My BOS-SAN Alaska Airlines Flight Home Ended with New Luggage

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After the flight from San Diego to Boston and my volunteering to be bumped experience, I was expecting a smooth return back to San Diego. But this was not to be! The nonstop flight from Boston to San Diego is an early evening flight. We boarded on time and I took my favorite window seat. We pulled back from the gate and then SLOWLY got into the departure queue. It started to rain. I looked up at the sky and I just didn’t have a good feeling about our departure. I think all of us who travel a lot, and who sit at window seats like I do, watching the sky and clouds, develop a sense about these things.

The pilot started giving us the we-don’t-know-exactly-what’s-happening-yet-but-it-looks-like-we’ll-be-here-for-another-fifteen-minutes speech. He did this a few times, and then he turned the engine off. He told us Boston had stopped ALL flights from leaving due to the weather, and planes were not being able to take off to the northwest.

People were free to get up and move around, so I went to talk with the crew. I wanted to know their take on it, whether or not we might have to stop on our way to San Diego to refuel, or even the chances of a canceled flight. They did suggest I call my Hyatt and see about getting a room for the night, just in case. Because I could see from my window seat that some planes were indeed landing and taking off, I asked the crew about this. They told me that Alaska Airlines actually waits longer than many of the airlines before canceling a flight. I took this as hopeful news, since I had called my Hyatt and they were overbooked by 6 rooms!

We waited on the ground for 2 hours before getting back into the departure line! By that time, the line was LONG. I have no idea how these things work, but I could tell it was a crazy mess. I did, however, have the most fascinating time watching out my window. I happened to have the view of both the planes landing and all the planes in front of us as they pulled into line and got ready to depart. So I was watching planes landing, planes departing, planes landing, planes departing every few minutes for about an hour. I’m not a real aviation geek. but it was totally mesmerizing!

We finally took off into an amazingly brilliant sunset, and were able to go all the way to San Diego without a stop for more fuel. The complimentary wine was a nice touch :) And as one of the flight attendants said, it was a Murphy’s Law Dinner night, because instead of loading dinner on the plane, Alaska Airlines had loaded breakfast meals, so if you like eggs for dinner, you were in luck!

It was really late by the time we landed in San Diego and when my bag came out on the carousel, the back panel fabric was ripped half way down. San Diego, being a busy Alaska Airlines location, had two women working in the baggage office. I went to show them my bag totally expecting to fill out some paperwork, and then who knows what.

They looked at my bag, didn’t ask me to fill out any paperwork, and told me they would give me a new bag! I was exhausted so I really had no idea what they meant. The agent lead me to this huge cabinet. She unlocked the door behind which there were at least a dozen pieces of brand new luggage. She showed me two of them, told me one wasn’t very well constructed and won’t hold up well, and suggested I take the other bigger one. OK, thank you very much. I put my belongings in my new bag and off I went. Has this ever happened to anyone else? I have no idea, but it was a quick solution and good by me, and I also received an email with a $25 Alaska Airlines travel credit when I got home.

So all in all, a fabulous holiday in Boston was sandwiched in-between two of the oddest flights I’ve ever taken. One bump that I was nicely compensated for, no luggage for a night, rain/thunder/lightening, sitting for hours on runways watching planes, and new luggage.

Have you ever had a humdinger of a flight like this one that ended in an airline springing for new luggage for you? Let me know in the comments below.

19 thoughts on “My BOS-SAN Alaska Airlines Flight Home Ended with New Luggage

    1. Shelli Post author

      Thanks, Mike. I’d agree about AS. It felt like such a quick and easy resolution and after a long day of travel, much appreciated. Thanks for stopping by!

      Reply
  1. Steve

    Yup, the baggage handlers did a number on one of our bags that we picked up at the carousel at PDX. We went over to the Alaska baggage counter and were shown a selection of replacement bags. That’s it, that’s how easy it was. No forms, no debate and no delay. Alaska rocks as the excel in passenger satisfaction.

    Reply
    1. Shelli Post author

      I know that AS baggage counter at PDX very well. They are really good at honoring Alaska’s landing time until your baggage arrives commitment. Glad to know they have a selection of bags there too, though hope to never need it :)

      Reply
  2. John the Wanderer

    What brand was the luggage that was offered? I’ve heard they do this after the fact on other airlines. It is awesome that Alaska has immediate assistance. But it may not work out if you have really expensive bags? What is your new bag like?

    Reply
    1. Shelli Post author

      Good questions, John. I chose a Skyway bag. There were other brands to choose from. My old bag was not an expensive one. I chose the Skyway because it’s a spinner and I’ve never used one, so I wanted to check it out. I would think if it happens and your bag IS an expensive one, that’s a different conversation with AS. Before this, I’d only had a bag damaged on an international airline when I landed in Buenos Aires, and the service was awful.

      Reply
  3. JMM

    Love Alaska. I once had a wheel broken on gate checked bag on AA to LGA. Went to the baggage office to fill out the paper work and they gave me a used travel pro bag to have in the interim that I still use 10 year later.

    Reply
    1. steve

      VX are you stupid or what? As the recipient of a replacement bag, I can assure you that the replacement bags are new and should be able to withstand any abuse from the baggage handlers. Alaska is a “class act” and would not hand out used bags. I had to take the tags of my replacement bag just so you know.
      Steve

      Reply
      1. VX_Flier

        No Steve, I’m not stupid. Just asked a simple question since that wasn’t clear to me.

        I appreciate the author’s clarification since I also fly Alaska at times.

        Reply
  4. Carl

    I had a bag damaged (including a missing zipper pull that did make it very difficult to open the bag) on DL from ATL to DEN in 2014. As I was on a two-week trip in the winter, I actually had checked two bags. Both of them were pretty low-end ones I’d gotten at a big sale at Macy’s maybe eight years earlier. I was thrilled when DL gave me a huge one on the spot to replace the one with the issue. They let me keep the other two bags as well, and since everything could now fit in the new bag, I donated the older ones to a local church that was collecting luggage for the homeless. Although the new Skyway looked big and beautiful compared to my old luggage, I found that it quickly got scuffed and lost a zipper pull (replaced by US Airways). It’s definitely not the Tumi and Travelpro workhorses I use as carry-ons (99% of my travel). I ultimately bought a large Travelpro spinner when one was on a fantastic clearance at BB&B, and it’s served me much better than the free Skyway (for those very rare times I want to check a bag).

    Reply
    1. Shelli Post author

      HI Carl. Good to know DL does this too. AS asked to keep my old bag. I had a Travelpro that finally wore out after many years. If I like the spinner style, I’ll for sure upgrade from the Skyway. Looking forward to testing the Skyway spinner! Thanks for stopping by.

      Reply
      1. Carl

        I may have just lucked out in DEN, as I wouldn’t expect DL to regularly replace bags for minor issues. When I had the missing zipper pull on the new bag after a US flight, I had to return to the airport to give my empty bag to them (since I couldn’t exactly leave it there after my trip without the ability to unload it). Turnaround time was about ten days, and they (or the company they used) replaced the zipper with one that didn’t match. Didn’t seem like an efficient process, and it made me appreciate DL’s responsiveness (at least in DEN) all the more. I’m curious to hear how you like the Skyway spinner and how it holds up.

        Reply
        1. Shelli Post author

          Hi Carl. Having to return to the airport sounds really inefficient, I agree. I’ll let you know on the Skyway bag. The AS agent said it was the best choice of the bunch.

          Reply

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