Equipment broke during flight :(

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by gabelimom, Oct 28, 2007.

  1. gabelimom

    gabelimom TPF Noob!

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    For my first travel gig to beautiful Cleveland, I bought a crushproof case to bring my monolights with me. Against better judgment (read: I listened to my non-photog husband), I left the flash tubes, modeling light and glass domes inside the monolight, and had the rim around it for protection. I also wrapped the lights in bubble wrap. Both glass domes broke as did the flash tubes.

    Is the airline responsible for replacing any of this, or is totally my fault? Can they partially cover what was broken? And please, no mean, "You should have known better" responses. As I walked back to B&H to replace all the equipment with the entire amount of money that I earned from the gig, I just wanted to cry. :(
     
  2. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I don't know how much liability they have but I would definately not hesitate to go after the airline. If yor items are expensive enough I might even talk to a lawyer.
     
  3. Sideburns

    Sideburns TPF Noob!

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    well...I don't think it's their fault...the pressure difference will crush many things like that...and you should have known that.
    It's unfortunate, but I guess it's just an expensive lesson.
    At least you're sure to only learn this one once.
     
  4. Mike Jordan

    Mike Jordan TPF Noob!

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    It's worth filing a claim. The airlines know how their baggage handlers handle luggage... think gorillas packing eggs. Many are as careful as they can be, but when you consider how fast they have to move that stuff around and how much luggage gets piled on top of each other, stuff is going to break. File a claim and see what happens.

    Edited to add: Do it in writing to. Don't do it verbally, even if they say they can't do anything. A claim filed with a claim form is looked at by different people than those you talk to. And if they can verbally say they won't do anything and stop someone from filing a written claim, all the better to them.

    Mike
     
  5. jols

    jols TPF Noob!

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    are you not insured?

    if not why not with equipment like that you should be.

    you could be insured under your house insurance.:D
     
  6. ToddB

    ToddB TPF Noob!

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    Speaking as a former "gorilla packing eggs," the airlines is most certainly responsible. You may have a problem though depending on how long it has been since the flight. Most airlines, and all companies in general, will say that it could have happened at any point if it is beyond XX days since arrival. You would then have to prove that it happened while the luggage was in the airlines custody, and that is next to impossible.

    The best way to do it is to go to the airport and file a claim with the baggage service office. Get a case number (or whatever that airline calls it it will be on your copy of the claim) so you can track the claims progress. Chances are, they will try to "buy" you off with free mileage or something similar. If that is good enough for you, take it. If not, produce receipts for the replacement cost and request (demand) that they pick up the tab.

    Remember, don't yell at the agent. The person working the baggage service office isn't the one who loaded your bag onto the airplane. They also see 500 people just like you every day. The one's that they remember, and therefore go out of their way to help, are the people who treat them with respect and kindness.

    If all else fails and you are beyond the required time to file a claim, do as jols said and file a claim on your homeowners insurance.
     
  7. digital flower

    digital flower No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I think it depends on which airline. American Airlines has this disclaimer on their website:

    "No liability for photographic equipment, computers, VCRs and any other electronic equipment including software or components, jewelry, cash, documents, furs, works of art or other similar valuable items"

    Bolding mine.

    and this:

    "Damaged Baggage

    If your bag is damaged, please notify American Airlines in person before leaving the airport, or at the latest, within 24 hours after you receive your bag, or within 7 days for international itineraries. "

    and this

    "Failure to report a claim for a delayed or damaged bag within the prescribed time limit releases AA/American Eagle/American Connection from any liability. "
     
  8. ToddB

    ToddB TPF Noob!

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    Thanks Digital Flower, that's the time limit disclaimer I was trying to remember the wording of. I didn't work for AA, but the airline I worked for had the same wording. I didn't remember the liability release for photo equip though.
     
  9. gabelimom

    gabelimom TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the responses. Yes, lesson learned, the hard way. I will never leave the glass in the monolights again!!!!
     

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