Imagine that my bag is not well closed or simply old, and breaks and spills its contents while being loaded on or off the plane (or a container).

What do they do with it? Do they pick everything up and throw it away? Do they collect my belongings and try to return them to me? Would the tell me what happened or just tell me it got lost? Would I get a fine for using an inappropriate suitcase?

  • Ground personnel will pick up what they can find and will put everything, including the suitcase/bag, into a large tough plastic bag and load that onto the plane.
    – JoErNanO
    Commented May 24, 2019 at 19:32

1 Answer 1


Assuming you are flying on scheduled airline service, the employees who last handled the bag should pick it up with its contents, put it in some larger container and take it somewhere where someone will attempt to make it so it will last the remainder of the segments to the stated destination on the bag tag. That can be done with anything, including duct tape.

If the bag was relatively new and the damage resulted from abuse or mishandling, the airline will usually issue you a similar bag (meaning: about the same size, but not necessarily the same brand, color or style) from their inventory of replacements, but you have to file the claim before leaving the airport.

Otherwise, you thank your lucky stars your stuff arrived, and buy a new bag at your destination.

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