As you pack your bags for your upcoming holiday, the last thing you expect is your luggage to be delayed, mishandled, or lost. After all, nothing turns a trip sour faster than facing troubles from the start while you’re still standing at the baggage carousel. But let me tell you, the only thing worse than a delayed piece of luggage is a damaged one. And no, not a little worse for the wear, we mean completely destroyed.
Although airlines are getting much better at making sure passengers’ belongings are safe and sound, an unfortunate fact is that dozens, if not hundreds, of bags are being ruined every day. So our team at Bored Panda has taken up the task to scour the internet and collect the most shocking and frustrating pictures people have ever shared online.
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From broken suitcases to shattered laptops and clothes ripped into thousand miniature pieces, we’ve gathered a collection of examples you wouldn’t wish on even the most annoying traveler. So continue scrolling to check them all out, and remember to upvote the most unexpected ones. Then be sure to share your thoughts, as well as personal experiences, with us in the comments!
#1 TSA Spilling His Mothers Ashes
Image credits: AJFrancis410
#2 At Least He Could See The Funny Side
Image credits: karen_nowland
#3 My Uncle’s Suitcase After His Flight
Image credits: an0nym0ose
If you’ve ever stood in shock near the baggage carousel because your suitcase was slowly coming towards you ripped open and looking like an overloaded sandwich, you’re in the right company. Baggage handling is a wild and tumbled world, after all. And while dents and scratches are a regular business that most passengers simply shrug off, these severe cases are something travelers’ nightmares are made of.
A brief scroll through this list makes it look like handing over checked suitcases is almost like taking a leap of faith. But remember that once they leave your sight at the airport, they start a journey of their own. Whether it’s passing through conveyor belts, dozens of baggage handlers’ hands, or taking a ride on different trolleys, many unexpected things happen until they finally get back to you.
#4 Laptop Run Over By An Airport Baggage Cart
This was fortunately not my laptop! Felt sorry for the poor guy though – his entire bag was run over and torn to shreds.
Image credits: Soul_Redeemer7
#5 Air Italy Completely Destroyed My Bag
Image credits: tigermilk26
#6 Stealing Video Games From Someone’s Luggage
Image credits: michael14375
It’s enough to give an already nervous traveler yet another reason to be filled with worry. But thankfully, in the majority of cases, your checked bag is going to arrive at its destination on time and in the condition received.
According to a 2019 Baggage IT report by SITA, the world’s leading specialist in air transport communications and information technology, airlines have “damaged or pilfered” 18% out of 24.8 million bags that were reported as “mishandled,” meaning delayed, lost/stolen, or ruined.
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#7 “Rare” Delta Damaged Baggage
Image credits: moosechildd
#8 Airport Forklift Went Through Pelican Case And 2 Computers Inside
Worked at a fruit stand for a while as a “smart person”, one day a fairly popular music group came in frantic cause they had a show that night. Ends up that they checked in the computers on the flight and when they got them the pelican case had a sizable crack in it. They opened the case to find the computer(pictured) “stabbed” and the one under it with a destroyed screen. Ends up the forklift the airport was using stabbed the case and destroyed the computers within. A co-worker spent a few hours moving hard drives (they had SSDs) and reinstalling the OS to have everything work on the new machines.
Image credits: ImA13x
#9 When You Get This Instead Of Your Luggage
Image credits: jimirev
So who are the worst offenders? Well, Trifibre, a leading manufacturer of protective cases, found that some airlines are notoriously rougher on baggage than others.
After looking at the data from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), which covers airlines serving the UK, it looks like one international airline soars above others. Out of 823 claims for damaged baggage submitted to airlines between 2015 and 2020, “108 claims of damaged baggage submitted to Ryanair — 13% of claims overall and more than double any other airline.”
“Emirates came in second place, after receiving 47 claims for damaged luggage during the same period — 6% of claims overall — while Alitalia was third with 40 claims for damaged baggage — 5% of total claims,” Trifibre revealed.
#10 I Feel Bad For The Suitcase Owner
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#11 Airline Ruined My Bag And Everything Inside It
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#12 This Happened Last Year. They Told Us Our Suitcase Must Have Fallen Off The Transport Truck. Everything Inside Was Gone, Yet They Managed To Retrieve The Bag
Image credits: CatchyUrchin
While we can take precautions and only hope the inevitable doesn’t happen, it’s best to arm ourselves with knowledge of what happens if your luggage is visibly damaged in flight. We consulted Terry Ward’s article for The Points Guy, where experts weigh in on how to handle these situations.
The number one thing you must do if you see your luggage broken, ripped, or otherwise damaged at the airport, is to report it immediately. But it’s best to make sure you’re aware of the condition your bag was in when you left it at the check-in desk. It’s even better if you have photos to prove it.
#13 Airport Authorities Did This To My Favorite Backpack (Nike Air Max)
Image credits: jeebitsfapper
#14 This Luggage Left On The Airport Tarmac
Image credits: becca_becs_bec-kawh
#15 I Had A Flight With RyanAir And My Checked-In Baggage And My Things Were Completely Destroyed
Broken devices, broken perfumes, torn cables, lost clothes. What should I do after filing a claim at the airport?
Image credits: YazanShawish
Charles Leocha, a chairman of the travel advocacy group Travelers United, explained that things like a lost wheel, a tear in the fabric casing, and a broken zipper are all considered damage. “Take photos of the exterior and the interior and the items packed,” Leocha said. “It gives you the proof that your bag was damaged or that something was pilfered or damaged.”
Remember to also photograph any dents and bruises if you noticed them after retrieving your bag, you may need them to substantiate your claims. What’s more, airlines often require that baggage tags remain attached to your bags, so take a photo of them before you tear them off.
#16 Heads Up Everyone, United Airlines Has Proven To Me Once Again Why They Are The Worst Airline
Multiple times this year this has happened. Lost my boards, broke my boards but said they couldn’t do anything because “the board bag wasn’t damaged”. Now we have Boards, Wetsuits, AND board bags damaged and wetsuits missing. I would like to get some money for this from United but countless times this year they have rejected my claims. At least my favorite board is in one place.
Image credits: kirrapink
#17 So Much For “Fragile.” I Filed A Claim For Damaged Baggage. Do You Know How Fast And Hard This Needs To Be Running Against A Surface To Get This Damaged?
Image credits: Lennethxvii
#18 TAP Air Portugal Just Returned My Luggage They Lost Last Week. Not Only Did They Destroy The Brand-New Suitcase, Lots Of Stuff Is Missing
It was a nice way to cap off an anniversary trip.
Image credits: critically_gingered
Douglas Kidd, executive director of the National Association of Airline Passengers, added that passengers should know their rights. “[They] can, and should, file a claim with the airlines for any damages to the bag(s) and their contents,” Kidd said. “Be aware, however, that the airlines’ Contract of Carriage may severely limit the extent to which the airline will reimburse a passenger for such damage.”
Kidd pointed out that it’s easiest to report the incident at the airport in person, as you have everything documented on-site instead of uploading claim documents online. “Plus, you might be offered a replacement bag on the spot if you’re not picky about a new bag.”
Keep in mind that how things are handled is going to depend on the airline. Moreover, they may have varying windows of time after your flight when your claim for luggage damage will be considered, so if you notice something after you’ve left the airport, act right away.
#19 Someone Flying Out Of DFW Is Going To Have A Rough Time In A Few Hours
Image credits: mrplinko
#20 If You Ever Wondered About The Results Of Airline Workers Throwing Bags, This Is The Surprise You Get At Luggage Claim. And Lots Of Dirty Clothes
Image credits: bass-masta
#21 Delta Rolled Over And Destroyed My Luggage And Now They Want Me To Provide Receipts
Image credits: CBTtoolbox
When it comes to compensation, it’s for the airline to decide how much, if at all, you’ll get for the inconvenience. Kidd explained that normal wear and tear is not likely to be covered, but you can try to reach out to your bag’s manufacturer directly.
Incidents like this one are sure to make your trip sour, but Kid advised that it’s best to remain calm and collected when communicating with the staff. “A banged-up bag is a bad way to begin or end a trip,” Kidd said, “but blasting the baggage claim representative for a missing wheel or hole in your bag isn’t going to help your claim or get it resolved more quickly.”
#22 This Is Just Sad
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#23 The Aftermath Of Your Routine Baggage Inspection At The San Diego Airport
Image credits: Klunkster14
#24 Abysmal Service From Jet2, Before Boarding A Flight For My Holiday. Do Not Feel Pressured Into Accepting An Inferior Bag, After They Have Destroyed Your Suitcase
Very poor customer care, think twice about using this company!
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#25 Having To Pay To Have My Luggage Treated Like This
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#26 So I Just Picked My Bag Up At The Airport And It Looks Like This
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#27 Malindo Air I Have Been Struggling To Reach Someone Responsible At Your Organization For Damaged Baggage During My Travel From Perth To Cochin
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#28 Flying And Lost Your Luggage? Maybe It’s In This Airport Dumpster
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#29 PSA: Alaska Isn’t Responsible For Ski/Snowboard Equipment, Even When They Do This To Your Bag. Frustrating Thing Was The Flight Never Left The Airport
Checked bag, flight canceled, picked up the bag looking like this.
Image credits: GimpyBallGag
#30 The Bag Handle Came Alone On The Luggage Belt
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#31 “I Thought If I Covered It In Clothes I Could Check It In On My Flight And It Would Be Ok!”
Image credits: BreeCleave
#32 TSA Unpacked But Didn’t Repack My Favorite Haunted Mansion Mug But Left A Note
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#33 This Is How Spirit Airlines Treated My Brand New $4,000 PC On My Flight From LA To Florida. This PC Is My Job. It’s Destroyed
Image credits: ChristalRaine
#34 What The TSA Do With Your Luggage When They Can’t Close It Back
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#35 Came From An 8-Hour Flight Just To Find That The People Of The Airport Broke Into My Luggage
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#36 Thank You, Airport Staff, For Crushing My Luggage Enough To Ruin My Steelbook Case. At Least The Discs Were Not Harmed
Image credits: Prowl3000
#37 Wish I Hadn’t Paid To Check This Bag… Kinda Curious How They Managed To Break Both Zippers Though
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#38 To Everyone Awaiting BCC-Exclusive Covers Of Aberrant And Banjax. I Had My Entire Stock (Several Hundred Dollars) Ruined. Thanks To A Forced Gate Check By American Airlines
My suitcase arrived 12 hours after I landed literally dripping wet.
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#39 About £100 Of Damage, When Gatwick Burnt And Ruined My Suitcase And I Get £37.50 Back A Month Later. Just Gotta Laugh Really
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#40 United Airlines Completely Ruined My Bag. In Fact It Looks Like They Ran Over It
Customer service agent is telling me I have to return to Houston Bush Airport (which is 1 hour away) for reimbursement for my loss. That is completely unacceptable.
Image credits: TexasPalmetto
#41 American Airlines Leaving My Bags Out In The Rain
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#42 Even Though We Filed A Claim At The Airport. Spirit Airlines Are Now Telling Me They Have No Record Of It, And Because Of That I Will Not Be Reimbursed For My Damaged Bag
To say that I’m irritated is an understatement. We will never fly Spirit again.
Image credits: 4LeafCloverGirl
#43 Paris CDG Airport. Someone Will Have A Bad Day
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#44 Damaged Bag, Will Delta Compensate? This Is The Pic I Took As Soon As It Came Off The Carousel
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#45 No One From The SpiceJet Airlines Team Has Come Back To Me About My Broken Baggage. I Am Traveling Back On Friday. How Do You Expect Me To Take My Luggage?
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#46 Just Got Offered $250 From WestJet For Their Complete Destruction Of My Suitcase. Special Touch That They Caved In The Fragile Sticker On The Bag
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#47 I Brought My Luggage (PC) Through Indigo Airlines Today, But The PC Is Fully Damaged. I Have Asked Them To Put A Fragile Tag And Handle It Carefully
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#48 Be Aware. UA Completely Destroyed My Luggage
I never experienced or saw something like this! This is what happens when you travel with United! The luggage was delayed one day and clearly, they don’t care about your luggage! The ridiculous thing was the agent told me to try to fix my luggage. How?
Image credits: HKCaliStar
#49 Just Got My Bag Off The Baggage Return In Kansas City And This Is What It Looked Like
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#50 The Baggage Was Damaged And Broken Into. Various Items Were Stolen. We’re Most Heartbroken About The Missing Wedding Gifts
Image credits: RobinAdamsZA
#51 My Luggage Arrived In A Trash Bag. Thanks, Delta Airlines
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#52 The Airline Delivers Broken Luggage, Steals From People, And Takes Advantage Of Flight Delays
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#53 Turkish Airlines Were You Carrying A Wild Animal In The Hold, As The Amount Of Damage, You Caused To My Luggage Is Crazy
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#54 Two Weeks And A Half After I Land This Is How My Very Delayed Luggage Arrived With Things Missing
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#55 Just Curious Norwegian Airlines Why Does My Suitcase Look Like It’s Spent The Entirety Of Its Journey In Your Plane Getting Battered By Football Hooligans?
Image credits: Pala
#56 My Mom Checked A Bag She Was Originally Going To Carry On And Forgot What Was In The Outside Pocket
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#57 Pretty Heavy Damage And Deformation
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#58 Carry On Service For Suitcases At The Airport. Gave It To Them So I Wouldn’t Have To Take It On The Plane. Pick It Up At My Destination Like This
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#59 Checked Bag Damaged In Transit
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#60 Everything Was Neatly Folded And Packed Before TSA Ransacked It
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#61 How A Friend Of Mine Found His Luggage On The Carousel After A United Flight
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#62 The Airport Lost My Luggage 2 Weeks Ago. It Just Arrived At My House Today Like This
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#63 I Only Had Them For 2-Weeks, And They Already Ruined
I searched my whole bag, and nothing spilled. Let alone anything red. I don’t know what happened.
Image credits: taylorndean
#64 Alaska Airlines And I Got Beef
Respectfully I would assume they threw my bag and it busted open.
Image credits: kamiapapaya