Lost Luggage - SKY Airlines, Chile

WARNING!!!!! If you're on the 'Essence' Tour and traveling on SKY airlines for any domestic flight - assume that if they lose your luggage (or take it), you'll never get it back. I had to live out of my carry-on until we got to LlaoLlao Resort, where there was minimal shopping, and later, find the malls in Buenos Aires, where there were real possibilities to go shopping, even though I'd rather have done some sightseeing or vacationing during my free time.

SKY lost my luggage on our first domestic flight. There's a long story behind this, insurance claims, kind folks lending me stuff, etcetera, but I won't bore people. Again, just be well prepared. This company is impossible to deal with. They supposedly (according to a lengthy form that they sent) give you 30 days to supply a packing list. However, first they take 7 of those days to 'look' for it.

Just for the record - I did reply to their many emails, stating that I would send a list after returning home. In the interim, I even sent them a detailed description and photo of my luggage (don't ask). After a total of 12 days - they closed the case, stating that I had not responded, just one day after I returned home. Pun not intended.

The unfriendly skies of SKY......

Comments

  • I'm sorry for your ordeal, Ann, but thank you for the post. I'm in the process of packing for the Australia/New Zealand trip. Thanks to your post, I will bring with me a copy of my packing list and also take photos of my luggage -- and I'll do that for future trips as well. I hope that you have a much more pleasant experience on your next trip.
  • Ann, were you the only one who had your luggage disappear? Was it on the Tauck tour flights? I know insurance won’t cover everything or the inconvenience of having no clothing with you, but did you take out the insurance and was the Tauck tour director helpful, since Tauck was responsible for your luggage during the tour.
  • British wrote:
    Ann, were you the only one who had your luggage disappear? Was it on the Tauck tour flights? I know insurance won’t cover everything or the inconvenience of having no clothing with you, but did you take out the insurance and was the Tauck tour director helpful, since Tauck was responsible for your luggage during the tour.


    Hi, British,

    I was the only one who lost luggage. My suitcase was black - but had a bright blue 'belt' with my surname in BIG letters on it that could not fall off - someone would have had to unclasp it and untie all the knots. Even my Tauck label was laminated and held on with one of those plastic 'zip ties'. Plus multiple other colorful tags and a copy of my Passport in the inside pocket. The joke is on whoever got it - they will have to be a size 0/2. LMAO.

    My flight was booked by Tauck. I did buy Tauck insurance (this is only my 5th trip, but I had good advice from the start).

    My Tour Director accompanied me to file a claim with SKY. He also had every Concierge in each hotel, in Chile and Buenos Aires contact Sky Airlines. Every Concierge knew who I was! However, all their attempts only resulted in very frustrated Concierges!!! This saga is not over yet, so I will hold my vote on how Tauck handles everything.

    All the email communication was between me and SKY (they would not permit any other form). I made sure to copy 'the world' (Tauck Guest Services, my Tour Director, my own Travel Agent, AON) to keep them in the loop on all this useless chatter.

    Now I am dealing with multiple insurance companies/2 forms each. I didn't want my trip to be all about luggage. My group was full of wonderful people. After seeing the statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio, I am closer to seeing all the 7 wonders of the Modern World. China and the Great Wall next year. I just have to plan a trip to see Macchi Picchu :-)
  • MCD wrote:
    I'm sorry for your ordeal, Ann, but thank you for the post. I'm in the process of packing for the Australia/New Zealand trip. Thanks to your post, I will bring with me a copy of my packing list and also take photos of my luggage -- and I'll do that for future trips as well. I hope that you have a much more pleasant experience on your next trip.

    Thanks. Have a wonderful trip! I started a packing list for my first Tauck Tour, and I just copy and modify and make a new one for subsequent trips. I keep it in NOTES on my iPhone and also in PAGES, all backed up to iCloud (talk about overkill). Hope this helps!
  • MCD - Assuming you have the same style of chartered air as we did on that trip 2 years ago, you'll be relieved to know that for the vast majority of the AUS/NZ flights, luggage is loaded directly from the bus onto the plane. With the exception of Cairns airport and the international flight between AUS and NZ, we (or the bags) didn't even go through the terminal. The bus entered the airports through back gates, pulled up right next to the plane, and you walked up the stairs-on-wheels onto the plane. It was the ultimate in service!

    Ann K - sorry to hear about your troubles. I'll be on the Patagonia trip in a few months. Hopefully no issues!
  • I, too, have a general packing list that I modify for each trip. It's in Pages, but I don't travel with the computer. However, I do e-mail it to myself , which I can access on my phone and iPad mini -- but I still like a hard copy. ("Old dog...")

    It occurred to me after I responded to your post earlier, Ann, that your suggestions might be helpful on the "general discussion" forum.

    BKMD -- Ihe flight experience does sound great. Looking forward to it.
  • edited September 2018
    Ann, wow, I hope you hear something, how very frustrating indeed. . However, there is one thing that concerns me, I would never ever leave a copy pf my passport in checked luggage, surely that means someone could possibly steal your identity, surely that is not a good idea.
  • British wrote:
    Ann, wow, I hope you hear something, how very frustrating indeed. . However, there is one thing that concerns me, I would never ever leave a copy pf my passport in checked luggage, surely that means someone could possibly steal your identity, surely that is not a good idea.

    Hi, British,

    This is something that 'Tauck' recommended on my first trip, but I take your comment very seriously. I'll use something else next time!

    Cheers,

    Ann
  • MCD wrote:
    I, too, have a general packing list that I modify for each trip. It's in Pages, but I don't travel with the computer. However, I do e-mail it to myself , which I can access on my phone and iPad mini -- but I still like a hard copy. ("Old dog...")

    It occurred to me after I responded to your post earlier, Ann, that your suggestions might be helpful on the "general discussion" forum.

    BKMD -- Ihe flight experience does sound great. Looking forward to it.

    BTW - we can also use iBooks on our iPhone, for yet another copy!

    Ann
  • I scanned my passport info page and emailed it to myself, so as long as I have email access, I can retrieve it, if necessary.
  • Why not just take a photo with your phone and then you don’t need internet access?
  • edited October 2018
    Ann K wrote:
    Hi, British,

    This is something that 'Tauck' recommended on my first trip, but I take your comment very seriously. I'll use something else next time!

    Cheers,

    Ann

    Yes, Tauck does recommend you make a copy of your passport but certainly NOT to put it in your checked luggage. We take a copy of the photo page from our passports and we laminated them. My husband carries the passports and I carry the copies. We also have photos of our passports on our cell phones. We never trust that we may end up with no power on our phones at a crucial moment, so that is why we still generally resist having a phone copy of our boarding passses.
    If you call Tauck I am sure that they will clarify never leaving any document with so much personal imformarion in a checked suitcase. Yes, leave your name address and email,but certainly not something that shows your birthdate and place of birth etc.
  • BSP51 wrote:
    Why not just take a photo with your phone and then you don’t need internet access?
    That, too, but if your phone is stolen with your passport, having it in the cloud is helpful.
  • British wrote:
    Yes, Tauck does recommend you make a copy of your passport but certainly NOT to put it in your checked luggage. We take a copy of the photo page from our passports and we laminated them. My husband carries the passports and I carry the copies. We also have photos of our passports on our cell phones. We never trust that we may end up with no power on our phones at a crucial moment, so that is why we still generally resist having a phone copy of our boarding passses.
    If you call Tauck I am sure that they will clarify never leaving any document with so much personal imformarion in a checked suitcase. Yes, leave your name address and email. It certainly not something that shows your birthdate and place of birth etc.

    Dear British -

    You're right - and I will take care of it, even if it's another set of inconveniences. Thank you for the kick in the head - I've been doing this for years, like a 'robot'. Funny (or not) - I also have it in email, a pic on my phone and in my carryon. Just wasn't thinking - the copy's been in the other bag forever:-(
  • Dear Ann, I do hope that by some miracle your suitcase turns up. If your clothes don't fit the person who has your suitcase????
  • Ann, we are going to China and the Great Wall in 2019. April. When are you gojng?
  • AnnK ... it does not have to be a small regional to cause a problem or ‘have’ a problem. Unfortunately, all airlines lose luggage. How they treat you is important. When British Airways totally shut down on May 27 of last year due to an employee error, we were onboard on a taxiway at Heathrow. We were on our way to Stockholm to board a ship to Russia on the Tauck St. Petersburg trip. BA did nothing for us. They had guards on the elevators so you could not even get to ticketing to attempt to rebook or talk to someone. You could not get anyone on the phone, so I could not use my ticket on BA, so I got a booking on SAS, followed by a free three day stay in London paid for by Tauck and our Tauck insurance. We got to Stockholm just in time to board the ship. Our luggage went to Frankfurt, and then home to San Anselmo. We completed the trip with just our carry on and a few borrowed items. Then we discovered that BA cancelled our return trip, because we did not show up for our (cancelled) trip to Stockholm. That took a couple hours to correct but we did get on the plane in our originally booked seats. Since we are AAdvantage fliers we cannot totally avoid BA, and I do understand the airline business, but in this case the BA management just disappeared. Even the SAS manager we spoke with was very ‘upset’ with BA during those days.
  • Sandstorm wrote:
    Ann, we are going to China and the Great Wall in 2019. April. When are you gojng?

    October 2019! And I'm rethinking my packing!
  • edited October 2018
    Most of the Tauck tours I take are the ‘Adventure ‘ type ones like Africa, Galapagos, Costa Rica and my upcoming Patagonia. I generally wear the safari style pant for those trips. Last year I needed new pants because I had lost weight. I found some excellent travel pants at Costco but they are 27 inch leg length so only good if you are 5 feet 2 inches like me. They were about $14 a pair. Today, those pants are $4-97 on sale. If my luggage gets lost at least my pants didn’t cost me a fortune though I would hate to lose these lightweight, easy washed and dried pants.
  • British,
    Thanks for the heads up on the pants. I need to get to Costco. I'm under 5'3" too.
    On another note, at least you would never have to worry about losing your pajamas.
  • Hey, how do you know my pajama story? On our most recent tour, it was suggested we all wear pyjamas for the Farewell dinner until Mr B pointed out he and I don’t own nightwear of any description, it caused a laugh.
  • Ann K wrote:
    WARNING!!!!! If you're on the 'Essence' Tour and traveling on SKY airlines for any domestic flight - assume that if they lose your luggage (or take it), you'll never get it back. I had to live out of my carry-on until we got to LlaoLlao Resort, where there was minimal shopping, and later, find the malls in Buenos Aires, where there were real possibilities to go shopping, even though I'd rather have done some sightseeing or vacationing during my free time.

    SKY lost my luggage on our first domestic flight. There's a long story behind this, insurance claims, kind folks lending me stuff, etcetera, but I won't bore people. Again, just be well prepared. This company is impossible to deal with. They supposedly (according to a lengthy form that they sent) give you 30 days to supply a packing list. However, first they take 7 of those days to 'look' for it.

    Just for the record - I did reply to their many emails, stating that I would send a list after returning home. In the interim, I even sent them a detailed description and photo of my luggage (don't ask). After a total of 12 days - they closed the case, stating that I had not responded, just one day after I returned home. Pun not intended.

    The unfriendly skies of SKY......

    Wednesday October 4 Update: My suitcase was found - not by SKY, not by Tauck, but by another airline, Avianca. They've turned me into a new, loyal customer, thanks to their perseverance (they tracked me by the tags that I had placed on my luggage and contacted me by email and WhatsApp). They were the airline that took me to and from the United States. Again, my bag was lost when our group left with Tauck via SKY airlines. Apparently it never left Santiago. It's still a mystery to me as to how Avianca got it, but I consider myself lucky that they did.

    My suitcase was shipped back to JFK. U.S. Immigration did open it, and tossed the contents, but thanks to my mania about packing in two-gallon zip-loc bags, they didn't tear it apart too much. All of my miscellaneous papers (including a copy of my passport, which I will never leave again!!) were carefully placed in the one envelope that I had in the suitcase. Avianca took it from the plane, to Immigration, and then to me, waiting outside the Immigration doors. They even kept me posted about the lone bag's progress!

    Consider yourself very lucky if you meet the great folks I met in my group, who lent me sweaters and a flannel shirt, gifted me with an umbrella on a threatening day, and offered to help and worried about me.
  • Wow, that is wonderful Ann!
    As you travel with Tauck so much, please consider putting reviews here on the forum. We travel to Santiago next month. I believe it is on LAN airlines, but I leave all that to Mr B.
  • British - please post a review of your upcoming trip, as I'll be doing the same trip in 2 months. I'm flying American, via DFW. Arriving a day early and considering a day trip to Vino del Mar/Valparaiso
  • British wrote:
    Wow, that is wonderful Ann!
    As you travel with Tauck so much, please consider putting reviews here on the forum. We travel to Santiago next month. I believe it is on LAN airlines, but I leave all that to Mr B.

    Hi, British.

    I doubt that I come close to how how much you've traveled, but I did note some things that we really liked. I don't want to prejudice folks against some things that were not so great, (I won't discuss luggage anymore), so I will post some 'positive' highlights. How's that? So far - my [first Tauck tour]trip to Vietnam/Cambodia/Laos - and my Portrait of India still top my list. I will do my best!

    Thanks again for your feedback.

    Ann
  • edited October 2018
    Hi, British.

    I do have a few ideas/pointers from my 'Essence' trip 9/13-9/27 (I came one day early).

    If folks plan to bring cash - bring large bills. USD $100, $50 are what stores prefer. The major hotels that we stayed at in Santiago, Buenos Aires, Río, change money. Some of the ATM fees were so exorbitant, that it was worthwhile to take the hotel's rate. They were not choosy about denominations for USD, but stores were. Of course many places take credit cards.

    Santiago has Turistik, the [red] on-off bus, and I highly recommend it. One of the concierges helped me map out what I wanted to see by myself, and the stops to take. It is a 2 block walk from the Ritz. Nice neighborhood. I especially liked the Pre-Colombino museum, even if it was small. Make sure that you take the cable car ride, and the train ride down, and it will put you near a colorful neighborhood [Bella Vista] with plenty of restaurants and stores, although I did not shop. If you happen to order room service at the Ritz, the portions are HUMONGOUS! The concierges advise that we not take cabs unless the hotel called for them, so the bus made touring on my own a no-brainer.

    Porto Vara....well, that's when my luggage was lost. It's just a stop, an okay hotel. for overnight

    Trip across the Andes with 4 buses and three boats - is a long, picturesque day. Tauck makes sure to make plenty of 'health stops'.

    Llao Llao Resort in Bariloche is HUMONGOUS. If you want a spa appointment, book fast, they fill up! Pool is indoors and outdoors - and was empty! Most folks took long walks, Hotel also has a chocolate shop where you can buy 'sticks' of chocolate to make the most outrageous hot chocolate. Or, you can always buy a fur jacket in the hotel store:-) The town is not close to the hotel and was not enticing. We had light snow on the day that we left.

    Buenos Aires, 'Paris of South America' deserves its name. The Alvear Palace is [gasp!] amazing. Great neighborhood. Several malls nearby (only recommended if you had to shop, like I did). The concierge or the guide can recommend leather shops. I did go to a leather store on someone's recommendation and bought a bag made from Capybara. Sounds weird, but It's unique and cool looking! The concierge and the guide can recommend leather shops. You can grab lunch in the mall behind the cemetery that you will visit another day with your guide. Or, if you walk to the "Santa Fe" area (your guide or the concierge will explain), stop in any small coffee shop and have an empanada, café, pastries! Light and flaky empanadas were better than any I've had in NYC! And cheap cheap cheap, once you're outside the hotel!!!! I was not impressed by the "Santa Fe" area, it seemed like a daily shopping district, but some folks went to the Florida area. Just be careful, was what we were told. The day that you explore different neighborhoods is fascinating and colorful. Can't say enough great things about our local guide, Carla - she was the best! You can tell her I said so, if you get to meet her.

    Iguazú - Argentine side and Brazilian side. Amazing views and hot hot hot. We were at the end of Winter, start of Spring, yet one day approached 100deg F. Hotel recently renovated - we cut them a lot of 'slack' because of this. Watch out for monkeys on your terrace! Lock your patio door! Not a joke! The guide stopped at one 'tourist center' where we bought 'fun' t- shirts. For me, it brightened my wardrobe:-)

    Río - leave all your valuables in the safe. Same admonition in Buenos Aires, but a stronger warning in Río. Bring a CHEAP watch. Don't think "because I'm with Tauck, it's okay" - you may be alone - and it may not be okay. You'll probably meet a fellow (Allen) who sells 'zipper bags' that his wife makes. It's a hoot. He stands outside of the hotel, and he also followed us around by traveling on public transportation, selling bags for $5 or $20Rei each. Colorful and fun. Chances are, when you go to lunch one day, it will be in a shopping area. We found a Havaianas shop - $8 a pair ($28 in the States)- again - fun to see the huge selection of flip-flops, if you get a chance. Who doesn't want Bart Simpson underfoot?

    I didn't buy many souvenirs - but you can find Alfajores in the airport in Argentina, typical Argentine candy, looks like a small 'moon pie'. Filled with dulce de leche. We all loved the dulce de leche! You can buy chocolates at LlaoLlao resort, mentioned above, as well as good chocolates in the lobby of the Copacabana hotel in Río. I was not in the mood for souvenirs, given my luggage saga, but I did bring home sweets for friends, and they got a kick out of them. I also bought books when we stopped in Buenos Aires, but they were in Spanish. Plus 'Allen's purses' in Rîo were fun for some friends.

    Hope this helps. Enjoy your journey!
  • This is a great review Ann, it will be really useful to people reading in the future. Unfortunately I am taking the Patagonia tour! The hotel in Santiago is different but we do stay at the Alvear Palace in Buenos Aires.
  • That is an amazing review. I flew to these places for years, and I have a different view. Never got to Iguazu other than a few thousand feet up. Santiago, Rio, Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, were all on my regular runs. I love Tauck and I’m sure they do a wonderful job in these places. I got paid to go there.
  • Nice review Ann. This was probably one of our favorite tours, mostly because of the group. Everyone got along and everyone was inclusive. I agree with you, the local guide, Carlita, in Buenos Aires was fantastic. And the empanadas at El Sanjuanino were outstanding. My husband and I still talk about them to friends and it's been four years since we did this tour.
    We enjoyed the Llao Llao. We did the very first tour of the season (mid Sept) and it was snowing in the Alps. It was beautiful. Nice memories of swimming from the inside to the outside pool and having snow on our heads.
    We have friends taking this tour in January. I hope they enjoy it as much as we did.
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