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Re: United Airlines severely damaged tribike and refuses to pay. [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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As many have already pointed out, the issue, IMHO is that TSA carries zero responsibility in correctly repackaging our equipment. I had a similar experience as the OP on a TRANSATL flight over the summer. On the outbound leg my Biospeed was inspected by TSA, upon arriving at my destination the carbon race wheel had a puncture from being incorrectly repacked by TSA. The entire contents of the bag were in the center pocket unstrapped and the parts that were wrapped together had been removed from their wrapping. This is a bag and a packing that has survived multiple TRANSPAC flights with no issues. One of the glaring inconsistencies about air travel is that the TSA continue to operate with impunity and anonymity. When I fly TRANSPAC out of SFO the bag is inspected by Covenant Aviation who also open the bag and inspect things, the difference, and to me is the kicker, is that the Covenant inspection notice has the signature of the inspector and a date/time stamp. Why can't TSA institute a similar policy? That was you have a specific time/date that can be reviewed to see where the culpability lies. When you have an organization that acts independent of public scrutiny and with impunity to claims against damage and loss, there can never be trust. If you want change, pressure your local airport to choose private security over TSA.
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Re: United Airlines severely damaged tribike and refuses to pay. [Trigirl357] [ In reply to ]
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The real problem is the TSA.
I have had my bike damaged in some way every single time they "inspect" it, regardless of my pack job.
The level of arrogance and disrespect they show towards personal property is shocking.
I do not experience this in any other country.
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Re: United Airlines severely damaged tribike and refuses to pay. [NordicSkier] [ In reply to ]
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Can we as a group not do a mass group email all at once to get this taken care of? We should plan something out. Because the airlines suck, specially Delta, who can severely suck my balls, and we should gather our resources and do something.

Socks
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Re: United Airlines severely damaged tribike and refuses to pay. [NordicSkier] [ In reply to ]
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NordicSkier wrote:
The real problem is the TSA.
I have had my bike damaged in some way every single time they "inspect" it, regardless of my pack job.
The level of arrogance and disrespect they show towards personal property is shocking.
I do not experience this in any other country.

One of the results of the terrible day of September 11 was that the federal government had to ramp up their airport security ASAP. Unfortunately this led to the hiring of a lot of people who were not qualified to do this job(use the proper judgement when making a decision, think on their feet, have some basic customer service skills). Actually most of them probably are not qualified to do any other job. They passed a background check. Now they have a job, benefits, and worst of all- power.

There are some very qualified individuals working for TSA, but they are few and far between.
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Re: United Airlines severely damaged tribike and refuses to pay. [Trigirl357] [ In reply to ]
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I work for an airline under the United umbrella and this thread makes me want to emphasize two important points.

1) United cares about one single thing: Being the lowest bidder for your business. They couldn't care less about customer service because they know that the general public has proven over and over again that they are willing to put up with abuse as long as the ticket is cheap. 99% of tickets sold are the cheapest option on Expedia/Orbitz/Travelocity. All the major airlines care about is being that cheapest option so you will buy their ticket. I'm sure a few of you actually shop for better service but you are the small majority. Most of the flying public could open their broken luggage, find a giant turd left by the baggage handler, and would still fly that airline again if it was at the top of the cheap flights list. The major airlines, especially United know this, have studied data proving this, and have subcontracted all work to the lowest bidder to accomadate the only thing customers seem to care about.

2) All luggage will be treated the same. All luggage has the same chance of falling off a conveyor belt or bag cart and being placed at the bottom of a pile of heavy luggage. That is the reasonable expectation of baggage handling. Special treatment for your luggage would require more handlers, more time, etc... all of which drive up costs and prevent the airline from being that lowest bidder for your business. Whether you are packing a guitar, a bike, or your grandmother's Waterford crystal it is YOUR responsibility to pack it to withstand that handling (TSA repacking not withstanding). I'm not sticking up for United here because I hate them. They are awful. But if you pack something fragile in a soft case then I just don't see how you could blame anyone else.
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Re: United Airlines severely damaged tribike and refuses to pay. [Trigirl357] [ In reply to ]
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I know this does not help you now but you can buy very cheap supplemental insurance for your bike through USAA. I have $25,000 replacement insurance for my bikes. Covers everything and I think it costs an extra $25 a quarter.
Last edited by: stodr: Aug 9, 13 16:22
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Re: United Airlines severely damaged tribike and refuses to pay. [ComidaDeluxe] [ In reply to ]
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Quote:
ComidaDeluxe wrote...

Now I want Chuy's. Thanks a lot.


@nugget: facebook - flickr - strava - runkeeper - garmin
Last edited by: MacNugget: Aug 9, 13 15:12
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Re: United Airlines severely damaged tribike and refuses to pay. [stodr] [ In reply to ]
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stodr wrote:
I know this does not help you now but you can buy very cheap supplemental insurance for your bike through USAA. I have $25,000 replacement insurance for my bikes. Covers everything and I think it costs an extra $25 a year.


This seems too good to be true...or your not getting as much coverage as you think. I can't fathom how the insurance company would make money off such an offer. Especially if you're covering $25k worth of bikes at that price? How much would they charge annually to insure a $5k bike? $5?

ETA: or a better question would be...what's your deductable? If you crash and ruin your $2000 set of Zipp wheels...are you paying a $1500 deductable for it?
Last edited by: Jason N: Aug 9, 13 16:14
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Re: United Airlines severely damaged tribike and refuses to pay. [Jason N] [ In reply to ]
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Tribike transport is worth every penny. Hardshell cases (trico) are the only way to go.
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Re: United Airlines severely damaged tribike and refuses to pay. [manofthewoods] [ In reply to ]
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I am a pilot and travel with bike often. Most damage occurs because the idiots at TSA open your bike box/bag and have no clue how to repackage. Next time, show up early, check in your bike and ask to go with your bike and "oversee" TSA inspection. You ARE ALLOWED to watch them repackage it, you just can't touch anything. Trust me on this it will make a difference. I have had to tell them how each part goes back in the box. If they screw that part up, your bike will most likely be damaged somewhere intransitive. I have been lucky and had no problems.
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Re: United Airlines severely damaged tribike and refuses to pay. [Jason N] [ In reply to ]
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Jason N wrote:
stodr wrote:
I know this does not help you now but you can buy very cheap supplemental insurance for your bike through USAA. I have $25,000 replacement insurance for my bikes. Covers everything and I think it costs an extra $25 a year.


This seems too good to be true...or your not getting as much coverage as you think. I can't fathom how the insurance company would make money off such an offer. Especially if you're covering $25k worth of bikes at that price? How much would they charge annually to insure a $5k bike? $5?

ETA: or a better question would be...what's your deductable? If you crash and ruin your $2000 set of Zipp wheels...are you paying a $1500 deductable for it?

$500 deductible. And it is $25 a quarter not a year sorry about that. One of the reasons it is cheap is because it is USAA and you pretty much have to be military or affiliated with he military to get it. Also it is an add on to my house and car insurance to pay for what ever they do not pay out for stuff not specifically paid by one of those. It is also for any of my possesions not just my bikes up to $25,000 dollars worth. But yes it is true.
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Re: United Airlines severely damaged tribike and refuses to pay. [stodr] [ In reply to ]
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stodr wrote:
Jason N wrote:
stodr wrote:
I know this does not help you now but you can buy very cheap supplemental insurance for your bike through USAA. I have $25,000 replacement insurance for my bikes. Covers everything and I think it costs an extra $25 a year.


This seems too good to be true...or your not getting as much coverage as you think. I can't fathom how the insurance company would make money off such an offer. Especially if you're covering $25k worth of bikes at that price? How much would they charge annually to insure a $5k bike? $5?

ETA: or a better question would be...what's your deductable? If you crash and ruin your $2000 set of Zipp wheels...are you paying a $1500 deductable for it?


$500 deductible. And it is $25 a quarter not a year sorry about that. One of the reasons it is cheap is because it is USAA and you pretty much have to be military or affiliated with he military to get it. Also it is an add on to my house and car insurance to pay for what ever they do not pay out for stuff not specifically paid by one of those. It is also for any of my possesions not just my bikes up to $25,000 dollars worth. But yes it is true.

I suppose $100 annually makes it a bit more understandable...at least if the point is to break even and not for the insurance company to profit. I'm curious though if your premium goes up if you make a claim with USAA? So if you've got $2000 worth of damage to your bike, after the $500 deductable, maybe it's not even worth it to file a claim since your overal policy premium (home and car) is a lot higher than the $25 quarterly add on.

Maybe the premium only goes up if the damage to the bike is your fault (crash)?
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Re: United Airlines severely damaged tribike and refuses to pay. [MacNugget] [ In reply to ]
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MacNugget wrote:
Quote:
ComidaDeluxe wrote...

Now I want Chuy's. Thanks a lot.

Ha! My username is much more appetizing than yours. ;)
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Re: United Airlines severely damaged tribike and refuses to pay. [Trigirl357] [ In reply to ]
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Sorry about the bike, I see this as TSA's fault not United. United just took the bag and moved it after inspection. I personally use a hard case and would never use a soft case the way I see them throw bags around at the airport. In the end if someone repacks my hard case wrong these could be damage as well.

Not that this helps now but I seen a suggestion to put in a note in my bike case on top and bottom of the packing foam "THIS IS A $XXXX BIKE IF YOU ARE HAVING TROUBLE REPACKING IT PLEASE PAGE GORDON C". I always show up extra early and have been asked once to stay with my bike and repack it. Also because of the notes a border guard has left the box open for me to repack rather than just stuffing the bike and gear back in.

Gordon
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Re: United Airlines severely damaged tribike and refuses to pay. [stodr] [ In reply to ]
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But does it cover bikes that were damaged by airlines? Or just stolen? I have USAA and my bikes are covered for replacement cost in my policy if stolen, but not damaged by an airline.
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Re: United Airlines severely damaged tribike and refuses to pay. [Trigirl357] [ In reply to ]
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Couple of things.
1. You can file a claim with TSA for damages. I've had one or two helmets that TSA destroyed replaced this way.

2. I tape notes to my bike box and wheel boxes that they are forced to at least see before they open the box all the way. They say something like: STOP & READ if you unpack this box & I know you are going to. LOOK where everything is placed before removing. It's packed this way for a reason - To Prevent Damage. If you can't pack it back properly don't unpack it or call me/page me for help then list my number.

3. I found a clam shell to be harder for those guys to figure out then the cases with the removable top. Now I just use the cardboard box that the manufacturer ships the bike in. Everything drops in. It's easier for TSA to understand putting something in a box then repacking a clam shell case.

4. You have to make it easy for those guys to repack, you're not dealing with people who care or people who ride bikes. It's not like the old days where you could shove all sorts of shit into the case.
Now you have to pack for the lowest common denominator. TSA employees are not typically the sharpest sticks in the bunch.

Brian Stover
Accelerate3 Coaching
Insta Twitter Aero testing late May, PM for details

Last edited by: desert dude: Aug 10, 13 10:20
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Re: United Airlines severely damaged tribike and refuses to pay. [godekjames] [ In reply to ]
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godekjames wrote:
I am a pilot and travel with bike often. Most damage occurs because the idiots at TSA open your bike box/bag and have no clue how to repackage. Next time, show up early, check in your bike and ask to go with your bike and "oversee" TSA inspection. You ARE ALLOWED to watch them repackage it, you just can't touch anything. Trust me on this it will make a difference. I have had to tell them how each part goes back in the box. If they screw that part up, your bike will most likely be damaged somewhere intransitive. I have been lucky and had no problems.

This is probably the most important (and useful) thing said thus far in this post.

Really, it's about the re-packing (as noted in the original post) that hosed you. I've seen some pretty interesting (bad) repacking jobs. None of which were United's fault (I've flown about 1.5M miles on United). No doubt, you'll get the odd ramper who'll toss your bike in innovative ways, but for the most part even with a softshell bag (what I use), if you've packed correctly and *not* overpacked, it'll come out just fine. It's the re-packing you have to watch out for.


-
My tiny little slice of the internets: dcrainmaker.com
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Re: United Airlines severely damaged tribike and refuses to pay. [stodr] [ In reply to ]
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I'm flying with my bike to IMCanada next week. I have USAA and I just called to add the $25/quarter $25,000 rider and was told that it doesn't cover bikes. Its for jewelry, guitars, etc that might be stolen. If TSA/United cracks up a bike in transit, and they refuse to pay, USAA DOES NOT kick in for it or provide replacement coverage. They currently do not have any sort of rider that would cover a bike damaged by the airlines.
I talked with Kelly 1-800-531-8111 x30736 extensively about the situation.

I have always packed my bike in a TRICO case and that seems like the best bet. Or shipping it through FedEX with a large insured amount placed on the bike.

leslie myers
http://www.foodsensenow.com
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Re: United Airlines severely damaged tribike and refuses to pay. [Trigirl357] [ In reply to ]
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Having seen pictures of the Evoc, looks like responsibility lies with you unfortunately for buying it. The bag doesn't have the stiffness to adequately prevent damage from secondary contact. Heck, even my hard case bike box, with its large, unsupported plastic panel, can deflect enough to cause contact and damage.
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Re: United Airlines severely damaged tribike and refuses to pay. [Trigirl357] [ In reply to ]
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General thread reply.

The only times that I can recall having ZERO damage to the bike - not a scratch or anything - is on the off chance that they do not open the case. It's only happened a couple times (no TSA note inside), and the bike is in perfect condition.

That being said, I love knowing that I can watch the inspection. I didn't know that before this thread. It definitely makes it worth arriving at the airport early. The other thing I do is make the order of operations as easy as possible. NO loose parts in the bike box - anything and everything gets put in a bag (the athletic drawstring bags that we seem to get a lot of these days). When everything is bagged, they tend to put it back in the bag.

Greg Kopecky - Slowtwitch Tech Editor
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Re: United Airlines severely damaged tribike and refuses to pay. [Trigirl357] [ In reply to ]
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Another general "reply to thread" re. insurance.

I remember seeing one of the "member benefits" things that came with my USAC membership that was for a discount on bike insurance. Markel Insurance is the company, but I don't know anything about their policies (except that they don't have a race exclusion, which is nice). If you're in the market to insure your bike and your regular insurer won't touch it, Markel might be worth looking at.

If you're a USAC member then it's a 10% discount.

----------------------------------
http://ironvision.blogspot.com ; @drSteve1663
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Re: United Airlines severely damaged tribike and refuses to pay. [Trigirl357] [ In reply to ]
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OP, so sorry to read this. TSA and airline costs for bikes gave me reason to pursue other resources to get my bike to Nationals (and back). I ended up using bikeflights.com to generate FedEx labels using my TriAll3 cases (both bike and wheel) that I hadn't used for a number of years. I dropped my cases at the local FedEx office on Aug 1 and they were delivered to my hotel on Aug 6 ( I arrived on the 7th.) I paid $300 for the round trip but I also jammed most all of my stuff in the cases (the bike case weighed about 75 lbs) so all I needed for my flight was a carry on. Everything was fine with my bike when I arrived and assembly went smoothly (I am my own mechanic.) Since I shipped ground, I was also able to pack all of my race flat kit without worry. My bike is set to arrive back at my house on Thursday and I don't anticipate anything will happen. Being without that bike was not a big deal for me since I own more than one bike, so it's not an ideal outlet for everyone.

_______________________________________________
Triple Threat Triathlon
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Re: United Airlines severely damaged tribike and refuses to pay. [Trigirl357] [ In reply to ]
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I have my bikes specifically listed on my Homeowners' policy. I am curious to know if they would cover something like this situation and/or go to bat for you (me) with the airline?
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Re: United Airlines severely damaged tribike and refuses to pay. [javelinguy] [ In reply to ]
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FedEx has been know to loose (OK, misplace till after your race), bikes. For the Calgary 70.3 a couple were flying in for, I believe, California and used FedEx. They dropped their packed bikes off with FedEx, ensuring plenty of time. But when they arrived in Calgary, no bikes waiting for them. As they had also packed shoes and bike gear, they weren't able to rent bikes or use the ones that many had offered free of charge.

Wish I had an answer other than driving to all events which still only works I'd you stay in your home continent.

Oh one other thing. They do treat all your luggage must kinder if you fly first class!

BC Don
Pain is temporary, not giving it your all lasts all Winter.
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Re: United Airlines severely damaged tribike and refuses to pay. [MDSICT] [ In reply to ]
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See my post above re: USAA. They are one of the best insurance companies out there and no, bikes aren't covered under Homeowners nor do they have separate riders available that will cover bikes (the riders will cover other things, however)

leslie myers
http://www.foodsensenow.com
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