I can't seem to figure out what airline protocol is with cancellations, missed connections, etc., and I'd love to hear from someone that actually works with delayed bags as to what happens when a checked bag goes missing.
As a few examples:
- Last year, I was flying JFK-CDG-HAM on AF. JFK-CDG ended up getting canceled, so I switched to a different JFK-CDG (and ultimately CDG-HAM) flight. Not surprisingly, my bag didn't make it to HAM. Three days later, I finally get a call on my cell at 2:30 am Europe time from a 718 area code (Queens) from the AF bag office at JFK, asking what I wanted to do with the bag. What surprised me is that I had listed explicit instructions when I filed the claim at HAM with my hotel information in Hamburg, and it took 3 days to finally hear something. When the flight was canceled, I'm guessing that they sent the bags out to the carousel, but from there...the bag just sat in the AF bag office for 3 days until someone finally got around to following up on it?
- On a JFK-AMS-BLL itinerary on DL/KL, the JFK-AMS flight was late, and while I made the AMS-BLL flight by running through AMS, my bag didn't. There were 4 later flights that day from AMS-BLL, but the bag didn't make any of them, finally making it on to the last flight of the night. When the bag came off the DL flight from JFK, what would have happeed at AMS that it would've taken nearly 10 hours to get on a later flight?
- Recently, I was on an itinerary ZRH-AMS-BLL, and ZRH-AMS was running late. Again, I made the connection, but my bag didn't - yet this time, it showed up on the next AMS-BLL flight, only a few hours later (and the gate agent in AMS made a point to say that she'd flag the bag for the next flight).
I realize that this probably sounds like a rant/whine, which isn't my intention. I'm more just curious as to "what's happening" below the terminal in terms of handling bags without a "home," especially given some of the fairly inconsistent outcomes. Is it just the volume of bags and getting lucky that someone notices something out of place, sooner rather than later? What do bag handlers do when it's time to send a bag to a connecting flight, and that flight has since departed?
Thanks in advance for any input/clarification.