20 Feb2012

This is a rant, so don’t read any further if you don’t like rants.

I flew in last night on a Philippine Airlines flight from Cebu to Manila. The boeing 747 probably had upwards of 350 passengers and perhaps as many as 600+ pieces of checked in baggage. Between two passengers traveling together, we had three pieces of luggage–a box with 12 kilos of mangoes, a box with roughly 7 kilos of dried mangoes and chicharon, and my perfectly utilitarian, almost non-descript shoemart purchased roll-on bag that I always check-in. My small suitcase is black (as are roughly 70-80% of all suitcases globally), and does not draw attention to itself in any way. It has a discreet black leather name tag, which encloses my calling card with name and contact numbers, but no address for obvious security reasons. It is locked with a built in slide card key lock, and made with a matte, rather firm synthetic material. No drama, just your plain old vanilla suitcase purchased years ago. My suitcase was tagged in Cebu with a priority label because I fly the airline very often and have a premium frequent flyer card — so even if I buy cheap economy tickets, I get priority baggage handling. I also often get seats right by the exit door of the plane, so I almost always make it to the priority baggage belt along with the first half dozen or so passengers from the flight. In my 30+ years of flying with thousands of flights, I have never once lost a piece of luggage on a single point to point journey beacuse another passenger took it. I got a cart and waited patiently. I noticed roughly 6 people between me and the “window” where the bags first come in on the conveyor belt — I tend to stand at the first curve so I can see my luggage coming up. Roughly 3 people were clearly passengers, and were close enough to me that I am pretty sure I would have noticed what they put on their carts. The first three people on the line, closest to the luggage “window” did NOT appear to be passengers themselves, instead one was a PAL “outsourced” staff member in red shirt holding a sticker and madly searching for a “VIP’s” suitcase. Another two folks appeared to be lackeys, drivers or bodyguards of a large group of golfers accompanying a senator who stood nearby. In fairness to the senator, he actually pointed out his own suitcases and golf bag and they were placed on his cart, that he pushed himself.

But the half dozen or so other folks also with golf bags and with that air of “self-importance and pseudo VIP status” that comes and goes with prevailing winds stood around preening while two men pulled golf bags and luggage and “padala pasalubong packages” off the belts at a dizzying pace. They quickly loaded up carts and were whisked out quickly. Meanwhile, we spotted both of our boxes of mangoes and chicharon amongst the first dozen pieces to emerge and loaded them onto our cart. But no sign of my plain black suitcase. We waited patiently for another 15-20 minutes, and it was clear we were the last passengers at that carousel. My colleague went over to the other conveyor belt and checked there until all passengers left. And basically it was clear that my bag was nowhere to be found, but circling on the priority belt was one remaining black bag, a little bigger than mine, also black, but clearly quite different in style, material and lock from my suitcase. IT IS THE BAG IN THE FIRST THREE PHOTOS ABOVE. But I get ahead of myself. Whenever I see this sort of VIP spectacle at the priority baggage carousel, I heat up. First of all, it is ILLEGAL AND INAPPROPRIATE to have non-passengers enter the luggage area (except airline personnel, airport security and porters if any), and there were half a dozen guards at the exit doors to supposedly ensure this. So having drivers, bodyguards, flunkies, and even PAL staff get your baggage from the belt when they may have absolutely NO CLUE what it looks like is a potential security issue. Worse, PAL has cut costs and removed the “checkers” who always look at the bag tags to ensure you got the right bags. I dislike this tedious checking process, and it isn’t common elsewhere in the world, and I always assumed people should be responsible enough to get their own baggage…but the bottom line is, there is NOTHING to stop you from leaving the baggage area with someone else’s luggage. And with the doors so porous, clearly any self-important acting Juan, Procopio and Boy can make it into the area. So my bag was missing. Now the PAL folks get involved. Or more accurately, scurry around looking busy but do nothing to help other than say it looks like my bag is lost, or someone else has taken it. I confront them with the scene at the luggage carousel and ask why there were PAL personel and non-passengers there and that that was the likely cause of the missing bag. They shrug. Finally, after pointless discussions and futile efforts to get any service, I take matters into my own hands…

This is a photo of my bag. It is black like the one above, but it is quite different. I grabbed the last bag on the carousel, went to the PAL counter, gave them the luggage tag number with passenger name and told them to call the passenger and see if he had my suitcase. In ten minutes, they couldn’t figure out his number from their computer (probably off for all I know), and were unable to call him. So I left my name and address and phone number and told them to DELIVER my bag that evening if possible. I then took the remaining bag to hold it hostage and told them I was bringing it home and would only return it if my bag were first returned to me. Believe it or not, not a word out of them!! Frankly, I should NOT have been allowed to take this suitcase, but they didn’t raise any objection, so I did. I now had the name, telephone number and bag of the likely, but not certain, culprit.

There are only so many plausible explanations for why the person took my bag, most likely, by mistake, and NOT INTENTIONALLY:

1. They were “distracted, absent-minded, careless, irresponsible or stupid” — take your pick. They pulled the wrong suitcase off, thought it was theirs, didn’t bother to check the name tag or their baggage tag and rushed out. But because there were only 6 people between me and the place the bags came out, then there was a 99% chance that one of those 6 were the culprit. And I would bet my weekly paycheck if I had one that it wasn’t any of the three passengers closest to me… or at least that was my best hypothesis.

2. The bag did NOT come out at the priority belt and was picked up on another belt, but the adjectives above would still apply.

3. The person who pulled the bag off the conveyor belt WAS NOT the passenger himself, and they didn’t bother to check their luggage tags, and the mistake would only be discovered later at home or after they were called by PAL staff. In this case, the adjective that comes to my mind (unless the passenger were blind, handicapped, very elderly, in a wheelchair, suffering from a medical condition heretofore known as baggage-pulling-titis ) would simply be an “asshole”.

I rushed to a dinner appointment, now 30 minutes late, sent my “hostaged” black duffel suitcase home and told staff to release it only if PAL staff first dropped off my luggage. Thankfully, three hours later, when I returned home, my suitcase had been delivered. The crew said that it wasn’t PAL personnel who came, but the driver of the owner whose bag I had held pending return of my own suitcase. The driver couldn’t understand how the switch could have happened as the bags were so different, and he left with his employers suitcase. I was happy it ended well. But now pissed off again when I realized that PAL had given away my address so carelessly (a breach of security on their part) and worse, they weren’t the ones who arranged delivery, they merely prevailed on the driver to come to our house to spare them the hassle.

So which one of the reasons applied in this case? I will never know, nor do I really care. But if it was reason 1 or 2 above, then any DECENT PERSON would have the presence of mind to send a simple note or text or ring me up to offer an apology, say something along these lines “I am sorry for the inconvenience caused by my mistakenly taking your bag…” or something to that effect… how hard is it to do that??? And it would have completely mollified me.

So I guess, if the person didn’t have the manners or presence of mind to do that, then in my book, it doesn’t matter what the reason was, he was simply an asshole. And yes, I kept his name, address and telephone number.

And had my 7 kilo suitcase been lost for good, would you like to take a guess what PAL’s “liability” would be for the lost bag? After much paperwork and effort, they would only be legally liable to reimburse me for PHP280 or roughly $6.50!!! But more on that outrageous discovery on my next post.

P.S. With evil grin, what did I tell the PAL folks I would do if my bag was not returned? I would open up the suitcase I had, photograph all its contents, including any dirty underwear, and publish it in a post on marketmanila along with the details on the identification cards on the piece of luggage. Thank God it didn’t get to that, airing dirty laundry can be so distasteful, don’t you think??? Evil grin. :)



  1. Kit says:

    Publishing photos of dirty underwear?! Oh you evil marketman! But i love it! Sweet revenge. Nasa iyo ang huling halakhak!

    Feb 20, 2012 | 2:02 am


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  3. rosedmd says:

    Good morning MM !!! i understand your point. just keep smiling ! Have nice day, can’t wait to see the next photos !!!! ; )

    Feb 20, 2012 | 3:14 am

  4. Vanessa says:

    I have often thought about this myself. Seems like there is little and perhaps even nothing that can be done to prevent people from picking up a suitcase from the conveyor belt at the airport and walking away with it.

    Feb 20, 2012 | 4:12 am

  5. hiddendragon says:

    Well, as we ll know, sh*t happens but the way the airport and PAL personnel handled this is inexcusable and evasive of responsibility. You only got back your bag because you had THEIR bag. I was once travelling with a big group, with the grandkid of a big taipan who happens to own the airline we were taking. The whole family showed up to welcome him back and his customs and immigration process was ‘delegated’ to airport staff. Left a rather bad impression of the powerful and how they wield it.

    Feb 20, 2012 | 7:44 am

  6. aji says:

    Chill MM! Ang iyong puso!

    I am not surprised at the quality of service of PAL. Now that they’ve outsourced most of their staff, quality of service is no longer a priority.

    Feb 20, 2012 | 8:23 am

  7. ami says:

    This is one of my fears when taking a plane. Like you I also use black luggage when traveling but to distinguish it from other bags I tie a colorful ribbon around the handles and I also use a rainbow colored luggage belt.

    My sister’s pet peeve with PAL is that they steal your TSA locks.

    Feb 20, 2012 | 8:39 am

  8. SpaceDog says:

    I’m not sure which part is worse, they let you walk with luggage that clearly wasn’t yours or that they gave out a customer address to a stranger. There’s a whole lot of worst case scenarios there that don’t bear thinking about.

    In any case, I just wanted to mention that in the UK (Edinburgh, at least) the deal is similar. The baggage belt for domestic flights is in an openly accessible area and anyone can walk in a take stuff. I’ve never seen a problem with it, frankly I’m surprised there aren’t more deliberate thefts there. It’s why I’ve deliberately avoided replacing my very old and scrappy luggage, I wouldn’t like to have something expensive looking out there.

    Last time I flew (international) into Manila I had a major hassle meeting my GF because they wouldn’t let her into the secured areas — I guess it would have been OK if she’d been my driver or porter …

    Glad you got your bag back in the end.

    Feb 20, 2012 | 10:07 am

  9. Marketman says:

    Spacedog, wait till you see the links to “luggage thieves” at work in airports in the U.S. in my next post… :(

    Feb 20, 2012 | 10:12 am

  10. Dreaming says:

    Guilty! GUILTY!

    Something similar happened to me. I flew to Hong Kong a few months ago. I was on the first morning flight, very tired and preoccupied. Like you, I also have priority luggage handling. Once I got through immigration. I see that “my“ luggage is on the carousal. So I grab it and off I go. I was not until I reached the taxi standing on Hong Kong Island, that I realized I picked up the wrong suitcase. It is identical in make, size and color. Only difference was that the one I picked up was less battered than the one I own.

    I immediately returned to the airport and reported to luggage handling what I had done. After a bit of paper work, I was led back to where lost luggage is kept and there was mine. I was so embarrassed and profusely apologized. The other passenger already had filled out missing luggage report. I instructed the airline staff to apologize on my behalf to the passenger. The airline personnel told me this happens quite a lot and they seemed to be cool, but professional about it.

    When I got to my destination, still in a flap, and was able to log in, I received an email message from the passenger stating that he thinks I have his luggage. He probably took my email address from, my luggage tag. Again, I profusely apologized and told him he should expect to receive his luggage shortly, which he had. He had come off a flight from Paris while I was coming from Manila. Same airline! Same luggage! Same tagging! We exchange some more email message and he wanted to meet for coffee. As I was in HK for only 48 hours, I never met up with him.

    Hope I never do that again. My lesson, ALWAYS CHECK THE TAGS.

    Feb 20, 2012 | 11:27 am

  11. Marketman says:

    Dreaming, but the prompt apology completely neutralizes the situation. In my case, my suitcase had my name, and two telephone contact numbers, AND my email address, but NOT A PEEP from the person who took my luggage, just the driver sent to retrieve theirs… Mistakes can, and often do, happen. It’s the recovery that matters most. And so many folks these days just don’t get that… I often feel we are more modern, yet less civilized.

    Feb 20, 2012 | 11:40 am

  12. Dragon (Melbourne) says:

    MM, I have a 20 year old black Samsonite hard case. Old, battered and…ordinarily common. I understand wanting to your luggage to stand out for thieves to give it a pass. I have used old ribbons (which get frayed, removed) but have now used the colored, lockable luggage straps.

    Out of topic but relative: I don’t know if it gets shown there but, Nespresso has an ad (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXru4Q7Lgxo) about mixed luggages. I don’t mind…:-)

    Feb 20, 2012 | 12:39 pm

  13. millet says:

    oh my…that is SOOOO BAD! and i thought PAL was a tad better than its closest competitor. i “lost” a similar bag a few months ago during a Manila-Davao flight, and initially got the same “walang pakialam” treatment from ground crew. they told me to go home and assured me they’d call IF they foung the bag, but after i raised a howl and insisted that i would not leave the counter until they located the bag, they got to work. turned out it was left on the conveyor belt in manila, where it was found spinning mournfully (i imagine) all by its lonely self. somebody in manila took a photo of it, emailed it to the counter people, who showed it to me to confirm it was indeed mine. they promised to send it via the next available flight. we left the airport at 7pm.

    lo and behold, at 11pm, a motorcycle-riding guy rang our doorbell to deliver by dear roll-on bag. i had to tell the guy “pinabilib niyo ako ah!”. and he would not accept payment nor a tip. that was enough to make me forget some of my bad experiences with cebu pacific ;-)

    all your points are valid – i share the same fear about non-passenger and non-porters having entry to the baggage claim area, and about the lax security at the same area. but i am aghast that PAL would give the other passenger your address and ask them to deliver the bag themselves! i hope something is done about this , and soon.

    Feb 20, 2012 | 12:40 pm

  14. Dragon (Melbourne) says:

    Sorry, I mean “your luggage not to stand out”… oh George!

    Feb 20, 2012 | 12:44 pm

  15. Joey says:

    Cebu pacific even worse! Last january 2012, connecting flight bangkok to manila. Items were stolen from 4 luggages!

    Feb 20, 2012 | 12:53 pm

  16. millet says:

    dragon, i’d happily swap my bag with georgie boy!

    Feb 20, 2012 | 1:00 pm

  17. Dragon (Melbourne) says:

    I know Millet, so from now on, no more tattered, unwashed undies in my luggage. Who knows who might open my luggage. No more bagoong to take home or dried fish. After that ad, I’ll be more conscious of what I pack!

    Feb 20, 2012 | 1:07 pm

  18. Betchay says:

    I commiserate with your bad experience but I guess it happens even to seasoned travelers and even in the best airlines.
    A few years back, I lost a luggage on a flight to Singapore in an airline touted as one of the best in the world.It was my 1st time to travel as an insulin user and since I have my insulin in a Frio gel packet, I thought it will not be allowed on board so I placed it inside my checked-in bag….my BIG mistake! Because unluckily, the bag was mistakenly taken by another passenger(I guess 1st class/VIP passenger who was 1st to alight)…and to think the bag was not the generic black but a light blue Samsonite with a bright yellow luggage tag! Some passengers can really be very careless!
    We reported the”exchange” to the airline authorities and they said it will be delivered to our hotel ASAP….that was mid morning…afternoon passed, still no sign of the bag. I was getting agitated as I need to have my insulin injection in the evening.We called up the airline several times and they said it will be delivered soon… then at around 10 pm they said they had a system glitch thus they can not locate my bag! Hubby had to threat that if they dont deliver it before MN, we will sue them….the bag was delivered 5 min before MN struck!
    And the passenger who caused all this inconvenience? No apology too. :(
    Now,I know better… I packed all my full travel supply of meds/insulin with Dr’s RX and even a pair of undies in my hand carry.
    P.S. I have been around and I did notice that most airports(here and abroad) dont really bother to check the bag tag as you go out of the arrival area. :( And the airlines? I think lost bags are least in their priority for the day as they usually deliver them late based on what I heard from others who had the same experiences. :(

    Feb 20, 2012 | 1:08 pm

  19. Getter Dragon 1 says:

    ‘More modern, less civilized’….agreed!

    Feb 20, 2012 | 2:41 pm

  20. bdr says:

    Same horror story happened to us. Some Congresswoman was travelling on the same flight as us from HK. Her Aide grabbed all green samsonite bags. Grabbing my mom’s. Buti na lang, they were still checking the bag tags against the printed ones on the ticket. And realized one was not theirs. happy ending. Now I paint on our bags with loud gaudy colors. Better baduy, than lost.

    Feb 20, 2012 | 5:30 pm

  21. aggy says:

    So sorry for this experience…so glad you got your luggage back intact…on another note,, have you heard of the new modus at the airport? Supposedly officers who check your passport secretly tear off a page from it causing you lots of hassles and money. Making me nervous as I have to travel to Manila from IL with a baby in a month.

    Feb 20, 2012 | 8:03 pm

  22. mojacko says:

    My tito had a different horror story. After a trip to Manila, he went back to London for work with a stopover in Doha, Qatar. At the Doha airport, he passed through the xray, he put his hand carried bag on that tray where you put all your shoes and metals and personal items. When he looked for his bag, it was nowhere to be found . Someone had grabbed it by mistake. It had all his important documents like his passport. He tried to explain it to the airport people but they didn’t believe him–they were about to deport him! Lukily, his wife (who was in London) called the Philippine embassy and helped my tito get on the plane.

    Months later, the bag was returned to his address in Manila (though it also had his London address) but with no apology or explanation. Sana pinadala nya man lang sa London na. Gusmastos pa tuloy pamilya nya para ipadala sa kanya yung bag.

    Feb 20, 2012 | 8:16 pm

  23. corrine says:

    I sent a letter to PAL’s “I CARE” unit as advised by one of its employees and guess what, no acknowledgement, no response. That was a month ago. They should change it to “I DON’T REALLY CARE”.

    Feb 20, 2012 | 9:01 pm

  24. gensanite says:

    i travel about 3-4 times a year (domestic), and i often wonder why there are no airline personnel who check the tags in the baggages when the passenger exits the arrival terminal… some airports in the country have this, but most of the airport i fly in to doesn’t have this… just my 2 cents…

    Feb 20, 2012 | 9:02 pm

  25. Katrina says:

    Oh, I so feel for you, MM! Losing my luggage is one of my fears each time I travel. Thankfully, only once did it *almost* happen — my bag did not arrive with me when I got to Boracay, but the airline located it right away, then sent it with the next flight and delivered it to the resort I was staying in by that afternoon.

    This is also why, despite my preference for plain black suitcases (so they’d match whatever I’m wearing and don’t easily show dirt, fray and wear & tear), I decided to buy luggage in my favorite color. I can spot it the moment it appears on the conveyor belt, without need for putting those ribbons, etc., which I detest. Sure, it’s very possible someone else bought the exact same bags, but much less likely than a black one.

    I am, however, HORRIFIED that PAL’s liability for lost luggage is just P280!!! When people I know have lost luggage before (note, this was abroad, with foreign airlines), they were given much more than that; not a lot, but they could at least buy enough clothes to get by during the trip. P280 is just enough for (cheap) underwear!!!

    Feb 20, 2012 | 9:45 pm

  26. Gezel says:

    I had this descripit old black luggage which I had been using for 9 yrs , when I went to Bacolod for a holliday last year, while there my husband was begging me to buy a new luggage because he is getting embarrased with mine, so bought a new one in Robinson a very light but study one, mind you, i had no problem with the old one in my years of travel, when I got back to Gatwick I noticed that the 2 front zips of my new luggage had been broken into and when I complained to Emirates they said they can not do anything about it, as it seems my luggage was a security risk and they have to break open my locks but they did not find anything in it just my telephone charges and flipflops which they can see in the xray if they had been looking, the bottom line is no compensation and I get to use my new luggage only once. Give me back my old bag…
    PS: Emirates put my unbroken lock back in my luggage but i could not use my luggage now only the lock.

    Feb 20, 2012 | 11:54 pm

  27. KP says:

    MM, I understand why you are so irritated but at the same time why are you so surprised by such poor service from PAL. I know you are well traveled, so you should already know that the quality of the equipment and service from PAL is so sub standard compared to other world airline carriers that it would be an insult to them to even compare them to PAL. A near monopoly on flights within the Philippines and non-stop from the United States means they do not care about their passengers. A couple of years ago, I took a first class flight from SFO, the PAL plane had Arabic writing all over it, meaning it was a second hand plane. My video screen did not work and the bathroom started to leak mid flight so they put newspaper on top of the leaking area. This was in the first class section. I guess your rant caused my own rant. LOL.

    Feb 21, 2012 | 2:30 am

  28. Marketman says:

    KP, I would have to agree with many of your points. However, in recent years, PAL has actually outshone other local carriers, in my opinion. And PAL no longer has a monopoly, flying perhaps less than 40% of domestic passengers, with Cebu Pacific now having the majority and other airlines having a slice… I have written rants about CP before, so my ire isn’t directed at one airline, rather specific service incidents. I fly PAL domestically because, believe it or not, their on-time performance is significantly better than Cebu Pacific and they have priority services, which doesn’t do you much good when they lose your luggage, apparently. :) I rarely fly them internationally. I used to fly a lot for business, and rue the day I finally had to give up the highest level of frequent flier status at Singapore Airlines… at one point, SQ reps used to meet me curbside at the cab in Singapore, grab my bags and whisk me through special checkins and customs — which they did for all passengers with that much mileage on the airline. It meant I only had to get to the airport some 20-25 minutes before any flight. Now THAT was service. And yes, you (or the company) paid through the nose for it. :)

    Feb 21, 2012 | 7:59 am

  29. PITS, MANILA says:

    airlines issue BAGGAGE CLAIM TAGS at the the airline check-in counter. but nobody checks those tags when you exit. i am always nervous when going through immigration, always in a hurry so that i can claim my pieces of baggage from the carousel at once. if i’m bringing ice-cream (purchased at the airport), i am more nervous. even with names and tags etc, mistakes happen. other passengers take your package/baggage by mistake. i know that i will not make that mistake, i do my own packing and know my package/baggage. some time ago, my aunt had to take somebody else’s package of ice-cream. hers was taken by mistake. she had to be content with whatever flavor she did not choose. WHY ISSUE BAGGAGE CLAIM TAGS AT ALL WHEN THERE IS NOBODY AROUND TO CHECK THEM BEFORE PASSENGERS EXIT THE AIRPORT? also, i’m sorry but if you make the mistake of taking somebody else’s baggage, i think you’re an idiot …

    Feb 21, 2012 | 8:01 am

  30. rickyg says:

    baggage tags now are just for the airlines to know what bags to remove from the airplane cargo hold in case a passenger is refused carriage or is stalled at the numerous security checkpoints.

    Pre 2001, at a US location, my bags arrived earlier than myself, I was a chance passenger in a later flight, but checked-in in an earlier flight that was cancelled. Now, if the passenger does not board, the bags are removed.

    Feb 21, 2012 | 8:13 am

  31. rickyg says:

    Mr. KP.

    Might be the 747-400 wet leased from Air Canada with plane registration 8168 (we call it otso-otso). This plane was never refurbished since it was just leased, the plane is kept in the roster, since we are at FAA CAT 2 and cannot change equipment or add destinations.

    Feb 21, 2012 | 8:17 am

  32. PITS, MANILA says:

    we shouldn’t be calling them BAGGAGE-CLAIM-TAGS then. the word “claim” adds to the confusion.

    we’re back to P750 for the NAIA TERMINAL FEE. when it was announced that it would be slashed to P500, people were so happy. i had to ask why it was being slashed. it’s nothing like the news being the “too-good-to-be-true” bit, but more like, “ano-raw-sa-dami-ng-kunsumisyon-sa-naia?!?”. more of paranoia, right?

    now that it’s back to P700, i’m hoping for an increase in baggage security …

    Feb 21, 2012 | 11:42 am

  33. MP says:

    Gezel, I had a different experience with Emirates, fortunately! Due to an hour flight delay in Casablanca, I only had an hour layover in Dubai which, they said, was not enough to transfer my luggage to the plane that will fly to Manila. So they asked me if I wanted to take the later flight to Manila so I could arrive with my luggage and I took this option. Unfortunately, there were some problems so my bags spent the night in Morocco and had to wait 2 days before my bags were delivered to my place. I wrote Skywards to complain and they sent me a $300 cheque!

    So like katrina, I am aghast to know that PAL only has a P280 liability for lost luggage! that’s not even enough to pay for a zipper repair service!

    Whenever possible, Hubby handcarries anything he treasures (favorite shoes, clothes, family photos, etc)!

    Feb 21, 2012 | 2:16 pm

  34. aji says:

    Naku Gezel!

    I do not like Emirates. My husband and I went to Maldives and I inadvertently left my digicam on the side compartment of my seat dahil I fell asleep while browsing our vacation photos (almost midnight flight from Male to Dubai and arrived in the wee hours of the morning at around 2am) .

    We had about 6 hours lay over sa Dubai before our flight to Manila. Around 6am, I realized I left my digicam on board the plane. I reported it immediately sa airline. Kahit Pinoy pa sila, deadma. Sa simula lang sila maayos kausap. Nung biglang dumaan si Charo Santos at Tim Yap… wala na. Deadma na sa aking complaint kahit naiiyak na ako sa lost photos nung trip. Inuna pa yung artista.

    I never got my digicam back even though may calling card ako sa loob. I would’ve let it pass knowing that maybe another passenger saw it and took it. Pero the entire flight, the FAs were snooty and masungit, except for the Pinay ones who kept giving my husband Godiva chocolates.

    I should’ve tried what MP did.

    Thank God for Travel Insurance covering lost items! Though those photos and our “MTV Cribs” style video doon sa resort are lost forever though.

    Feb 21, 2012 | 10:25 pm

  35. Kasseopeia says:

    I do not even know where to start with luggage issues with both PAL and its “closest competitor”… 0_o

    Let’s just say that I TRY my best to avoid any luggage switcheroos by using el-cheapo brightly (and garishly) colored bags THEN tie copious amounts of lace and ribbon on the handle. Kung mapagkamalan pa ba nilang kanila yun, ewan ko na lang!

    Since I started doing that, I have NEVER lost a single bag on any local or international flight I took. Made me wish I started doing it sooner… =P

    Feb 22, 2012 | 12:32 am

  36. KUMAGCOW says:

    So I guess tomorrow there will be hoarders of large loud colored bags among us hahaha

    Feb 22, 2012 | 11:29 pm

  37. Gezel says:

    For AJI

    True I find Emirates a bad airline to fly, people there are rude and does not know what customer service is. It was our first time to fly Emirates and it was a bad experience, toilets are out of order, we were not even given a menu because they run out of it so when i asked what choices is there for food i got a very rude answer, and i told the steward if i know what food there is i would not ask. Going to the Philippines and coming back to UK is one big bad experience, while in the terminal gate in Manila there was this one emirate lady who was shouting at the Filipinos to follow the order of sequence ( she was shouting in Tagalog ) , we are near Cathay Gate and i dont hear them shouting. For me the best airlines to fly are KLM, Cathay Pacific and Qatar, I find Thai a bit rude also or are they just rude to us Filipinos.

    Feb 22, 2012 | 11:54 pm

  38. PITS, MANILA says:

    SORRY, that’s **750 …

    Feb 23, 2012 | 10:08 am

  39. Cris C says:

    Hi MM. This is my first time to comment on your website. I just have to add my two-cents to this lost luggage issue. 2 weeks ago the hubby and I flew to Cebu via Cebu Pacific. We arrived at Cebu and waited for our checked-in luggage. After 10-15 minutes, it was clear that our luggage was nowhere in sight! Like you, I approached a CebuPac ground staff who did not know what to do saying this is the first time she encountered a passenger losing luggage! After much ranting and raving at the airport staff, we just left them with our contact details and proceeded to our hotel. Thankfully our luggage was not stolen but loaded on the following flight so it was delivered to us after a few hours. I looked at the tags in our luggage to figure out what went wrong. Apparently, CebuPac’s staff at NAIA Terminal 3 WROTE ON THE BAGGAGE TAGS MANUALLY and indicated the wrong flight number on the luggage! Geez, for the Philippines’ 2nd largest airline, can’t they buy an electronic baggage tag printer??? Sobra naman cost-cutting yan!

    Feb 23, 2012 | 11:43 am

  40. joyce says:

    PAL in all respects broke basic security. Can’t believe they let you leave the airport with a bag that wasn’t yours.

    Feb 23, 2012 | 6:12 pm

  41. Lava Bien says:

    I haven’t flown PAL from the states back to PI in a while. I refuse to, (though I still fly with them on some local flights but not by choice). Not the greatest service, food is bleeh, tried to cheat me on my accrued mileage etc., etc. plus it’s less annoying at the airport when you fly nonPAL. Singapore Airline, Cathay and others are way better (younger happier crew hehehe). Airport crew there think you’re just coming in from say HKG or Japan or Korea so they don’t have like 3 crews in each bathroom, s$%% like that.

    Feb 25, 2012 | 7:06 am

  42. Lava Bien says:

    Plastered them bags with hella IN-N-OUT stickers, fool this ain’t your bag. hehehe

    Feb 25, 2012 | 7:08 am

  43. Stephanie says:

    My mom recently flew with PAL from Los Angeles to Manila on Feb 2012. She waited for her last checked in luggage for more than two hours and when there was nothing left on the carousel, she went to the PAL counter and was advised that her other luggage was still in Los Angeles and will be loaded in the next flight, which was a day after her flight. She was never advised, along with eight other passengers, that their checked in luggages were still in Los Angeles

    She missed her connecting flight to Bicol, booked a hotel in Manila and came back the following day to claim her luggage.When I complained to PAL, all they could tell me is that they offered to deliver that luggage to my mom, but she refused, so it was her choice to stay in Manila. My mom refused because she wanted to make sure that she gets her luggage intact.

    My mom also left her Ca ID with the security personnel and asked them for it when she was checking in for her return flight to Los Angeles. She was advised that it was her fault and PAL asked her to pay a P100 fee, for holding her id.

    We will not be flying PAL for now. Aside from the expensive airfare, they have the most horrible customer service. Why can’t they be like other Asian Airlines like Korean, Japan, Eva Air?

    Feb 25, 2012 | 8:13 am

  44. Giancarlo says:

    I try to avoid having checking luggage too much of a hassle. Reading your post confirmed why I do this.

    Feb 27, 2012 | 12:24 am

  45. rita says:

    OMG, I’m so sorry this had happened to you. I can’t believe how callous and how idiotic these people are about other people’s safety. If that happened to me, I would’ve been so livid and sued that airline. Talk about security violation! WOW!

    They were “distracted, absent-minded, careless, irresponsible or stupid” — take your pick

    …If you ask me – I say, all of the above.

    Thanks for not “airing out the dirty laundry.” I don’t think that would be one very pleasant post to see on your blog ;-)

    Feb 27, 2012 | 1:37 am

  46. Tiln (QC) says:

    So that’s why there were bag checkers when I arrived last Friday night (Feb. 24) at the airport! I was amazed that I was stopped from leaving the airport and that someone actually checked my baggage sticker to verify if I got the correct luggage. I know I know it used to be standard practice but then the baggage checkers disappeared from the face of the local airports for the longest time. Wouldn’t be surprised if this blog/rant is the reason why baggage checkers are back in place again. :)

    Feb 29, 2012 | 3:59 pm

  47. Ray says:

    And I am reading this coming off a trip from America myself just two weeks ago. Luckily no untoward incidents even if we flew coach. Saw the tips from your other post and will do that (not the spray paint part, though :P ).

    My checked in baggage has a note from the TSA in America that they opened my bag to inspect its contents. I literally got to air my own dirty laundry in the land of milk and honey, and done by someone else for me :P

    Feb 29, 2012 | 11:57 pm

  48. loren says:

    Last I heard, PAL operations are quite a mess these days because of its recent restructuring. Most (or all?) of the employees were laid off. PAL has since then outsourced their operations. I’m sure some old employees were hired by the contractor, though perhaps I’d guess most of the employees you met were probably new at the job. Nangangapa, so to speak, with the jobs and/or the new management.

    Though that’s not an excuse for lack of common sense and delicadesa.

    Mar 1, 2012 | 2:19 am


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