag and her remarkable quest to retrieve it has become a captivating example of airline passengers taking matters into their own hands amidst increasing incidents of mishandled baggage. Flying back to Chicago O’Hare Airport to collect her lost bag herself, Shuster’s story sheds light on the frustration faced by travelers dealing with unresponsive airlines and their lost baggage processes.
When Shuster and her daughter’s lacrosse gear went missing on a United flight from Baltimore to Denver, she contacted the airline for assistance. However, after multiple unhelpful calls, she realized she had an advantage — a tracking device she had purchased earlier, an AirTag from Apple, was still showing her bag at O’Hare. United’s representatives remained dismissive, doubting the accuracy of the device and implying that she should claim compensation instead.
Determined to recover her daughter’s expensive lacrosse gear and spare her the trouble of replacing it, Shuster booked a flight to Chicago on her own. Despite informing United via Twitter, they failed to recognize her initiative and suggested she wait in Denver while they continued working on the issue.
Frustrated by United’s incompetence, Shuster flew to Chicago and promptly found her bag within 30 seconds at Terminal 1’s baggage office. To her astonishment, United’s ground staff had no knowledge of her case, even though she had informed them about her arrival.
Airlines need to do better
After her ordeal, Shuster pursued a refund for her travel expenses and received a prompt response only when CNN contacted United. The airline eventually reimbursed her miles and offered a travel credit as an apology.
In light of her experience, Shuster plans to scrutinize baggage claim tickets in the future and urges airlines to improve their communication and efficiency in handling lost baggage. Her story highlights the need for airlines to embrace technology and streamline their processes to provide better customer service in today’s modern age.