How Much Is Your Baggage Really Worth?
Your luggage could be worth more than you think. (Photo: Thinkstock)
In June, we posted a story about a British Airways technical issue that caused thousands of bags to be misplaced. In that article, we talked to Theano Apostolou, who was on a 10-day business trip when her luggage went missing on the flight from Brussels to Glasgow.
The worst part is that the airline was unable to tell Theano where her bag was. It was eventually returned to her, but not before she spent hundreds of dollars on essentials for the remaining seven days of her trip.
As a television communications executive, Theano travels frequently for work. She tries not to check a bag, but says that sometimes it’s unavoidable if she’s flying overseas. And because these work trips are long and full of events, the contents of her bag can get expensive. “Shoes are the biggest culprit,” she says. “I have to pack evening, daywear, and boots for when I am visiting sets on location that are muddy and dusty.”
The contents of your bag can add up fast. (Photo: Thinkstock)
Theano’s story got us thinking: How much is our luggage really worth? If a bag is lost, airlines are required to reimburse passengers up to $3,400, but is that enough? Some luggage sets alone cost that much.
So we went to LaGuardia Airport to ask some travelers to put a price tag on their luggage. The experiment was fun, and a little eye-opening for some of the people we talked to.
The first person we interviewed was David Fox. David and his wife, Katherine, were traveling from New York to their home in Nebraska. When I asked David how much he thought his bag was worth, he responded with a very casual answer. “Oh, I don’t know,” he said. “Probably $400 or $500.” Then we asked David to open his bag and give approximate prices for every item he packed. As he started to list his nice ties, shoes, and shirts, the number quickly rose to around $1,500, leaving David surprised at how much his bag was actually worth.
David Fox predicted that his bag was worth $400. Its actual value was likely $1,500. (Photos: Brittany Jones-Cooper)
Katherine was nearby and decided to take our challenge as well. She guesstimated that the contents of her bag equaled around $500. However, like her husband, she saw that as she added up its contents, the number started to rise. “I forgot that I had my toiletries in here,” Katherine said. “My bag is probably worth more like $2,000, maybe.”