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Lost or Stolen Luggage & my travel insurance coverage options

Ok so here’s what happened. You all know we are Team Carryon so none of our luggage or bags were checked in for our flight from Los Angeles to Honolulu. We had 4 carryons, 3 backpacks. For reference, here’s a map of Terminal 1 (color-coded with numbers) to help guide you as we moved around T1. 
Inventory of carry on luggage
  1. Delsey – Red (Caitlin’s stuff)
  2. Amazon Basic – Black (my stuff)
  3. Ricardo – Dark Gray (Nancy’s stuff)
  4. Samsonite – Glossy Gray (Evan’s stuff – this is the soon-to-be missing luggage)

Terminal 1 Map

To help guide you, I found a map for Terminal 1 at Los Angeles International Airport

We went through security, had all 4 luggage and backpacks scanned. Done. TSA Passenger Screening Area in RED. 

We left TSA security checkpoint with everything we had, and began making our way upstairs towards Gate 14. It was only 6:15 am. We had some time to kill before our 7:45 am flight to Honolulu. Boarding time was at 7:15am. We decided to go to the food court (GREEN #3), and grabbed breakfast at Chick-Fil-A. We sat down while we ate our breakfast, and we were done eating at 6:45am.

From the Food Court to Gate 14

We began making our way to the gate. I remember dragging “a” carryon, to be honest, I don’t know which carryon I dragged. I know for sure, Evan dragged the Delsey, Caitlin had the Amazon Basic.
On the way to Gate 14
Between me and Nancy, I honestly DO NOT remember which ones we had. I think I had the Samsonite (the one that’s missing), and Nancy had the Ricardo.
It was only a short 3-4 minute walk to Gate 14 (orange box). I took short video clips and pictures of Evan and Caitlin with the Delsey and Amazon Basic luggage. I could only remember carrying the backpack on my back, wheeling down the Samsonite with my right hand, while taking pics/videos with my left hand. At this point, I remember Nancy was behind us, but could only imagine that she had the Ricardo with her.
We all made it to Gate 14 (orange box) before 7am. We found empty seats against the wall, and set our luggage down. Again, to be honest, I’m foggy at this point.
For “social media content”, I went to the window to take pictures of the Southwest plane. I “do not” or “could not” remember dragging a luggage with me to the window. I can’t imagine needing to do that. I also needed to speak with a gate agent (who was on the phone) so I stood there for a few minutes (again, I do not remember needing to have my luggage with me). My inquiry was boarding-related, and the gate agent advised me to go another Southwest desk (right above Gate 14 picture with the clear box). Again, I do not recall having the need to drag a luggage with me.
At this point, Nancy went to Coffee Bean (Green #15). She does not remember having a need to drag a luggage with her. Nancy and I came back to Gate 14, and got settled. The two kids were at Gate 14 the entire time. Pre-boarding announcement was right before 7:15am. We got ready, we’ve got “A” boarding group.

Nightmare ensued

We realized there were only 3 instead of 4 luggage. The Samsonite was missing. The crowd at the gate was beginning to line-up, and it was a mad rush to find the Samsonite. I ran back to all those possible areas….the window, the Southwest customer service area above Gate 14, back to Chick-Fil-A….no Samsonite sighting. According to the cleaning crew near Chick-Fil-A, check with Lost and Found downstairs near Security. I ran down, spoke with 3 officers – no one turned in a Samsonite. I ran back upstairs, and Nancy and I swapped, I stayed with the kids, while she checked Coffee Bean. You have to remember, boarding was in progress. Nancy said, if we had to, for me and the kids to go ahead and board, and that she will catch up.

What was in Evan’s luggage (the missing Samsonite)

I asked him what he packed:
  • Boys clothing (quite a few new shirts and shorts)
  • Water shoes
  • Snorkeling Gear
  • Toiletries
  • Electronics
Not that I was relieved, but I had to make a decision to board or not board. While we waited for Nancy to get back to Gate 14, I decided we would go fly to Hawaii without the Samsonite. We had everything else, and we could just buy Evan’s clothes when we land.
All 4 of us boarded the plane. Still hoping to find the Samsonite, Nancy asked one of the  flight attendants if she could go back to the gate again, and was given the okay. After 5-10 minutes of checking the gate area one more time, she went back in the plane, there was no such luck.

Because I thought “it will never happen to me”

We mostly travel with carryons and not go through the check luggage process. Our luggage had luggage tags, and we also had our basic contact info inside the luggage. For the life of me, I can’t remember if this missing Samsonite had a luggage tag (but for sure there was contact info label inside). T
No, this one did not have an AirTag. After our big trip to the Philippines, we only had enough AirTags for “most” of our bigger checked luggage.

What I’ve done since getting to Hawaii

I’ve called LAX Lost and Found 3 different times, and no Samsonite was found. I checked LAX’s Lost and Found website that shows the inventory of things found at the airport – no luck. It’s now the morning after, and I checked the website again…NOTHING. I’ve also filed a claim with LAX and reported the luggage missing.

Was it lost or stolen?

To be honest, I asked the agent, “okay, so do I have a case of a lost luggage or stolen luggage?” The agent said, if it’s not returned to you, it’s possible that it was stolen in purpose, OR picked up by mistake, and the person who did so would later realized that he or she got the wrong luggage. But it’s up to that individual to report or return the luggage, and there’s no telling if and when that will happen.

Travel Insurance coverage options

I have two possible insurance options:
  • Allianz AllTrips Premier – Baggage Loss Coverage when a baggage is lost, damaged, or stolen while on your trip. $2,000.00 benefit
  • Amex Business Platinum – Baggage Insurance Plan. I used this card to pay for the “fees” only since I used points. Plan is f or eligible lost, damaged, or stolen Baggage during their travel on a Common Carrier Vehicle (e.g. plane, train, ship, or bus) when the Entire Fare for a ticket for the trip (one-way or round-trip) is charged to an Eligible Card. Coverage can be provided for up to $2,000 for checked Baggage and up to a combined maximum of $3,000 for checked and carry-on Baggage.
So with Amex coverage it was specifically stated coverage is for the ENTIRE FARE for a ticket, I do NOT know if I will be covered since I only paid for the fees per person which was $11.20 round trip. I’m not sure if that’s enough to get me the coverage since the $11.20 was NOT the cost of the entire fare.
UPDATE: I have filed a claim with LAX Lost  and Found, and submitted a claim with Allianz.
We’re in Hawaii. We’re safe, In the grand scheme of things, the items that were lost or stolen are replaceable.

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