April 5, 2012

Unpacked: Baggage

Got baggage? Who doesn’t? ;)

We’re in the busy spring break travel season now, and you’re all set to jet.

Whether you neatly fold your clothes and check off each item as it goes into your suitcase two days before your trip, or the type who throws everything into your bag ten minutes before you leave for the airport, we take your belongings seriously.

You get to the airport, grab your boarding pass, and hand your bag over to us to get your favorite jeans, that gift for grandma, and your shaving lotion to your destination safely (remember that first checked bag flies free with JetBlue!). What is the journey of your luggage from the time you hand it off until you pick it up on the carousel at your arrival airport? As you wait to board your flight, we’re doing lots behind the scenes to ensure that your bag meets you at your destination.

When you drop your bag at the ticket counter (we recommend checking in at home or at our kiosk so you can head straight to the bag drop line, which is often shorter than the regular check-in line), your bag is tagged with your destination airport code and placed on a belt by one of our airport operations crewmembers. In some cases, you might be placing the bag on the belt yourself (if you already have your boarding pass in hand and head to the bag drop line – highly recommended during spring break peak travel).

Your bag then travels through a series of tracks and enters a secure area managed by TSA, where every bag is individually screened by TSA employees.

Screened bags are then placed on another belt, where our ground operations crewmembers quickly load the bags onto carts based on the tagged destinations, transport them to the appropriate planes, and load them into the baggage compartment in the belly of the plane. The same process happens in reverse when your flight arrives to your destination, and your bag is placed on the belt that travels to the baggage claim area, where you can grab it and watch the smile on grandma’s face when you present her with that gift.

Check out the below video from Bloomberg TV to follow a bag’s journey at T5

Lost/Mishandled Baggage

JetBlue is consistently at the top of the list when it comes to getting your baggage home (see DOT Air Consumer Reports http://airconsumer.dot.gov/reports/) and we invest substantial resources into tracking, identifying and recovering lost baggage. The majority of our customers receive their bags within 24 hours after their arrival.

One tip for ensuring your bag’s quick return in the event that it gets separated from you is to include a printed copy of your itinerary with your cell phone number(s) as well as the name of the hotel where you are staying inside before you check it. In regards to unclaimed luggage, JetBlue opens this baggage to check for any identifying items that may help in locating the owners. We otherwise won’t ever open your luggage. We leave inspections to the TSA (which they take seriously). Bags that are unclaimed for over 90 days are then sent to the Unclaimed Baggage Center in Scottsboro, Alabama.

Unfortunately theft from baggage does occur on occasion and this is something airlines and the TSA take very seriously. JetBlue proactively identifies reports of theft from baggage in all of our BlueCities, working closely with our internal stakeholders to assess our security needs to minimize the potential for theft,  allocating resources to swiftly address the problem and working closely with law enforcement to identify and subsequently prosecute those responsible for any reported thefts. We consider each act of theft as unacceptable behavior and will pursue all means to address these reports, including seeking prosecution for those involved in such criminal activity.

Learn more about our ground operations team in A Day in the Life: Ground Operations
Read more Unpacked columns

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15 Comments on “Unpacked: Baggage”

  • Posted by joan dollard on April 5, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    I have a question My grandsons will be travel
    ing with us next week to Charlotte from Bos What do we do with their car booster seats? Thanks Joan Dollard

  • Posted by JetBlue on April 5, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    Thanks for flying JetBlue Joan! There are guidelines around approved child seats for the plane (learn more at: http://help.jetblue.com/SRVS/CGI-BIN/webisapi.dll?New,Kb=askBlue,case=obj%281939%29). You can also check your child seat (for free).

  • Posted by Karen on May 3, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    My son travelled on JetBlue three weeks ago from SFO/AUS. On arrival he found that his suitcase had been maliciously damaged and was ruined. Some of his belonging had also been damaged by a mysterious liquid which changed the colour of his slippers from blue to brown. This sounds like acid was used to tear through the fabric because we chose these particular cases, when we bought them, for their fabric strength.
    The JetBlue officials at Austin did give my son a case to put all his clothes in but it was faulty.

    My questions are:
    Does the airline take any responsibility?
    Has any investigation been done to find out who is doing this to passengers’ luggage?
    Should we also contact the TSA?

  • Posted by JetBlue on May 4, 2012 at 9:29 am

    Hi Karen,

    Thanks for reaching out and apologies for the unfortunate event with your son’s suitcase. I’ve passed your note along to our customer support team, who will get in touch with you shortly. You can also reach out to TSA, since the bags are screened by them.

  • Posted by Justin Hunt on June 25, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    Recently, Jet Blue lost my brother’s bag when he came to visit me in Las Vegas. He was flying from JFK. Although you claim to have a commendable record regarding bags that are lost or “delayed”, I have a bit of a bone to pick regarding the tracking of baggage. When passengers board the plane, boarding passes are scanned in order to determine who is on the plane, what seats are occupied/unoccupied, etc. US Airways has successfully implemented a program where they scan baggage that is loaded onto and off the plane. When I spoke to the agent in the Baggage Service office in Las Vegas, she told me that Jet Blue does not do this. I also noticed in the video that the bags are not scanned when they are loaded onto the plane. Is Jet Blue planning to implement a system where they scan baggage? If not, why not? This would be especially useful in a hub as large and busy as T5 in JFK.
    While I do not know if this would have been helpful in the case of my brother’s case (the bag has apparently disappeared into thin air), I do think it would help you further improve your record recording lost luggage.

  • Posted by JetBlue on June 25, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    Hi Justin,

    Thanks for landing here and we’re sorry about your brother’s bag. We actually do track bags, just not via hand scanners like some of the other airlines, and do plan on adding automated bag scanning in the near future. Do keep in mind there are limitations with all scanning systems; a bag scanner will only tell you where the bag was last seen, not its current location.

  • Posted by Sandra Tucker on October 21, 2012 at 11:41 am

    In June on my way to Spain for a cruise. Went from MCO to jfk (the first leg of my trip)Jet blue lost myluggage. I have filled out all the requested documents and submitted them. I was assured I would receive a refund for my lost items. To date all I have received is empty promises. What recourse do I have? What should I do next &/or who should I contact?

  • Posted by JetBlue on October 21, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    Hi Sandra. We’ll have our Central Baggage Services team follow up with you.

  • Posted by Suzana Ujkaj & Petrit Ujkaj on October 22, 2012 at 9:57 am

    My Husband and I flew Jetblue from Turks and Caicos to JFK on June 24th. Since then our luggage has been lost/Missing. We filed a report with the Agent at the airport in the customs area that day and received a yellow slip. We kept calling all that week and finally they told us to call CBS in Salt Lake city. We called them and they never knew our bag was even missing. Well this was a surprise, then at that time Agent Cadian took our claim and send us paperwork, we filled the paperwork and since that time which was July 1st we never got any communication what so ever. Its October 22, 2012 and our bag is at large. We keep calling Central Baggage Services and they keep telling us they are looking for the bag and possibly to compensate us. It has been 5 months since our bag is missing. NO WORD from Jetblue. We keep talking to the lady Brandy who is very nice but nothing is being done. We feel at helpless at this point and don’t know where to turn and complaint about it. It was our honeymoon so we had the most expensive stuff in there which scares us even more as what we hear airport employees steal all expensive bags.

  • Posted by Rachel Jeffs on October 29, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    My boyfriend and I just returned from a trip from Austin, Texas on 10/28. Upon arriving to Austin, TX our luggage was ‘delayed’. We were very patient believing that our luggage would be delivered to us the following day. However, it has been 5 days without any update on where our baggage is. We spent our entire trip without any of our clothing or toiletries. At first, I was optimistic that my baggage would be returned but I am slowly realizing that this may not be returned. I am disappointed and upset by the negligence of the baggage handling. I want to know how CBS plans to compensate for missing luggage?

  • Posted by JetBlue on October 29, 2012 at 4:55 pm

    Hi Rachel,

    We’re sorry for the unfortunate experience. I’ll pass your note along to our Customer Support team, best suited to assist you, and someone will be in touch with you (appreciate your patience with any waits, as Hurricane Sandy is keeping us busy).

  • Posted by Vijay Kumar on November 7, 2012 at 9:22 am

    On 1st of Oct, I was travelling from Pittsburgh to Newark via Boston and Jet Blue guys lost my checked-in baggage which I was suppose to collect at Newark Airport. Endlessly, I am calling every day to Jet blue lost baggage department but yet to get my baggage. I have already filled out & provided all the the requested documents still it looks like they are not interested. What should I do next &/or whom should I contact? Can I understand the procedural or legal options I am left with?
    My lost baggage details: Report number EWRB600254115,
    Bag tag number: B6692317
    You guys can contact me @ +91-773-801-9051
    email id: abm.vijay@gmail.com
    Currently : I am in Mumbai, India

  • Posted by JetBlue on November 7, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    Hi Vijay,

    Passed your information along to our baggage folks, but you can contact us at 1-866-538-5438. Additional information available at: http://help.jetblue.com/SRVS/CGI-BIN/webisapi.dll?New,Kb=askBlue,case=obj%282206%29

  • Posted by Linda White on November 23, 2012 at 9:32 am

    I arrived in Boston from Dallas with no luggage waiting for me.Another passenger was missing hers as well.Jet Blue doesnt seem to understand what this means.I arrived on Thanksgiving to be able to drive back to Dallas with my daughter. All my clothes,shoes,boots,coat,all personal items are in that bag. I hae some sentimental items that arent replacable. All i get is ,its not hear fromthem is we havent located it. After 24 hrs i can spend 25.00 a day on incidentals.I have No close,shoes,INCIDENTALS. NOTHING.who even says i have 25.00 to spend.The flight wasnt even fully booked,so not alot of luggage.I have talked to several people and the worst one was Rhenna,she was just rude.I will have to contact an attorney, I hope this never happens to anyone else, Steps need to be in place so this doesnt happen again. Maybe with enough lwsuite,they will get it right.

  • Posted by Doug DeNunzio on January 6, 2013 at 8:51 pm

    things are possible when they are

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