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Damaged Bag Never Replaced

New Arrival

Southwest use to be the only way I would travel by air.  That changed a year ago after flying to Pennsylvania.  When I left Jacksonville and arrived in Pennsylvania, my bag was fine, no problem.   When I checked by bags on the way back, they were fine.  When I got to Jacksonville, one of my bags were damaged.  


After reaching out to Southwest customer service several times, sending emails, phone calls, and sending pictures, I was told that it was not their fault my bag was damaged.  When they checked my bag, it was in tack and fine.  When I got my bag at JAX, it was not!  The bag handlers were the only ones to touch my bag from the time I got on and off the plane.  So, how are they not responsible for my damaged bag!! My straps on the bag were ripped to the extent that it torn a part of my custom bag(with greek letters).  


After two more attempts to have this issued resolved, I was so frustrated that I left it alone and said that I would NEVER fly Southwest again, unless it was a life or death emergency and no other airline had a flight to my destination.  


As I am preparing to fly to New York in 3 weeks,  I see my damaged bag and am reminded of my last experience with Southwest. All I wanted them to do was compensate me for damaging my bag, or at least offer to pay to have it repaired. But to be told that, "it's not our fault", is crazy!  


It's been a little over a year now. I hope they are doing a better job in customer service and rectifying the way they handle passengers baggage  and concerns.  Not only was my bag damaged, so was my relationship with the airline. 


Re: Damaged Bag Never Replaced

Rising Star

I’m sorry to hear you bag was damaged over a year a go. Did you file a damaged bag claim before you left the airport? If not that is probably why they weren’t able to help as you must report it to the baggage service office within 4 hours of your flights arrival that way the airline personal can asses the damage and they can make the report. 



Re: Damaged Bag Never Replaced

New Arrival


Yes I called, twice before they returned my call. I didn't realize my bag was damaged until after I got home that it was damaged, which was an hour later. The straps were closed with the velcro fastener, making it hard to tell the bag was ripped down the side)  I called and filed a claim immediately. I even took pictures. 

Re: Damaged Bag Never Replaced

Top Contributor

Unfortunately, in order for Southwest to accept responsibility you have to make the claim at the baggage office at the airport within 4 hours of your flight's arrival. I realize this does present problems for those who don't realize their baggage is damaged until they get home. But when you think about it, it's actually quite fair. Like all carriers, Southwest has to limit its liability and cannot accept responsibility for everyone who claims at any time that a bag was damaged, without the proof of a physical inspection immediately following the flight.


I've actually found Southwest to be very accommodating when a bag is significantly damaged. Twice Southwest has completely replaced my bag, on the spot, for free. Once the handle assembly including a wheel had been ripped off, and another time a giant v shape was torn in the side of my bag. In both cases the suitcase I received from Southwest was actually better quality than the one I've been using. I've since upgraded to hard sided luggage.


One thing to remember is that the damage must be significant in order for any consideration. Keep in mind that the job of a suitcase is to protect the contents, and that wear and tear to the luggage exterior is to be expected. Some people get upset over scuffing or other minor cosmetic damage, but I think that's unreasonable. 


My best advice is to always check your bag for damage before you leave the airport, and if you have any issue at all make sure you file a claim in person within 4 hours of arrival.