Not the friendliest “aloha” at the luggage carousel

Amy Johansson/Shutterstock
Amy Johansson/Shutterstock

Lisa Mikulchik had an unpleasant — and unusual — run-in with an airline crewmember, and she wants to know if the company did enough to address her concerns. Yet as I read her account, and the response, I’m baffled that something like this could happen.

The carrier? Hawaiian Airlines, a company with a well-deserved reputation for friendliness and customer service. And, by the way, an airline I’ve flown on and really like, even in normally cramped economy class.

I’ve always thought of Hawaiian as a class act. But Mikulchik would probably beg to differ. In late May, she flew from Oakland, Calif., to Kahului on the island of Maui. Her misadventure began when she picked up what she thought was her checked bag.

“I quite accidentally mistook a crew member’s similar black bag for my own when we landed,” she says. She didn’t realize the mistake until she heard her name being paged through the airport PA system.

When she returned to the Hawaiian carousel, she was confronted by a male crewmember, whose luggage she’d accidentally taken.

I’ll let her tell the rest of the story:

I apologized sincerely, fully understanding the inconvenience of my mistake.

But he did not accept my apology gracefully, or at all. Rather, he proceeded to lecture me loudly and aggressively and got very close to me physically.

I was shocked by his disproportionate reaction and his unprofessional behavior. He was even still in uniform, as were his co-workers!

I tried to stay calm but I felt assaulted and I knew what he was doing was very wrong. I told him I wanted to speak to his supervisor and he retorted that “he didn’t have one.”

All this time his co-workers didn’t even try to calm him down so I felt ganged up on. I didn’t know what to do so I left the area after that — his final words to me were something to the effect of, “I shouldn’t be allowed to fly on the airline”!

Well, sounds like someone didn’t have a good flight.

Mikulchik says she stumbled around the terminal in a daze of disbelief after the confrontation, not sure of whom to complain to.

“I couldn’t find anyone to talk to in the baggage area,” she says. “But a very kind man in the office who recognized how bad the situation was put me through to consumer relations.”

After numerous conversations with Hawaiian’s agents and a written complaint, here’s how the airline responded:

This is in response to your conversation with Susan Moss of our In-Flight

We understand you are requesting for compensation. As a gesture of goodwill, we have issued you an e-certificate (also known as an ETCO) for $100 off the purchase of a new ticket on Hawaiian Airlines. Please see below for the terms, conditions and redeeming instructions for the ETCO.

We appreciate this opportunity to respond to your concern. We value your business, and look forward to serving you in your future travels.

Mikulchik is unhappy with that offer.

“I just think their compensation of a travel voucher that is useless to me is inadequate and does not show them taking full responsibility,” she says.

Why isn’t it enough? Because it doesn’t really take into account the pain inflicted by the crewmember.

“I felt assaulted,” she says. “When I got to the place I was staying, instead of relaxing and enjoying the first days of a two-week vacation, I felt horrible. I cried. I was exhausted and couldn’t go outside. This lasted for two days. I was robbed of hard-earned vacation time.”

Here’s what would have made me happy: Instead of a robotic form letter, it would have been nice to get a personal response that said, “We’re sorry for what happened. We’ve investigated the incident and here’s what we found out.”

Now, that and a $100 voucher would have been far more meaningful.

Did Hawaiian offer Lisa Mikulchik enough compensation?

View Results

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Update (7/9): Hawaiian contacted me and added a few details. A representative writes:

I wanted to make sure that we had responded appropriately, so I asked to see the complaint file. Here is what I found:
The flight that Ms. Mikulchik references took place more than a year ago, on May 29, 2012.

Our supervisory staff spoke to her about the incident on the day of the flight, and apologized for the bad experience. She had also filed a complaint via our website on that day.

On June 12, 2012 we received and responded to an email inquiry about the incident from her travel agent, and Ms. Mikulchik followed up with an email of her own two days later. She received a formal letter of apology on June 15, 2012.

Also on June 15, our VP for Customer Service tried to reach her by phone.

On June 22, 2012, one of our InFlight supervisors succeed in contacting her by phone and again apologized and informed her that the employee in question had been counseled. At that time, she asked for compensation and was subsequently offered the $100 travel voucher good for one year (through June 28, 2013).

On May 20, 2013 (nearly one year after the initial incident and five weeks before her travel voucher was to expire) Ms. Mikulchik sent us the email she apparently also sent to you, asking for a refund of one segment of her ticket.

Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is an author, journalist and consumer advocate. You can read more about him on his personal website or contact him at Got a question or comment? You can post it on the new forum.

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  • polexia_rogue

    1. if they did ANYTHING to the crew member they would not tell her. all she will ever get is a form letter of “you issue is being recognized.” she will never hear “here is what we are planning on doing about it.”

    2. ” a very kind man in the office who recognized how bad the situation was put me through to consumer relations”–will he act as a witness? because if not then ALL the crew members will back their co-worker.

  • Cybrsk8r

    I voted no, not because I think she deserves more, but because I think she deserved something different. I think she’d have been way happier with a genuine apology without the voucher. I know I’d have wanted an apology rather than a voucher in this situation.

    As far as that crew member goes, if he’s been with the airline for any length of time, he should already know how hard it is to tell the difference between generic black rolling suitcases as they go by on the belt. You’re often grasping at the tag to see if it’s yours.

    This is why I dress mine up like a XMAS tree. I wrap colored electrical tape around the handle. I pastered a large, multi-colored label on the bottom with my name and cell phone #. I can always spot my bag the instant it comes out.

    Note: Never put your address on, or in, your luggage. I read somewhere that theives sometimes prowl the ticketing area looking looking for visible addresses on the luggage of out-bound travelers. They then know that house is empty and a good target for a burglary. It’s the luggage equivalent of posting your travel plans on Facebook.

    I put my name and cell phone number inside the bag in case the bag gets lost and the outside label somehow gets ripped off the bag.

  • Rebecca

    I felt bad that this crew member was nasty to her and was disappointed with the form response until I got to the end. She cried and didn’t go outside for two days because someone was mean to her? That is way over the top, and honestly leads me to believe that she isn’t really looking for and apology, but cash. I’m willing to bet that in those “numerous conversations with Hawaiian’s agents” she demanded a refund of two nights hotel, room service meals for those two days, etc plus her airfare. That is the vibe I get reading her own words. And if I’m right, she deserved a form response.

  • Fran

    Wow. So the OP takes someone else’s bag and then cries for two days because they were unhappy about it. Does she realize that her taking of the bag cut into the crew members’ (all of them, since they all had to wait together before they could leave for the crew hotel) time off?

    While he was “off the clock,” of course he was still in uniform. She had his change of clothes!

  • johnb78

    Don’t be ridiculous. The mistake was discovered in between the OP collecting the bag and leaving the airport – ie a matter of minutes. Anyone who’d be made angry by such a trivial inconvenience is a dangerously unstable person who shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near a safety-critical job.

  • Carver Clark Farrow

    Note: Never put your address on, or in, your luggage. I read somewhere that theives sometimes prowl the ticketing area looking looking for visible addresses on the luggage of out-bound travelers
    This must be is an urban legend.

    You have your bags with you until you give it to the airline. If thieves obtain your bags at your outbound destination, then the thieves aren’t in your home area which is almost certainly hundred of miles from your destination. And of course, there is no assurance that your home isn’t occupied even though you’re traveling.

    Similarly, if thieves obtain your bag at your inbound destination, you’re already home.

  • Carver Clark Farrow

    That seems like a huge leap. Given that the OP cried for two days, I’m more inclined to believe that she is particularly delicate and is exaggerating and/or overreacting to the incident, albeit not intentionally.
    Or maybe the crew member is just a jerk. Being a jerk doesn’t make you unstable. It just makes you a jerk. There was a 7 letter word that also begins with “j” but I don’t want to upset the censors ;)

  • johnb78

    Yeah, fair, you can be all sorts of four- and seven-letter words and still be able to function in safety critical situations. Still, it seems unlikely that even the most highly-strung OP would have cried for two days had the crew member not acted like something of a four-letter-word.

  • johnb78

    There could conceivably be a racket running at the outbound airport with baggage handlers passing on details to their burgling mates.

    But since burglary is usually an opportunist crime committed by shambling drug addicts who notice the lights are out and they can probably get a hundred bucks for the tele and the iPad (except at the *very* high-net-worth end of the scale, where it’s a meticulously researched crime committed by professional criminals who are fully aware of what their targets are doing anyway) it’s pretty unlikely.

  • Cybrsk8r

    No, that’s not the way it works. They’re not stealing your bag. They don’t have to. But if your address is visible on a tag hanging from your bag, they can just write down your address.

    Actually, they don’t even need to write it down. The zoom on most digital cameras is good enough now that someone could be 10 feet away from you and zoom in and take a photo of the ID tag on your bag and you’d never know it.

    I guess having it inside the bag is a little safer, but a crooked TSA agent, inpsecting your bag, could copy your address and sell it to someone looking to do some midnight shopping at your home.

    But even discounting all of this, is there really any advantage to putting your address on it when all you really need to put on it is your cell phone #?

  • BrianInPVD

    I may be badly misinformed, but why is a crew member checking a bag? I thought they got to bring their bags on board because they hop planes so much.

    On-the-clock or off-the-clock. If you are in uniform, you are representing your company. If the OP’s account is true, then the employee should be disciplined. It would be a nice gesture if the company acknowledged that.

  • backprop

    What good would an coerced apology be when it’s petitioned by a travel ombudsman? If the OP is truly not interested in compensation (and to be honest, there’s nothing to compensate here), then this is a perfect example of a situation where you should feel entitled and justified in taking your business elsewhere.

  • Kevin Mathews


    I would run as fast as I could from this case.

    This woman stole another person’s bag. Yes, it was probably an honest mistake and one many people often make throughout the year. Yes, the mistake was probably caught within minutes of it happening so there shouldn’t have been any harm or foul here.

    BUT, this woman felt “ganged up on” simple because HIS co-workers didn’t come to HER defense? She felt “assaulted” because he was chewing her a new one for stealing HIS bag? She “stumbled around the terminal in a daze of disbelief after the confrontation”? Seriously, she is an adult and she wasn’t being detained. If the conversation was going that poorly, all she had to do was turn around and walk away.
    My BS radar is going off like crazy on this story and I think you should drop this one like it’s hot and tell this woman to “Cowboy Up”, grow a little thicker skin, and learn to know what her own luggage looks like to avoid situations like this in the future…

  • Blackadar

    This is a load of junk by someone looking to try to create a mountain out of a molehill. If she was “assaulted”, then she would have known to call the police. From her own story, there’s no evidence of assault. Assault requires not just words, but the threat of bodily harm. In other words, a raised fist might be assault combined with threats. Nothing in her story indicates there was this type of activity.

    Instead, she was verbally confronted because she stole someone else’s bag. And if she’s so delicate that she couldn’t go outside for two days because she made a mistake and was called on the carpet for it, this delicate flower needs to stay locked inside her home from now on because it’s a big, bad world out there.

    Note that this doesn’t excuse the crew member for acting like a jerk, but frankly I’m not sure how much of a jerk the crew member acted like when the OP is either exaggerating the story or incredibly oversensitive (and therefore not a reasonable person). So in this case, I don’t think she deserves anything. Exaggerate/lie about should mean NO HELP from Chris.

  • BillCCC

    I think the OP should have just walked away. If you feel that strongly about it don’t fly on that airline anymore. If you are going to go off the deep end every time someone is rude to you it will make for a long unhappy life. Take the $100 and move on.

  • johnb78

    Most every long-haul flight I’ve been on, crew have checked bags. Don’t know enough about domestic US aviation to comment, but Hawaii is pretty LH by domestic standards.

  • johnb78

    “stealing”? Sheesh.

  • MarkKelling

    If the crew member had been so worried about his time off, why didn’t he just accept the bag when she returned it and go on his way? Standing there yelling at her for minutes just wasted more of his precious time.

  • Erin

    Its amazing how far sincerity can get you when making amends, much further than monetary compensation most of the times.

  • jim6555

    One thing is for sure. in the future, she will always carefully examine bags coming off the carousel to make absolutely certain that she is taking her property and not some else’s.

    Something about this incident bothers me. Other airlines now print the customer’s name on the baggage tag that’s affixed to the item that was checked. When in doubt about whether a bag is mine, I simply look at the name on the tag. I have never flown on Hawaiian and don’t know whether they have the equipment to do this. If they don’t, they need to catch up with the other carriers,

  • MarkKelling

    First off, why didn’t she verify the suitcase was hers before leaving the baggage area? Did she not have a tag on hers? Sure most black bags look the same, but you still should be able to identify yours by brand or tag on it. The luggage check tag the airline places on the bag also has your name on it. Did she think the first bag to arrive at the claim area would automatically be hers?

    If the FA did go off like she claims, there must be more to this. Did she have an unpleasant interaction with this FA on the plane? How did she actually respond when she returned the bag? Was she immediately apologetic or was the apology only after the FA let her know he was upset? Of course the FA could have just had a bad day and was looking for anyone to take out his frustrations on.

    No matter what happened, I agree that HA should have provided a less automated and more personal reply.

  • MarkKelling

    Yes, HA uses the same standard bag tag printer other airlines use at all of its airports and the passenger’s name is on the tag.

    Next time you go to Hawaii, try HA. They not only have the friendliest flight attendants I have found on any US based airline, their economy seating (especially on their 767 planes) feels extra roomy. And on mainland to Hawaii flights they feed you a hot meal at no extra cost!

  • John Baker

    I’m having issues on this one wrapping my head around the timeline….
    The way Chris wrote the story it seems like she just inconvenienced the crew member for a minute or two but it would take far longer than that for them to figure out who took the incorrect bag, page her and her return to the baggage carousel.

    Also for those making light of what she did, in a lot of municipalities removing a bag from the carousel that isn’t yours with an intent to leave the airport constitutes theft. Can I see someone prosecuting her for it? Nope. Did she do it? Yes.

    Also, I can’t remember a baggage claim anywhere that didn’t have the “Some bags look alike. Check your bag against your claim ticket” signs in the area. She obviously didn’t do that.

    Was the employee rude to her? Yes. Is she a drama queen? Yes. Did she probably hurt her case with the airline by being over the top? Undoubtedly.

    $100 seems to be the correct amount for someone who had an off duty employee yell at them for stealing the employee’s bag.

  • Bill___A

    Maybe Lisa should write the airline a letter stating she is sorry she took the crew member’s bag and sorry she didn’t check the name tag on it. It appears she would have left the airport with this bag and that they only thing stopping her was the crew member noticing her mistake and then having to go as far as getting her paged.
    Let’s look at what caused this whole problem. It is not as if Hawaiian airlines was the instigator of this issue.
    I’m sick and tired of people doing something and then expecting that someone else’s reaction to the thing they caused is worthy of compensation.

  • Stereoknob

    I think that if the OP felt assaulted and attacked, then call the police. When a cop shows up and decides that it was a verbal assault then the OP can do something about it. If the cop laughs and takes a written statement then moves on, then there is a record of something happening and the airline can’t refute.

    All in all, stand up for yourself. If someone is being a straight up P.O.S., then either react accordingly or continue on with your day knowing that someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed. If you haven’t dealt with adversity in the form of a complete knobhead before.. well… take it as a learning experience.

  • Stereoknob

    Pretty much agree with this one. She made the mistake and then was offended when the owners bag was mad?

  • Stereoknob

    I would also think that thieves don’t have the time or money to look at your address, walk to the counter and but an OVERPRICED ticket to your home town, fly there, rent a car which leaves their name on file, and then rob you… then fly somewhere with all your stuff? Can you check a flatscreen TV?

  • ontonagon

    the airline did more than necessary. actually it is getting a bit crazy people demanding restitution beyond what is a normal expectation and worse yet angry when they do not get it!!!. as for her mental trauma, think of the people that have gotten a pink slip or are evicted from their home. my suggestion is that the voucher is donated to those parties to take their holiday if she is not satisfied. sad but there are loads of people that live with the glass half empty, pity;-)

  • Grant Ritchie

    She “cried,” was “exhausted” and “couldn’t go outside” for two days! What a delicate little flower. I’d suggest for her what was once suggested for Major Frank Burns on the MASH tv show… ” Give her a high colonic and send her on a ten-mile hike.” Sheesh.

  • Charlie Funk

    I voted yes on the compensation but the entire incident pegged not one but two BS meters. The OP dramatically over reacted. But this incident begs the question – what did the FA have in the bag that would cause him to react so strongly? My inference is that the FA was disproportionately upset over not having his bag for a few minutes. If anyone ever has this happen again, ask a supervisor, or better, a police officer, to search the bag to assure that the true owner of the bag can’t later assert that something was stolen. And let us know how the owner reacted.

  • Tincanrider

    An apology was more important !

  • Ribit

    I suggest that the appropriate action would be call the police. The airline worker clearly had something in the bag that he/she did not want to be found. There is no other explanation for that level of agitation.

  • James Orth

    On Amtrak before you get your bag when you pick up your checked bags at luggage claim or on a station platform you are required to present your claim check stub which is matched against the tag on the bag Why don’t the airlines do this anymore? Lastly when I do fly I always double check to see that I have the correct bag it only takes a moment or two

  • MJonTravel

    Assuming we have all of the details of this, the crewmember certainly overreacted. But sitting in the hotel room crying for two days? Please! A brief one page letter voicing displeasure with this interaction is about all the time I would have wasted on it.

    If she is waiting for details of a disciplinary discussion between the airline and an employee, she is going to be waiting for a very long time. I say let this one go.

  • James Orth

    Since neither of us was present we do not really know if the OP was exaggerating the flight attendants level of agitation or not. We only have one side of this story. Also I am curious about how they knew she took the wrong bag and then paged her?

  • Mike

    She took his bag. Shame on her for not being more careful. The crew member over reacted. He suffered fear that his bag was long gone. And it might have taken days to fix. It did not but he was upset. She caused it. So she has to handle his upset like an adult even if he did not. Airline should have issued a form apology and no compensation. It should talk with the crew member.

  • James Orth

    John I’m also trying to figure out how they knew she was the one who took the wrong bag so they could page her? I could understand if they had issued a general page for passengers from Hawaii flight 602 to return to the baggage claim area or to please double check your luggage.

  • cjbs98

    That is surprising coming from Hawaiian Airlines. We fly them when we go to Oahu – have learned it is easier to fly into Vegas, spend a night and then hop on Hawaiian for the rest of the trip. They are so nice, so accommodating, so full of aloha that I just find this hard to believe. Maybe there is more to the story? I am not sure why in the world it affected her so badly she could not go outside for two days etc. But then that is me…………

  • cjbs98

    I agree, I had already voted NO cause I thought they owed her a REAL apology, not a standard form letter and then when I went back and reread the story I felt the same as you. There must be more to this story. I think you are absolutely right–she was looking for compensation. And who knows, maybe she tried to set them up? Cynical much? ;)

  • BobChi

    Overreaction on all sides. As the professional in the situation, the crewmember should have acted more profesionally simply out of responsibility to his employer, whose uniform he was wearing. The OP should, in the face of the overreaction, have simply said, “I’m sorry. The bags look similar. My bad. Good-bye.” And walked off. Nothing to mediate now.

  • James Orth

    Where is the justification for the search. Being upset because someone else took your property is sufficient cause to search through his belongings.

  • BobChi

    Presumably hers was the only bag left on the carrousel after all the others were claimed, so they made an educated guess about that.

  • BobChi

    They don’t do that because it would mean hiring someone for that purpose. Consider the number of flights, airports, and the practical matter of not knowing in many cases which bags are checked or carry on. It would be a big expense. You’re absolutely right that you have a duty to be certain it’s your own bag before you walk off.

  • IGoEverywhere

    lIke most comments, Hawaiian did not address the problem, just tries to make Lisa GO AWAY! This is the real world Lisa, airlines and their employees don’t like any of us. The won’t assistist with carry-on because the Union won’t let me, they wont’t let you use the empty bathroom because you are not leaking yet and this bathroom is for 1st class, so why would you believe that they care any more over a simple error. I got home, 100 miles from Pittsburgh with the wrong suitcase that the transfer company switched. At 2 Am I met the company 1/2 way from home and switched, shook hands with Lou, and went home. I would want the Attendant’s job or personal apology. It can happen.

  • amystery726

    Sorry she didn’t get an apology in the form she wanted, but they did reach out in good faith. To let that bother her for two days – this person clearly needs to let things roll off their backs more easily!

  • Rebecca

    She says she called “numerous” times. Why? The only reason I can think of is that she was demanding cash. I can’t imagine the phone agents didn’t apologize when she spoke to them, I’m positive most, if not all, apologized profusely. So why keep calling unless you’re making a compensation request?

  • Rebecca

    No company is going to acknowledge discipling an employee. That would violate the company’s hr policy and, more importantly, the employee’s privacy.

  • Rebecca

    A very long, very unhappy life. And, apparently if you’re the OP, you’ll cry every day and never leave the house!

  • kmwcary

    Yes. I remember a discussion on another board where a woman walked off with the wrong bag and didn’t realize it until she reached her hotel room. While she did return it to the airport, she accepted no responsibility for the “mistake”, apparently considering it somehow normal. While there is some excuse for taking the wrong bag off the carousel (although I tie ribbons to mine so I can recognize it) there is no excuse for walking off with it without checking.

  • AirlineEmployee

    People don’t want some lousy voucher – this is code for “shut up, we don’t want to hear it, get out of our face”. It would be worth a million dollars to me if we could find out what discussion and/ or discipline was given to the flight attendant. If I know I don’t want to fly your airline again, why would I want a voucher to do so? Unfortunately, the story will change by the FA if he/she wants to keep their job. They will just deny the details and turn it around that the passenger was angry and confrontational. I know, I’ve seen it happen many times.

  • Terri

    The airline should deal with the crew member and the members that stood by and did nothing to diffuse the irate co-worker. I wonder what the guy was hiding in his bag to be so out of control, irate. But, the flyer doesn’t deserve any “cash” compensation……..for what? She deserves a sincere apology from the airline and know the crew member and co workers were dealt with the correct discipline. It makes me wonder about the crew member…..if he was that upset and uptight could he have gone off the deep end 30,000 feet in the air. I love Hawaiian Air, but this causes me great concern and second thoughts about flying with them..

  • bodega3

    First off, I refuse to ever fly HA after an issue I had with them back in the 1980’s. Due to that one experience, I rarely have sold them, so her experience with the letter doesn’t surprise me. But I am not clear on this:

    We understand you are requesting for compensation

    Was the OP really asking for this or just for someone to hear her complaint and give her an apology?

  • Ellen Henak

    One of the easiest ways to avoid these situations is to make your luggage unique. Making it unique does not mean it has to be gaudy. I use a fabric marker and place some dots on the luggage in a classy pattern. (What color I use depends on the bag. It remains professional-looking.) It also helps to look very carefully at the luggage instead of hurrying away.

    As for the OP, she is way out of line. She is not owed ANY compensation for hurt feelings, just as he is not owed any compensation for the panic and frustration he felt at not having his bag.

    She took his luggage, albeit accidentally, because she was not careful enough. She apologized, as she should have, but he was not required to accept her apology as adequate just as she was not required to accept the company’ as adequate. He was panicked and over-reacted. The company should have (and did) apologize for his behavior, although a more personalized apology would have been better.

  • John Baker

    I agree on the luggage… With the exception of a single piece, none of my luggage is black mainly because it makes it stand out. My one piece of black luggage has a large company logo (it was a promotional item) so its pretty unique too.

  • Carver Clark Farrow

    OK. Let’s walk through this and see if it makes any sense whatsoever.

    You fly from Chicago to Miami. Your luggage, along with the luggage from 100 other people, who are from all over the country, are at the baggage claim. The thief takes a high resolution picture. From this he (or she) learns your Chicago address and that you aren’t home. What exactly is he going to do with that information?

    First, he doesn’t know if your place is worth robbing. (When I was a student, my home was robbed and the thieves decided my crap wasn’t worth stealing) If it is, he’s still a thousand miles away from Chicago. Besides who’s to say that your place is empty anyway. You might have a spouse, roommates, nosy neighbors.

    Crooked TSA agents aren’t part of the original scenario, but as they can open your bags, “for inspection”, it really doesn’t matter if the address is inside or outside

  • Carver Clark Farrow


  • Carver Clark Farrow

    Very true.

  • MarkKelling

    HA is not the same airline it was in the 80’s. No US based airline is! And this must have been one really big issue for you to not sell them since.

    I know issues happen with every airline. However, I have been flying HA regularly since 2000 and have had nothing but good experiences and as pleasant of a journey as possible. They even upgraded my mom to 1st on a return flight for free even though neither of us have any status with them (I paid for my upgrade).

  • Carver Clark Farrow

    I agree with most of the post, but saying that she stole the paid is to engage in hyperbole. She did not meet either the legal or moral definition of stealing.

  • John Baker

    The scam I always read about was baggage handlers at your originating airport take down the address to hit your place while you are gone. I thought this happened at a NY airport but couldn’t find it in Google.

    Personally, I always display my hotel address, where I’m going, on the outbound and my business address on the return.

  • Carver Clark Farrow

    I’m guessing that the OP is a very infrequent flier. This may of course reflect my own biases and experiences.

  • travelfly

    I’m guessing the crew member was the Captain, this was a flight from Oakland, probably the end of a long flight day, if the crew had to be back within xxx hours for the next part of their days of flying, waiting around for probably 45 min to an hour for last bag to arrive to the baggage area would cut into their legal rest time, meantime a crew of 7-12 other crew members are waiting as well as crew transportation to the hotel. Taking this bag was causing lots of people problems so I can understand the frustration. Should he have yelled, well no, but shouldn’t she have taken the time to check and see if it was her bag? Well, yes, It was a mistake, not the end of the world, She seems to me made 7-12 people lose a lot of time waiting for her to return the bag..just my take.

  • andi330

    Presumably, hers was the only bag left over that looked like the crew member’s.

  • James Orth

    So that F A was lucky she had not already left the airport

  • Carver Clark Farrow

    Also for those making light of what she did, in a lot of municipalities
    removing a bag from the carousel that isn’t yours with an intent to
    leave the airport constitutes theft.


    I can’t speak definitively for every municipality, but that seem highly unlikely. Classically, theft requires an intent to permanently deprive the owner of the goods or service. Its what’s known as a specific intent crime. Its a very high standard.

  • Helio

    Yes, you can. ;-) You cannot believe what Brazilians do to bring goods that cost 2 or 3 times less in US, comparing with Brazilian prices. In my last trip, I saw a family (dad, mom, 3 kids, maid) arriving at GRU from Miami with 22 volumes…

  • James Orth

    I have almost grabbed a bag that looked very much like mine at 1st glance (I know we all want our luggage asap) but a quick check of the tag told me otherwise. I would feel very bad if I took something that was not mine, even if it would be by accident.

  • Carver Clark Farrow

    This makes more sense, although its plagued by many of the same problems, you have anything worth stealing, is your home really empty, etc, do you have an alarm systems, is your home easily viewable by nosy neighbors.

  • Kevin Mathews

    I would agree that she didn’t meet the moral definition of stealing as there was no intent behind it. It was a mistake.

    But the Legal definition she hits squarely on the head:

    Theft – “A criminal act in which property belonging to another is taken without that person’s consent.”

    Pretty sure, given the crew’s reaction, that he hadn’t given consent to have her walk off with his bag… I can’t see any way that taking someone else’s bag and walking away with it doesn’t fit that definition…

  • Kevin Mathews

    Should that be the Bags Owner?
    Although it would be a lot funnier if the Owners Bag was mad at being handle by anyone except its owner…

  • Carver Clark Farrow

    Calling the police would do no good. The police would lack probably cause to detain the crewmember and even less cause to search his bag. If I believe the OP’s version of the crewmember’s attitude (which I do not), the crewmember may 1)be a jerk, 2) tired and crappy from a long flight, 3)fill in the blank.

  • alsous

    We have only one side of the story and have no idea what she actually said when she returned the suitcase. From the way she complained about not finding anyone to help her file a complaint I would guess she was more out of control then she says. With his crew to back up that he wasn’t out of line I bet she just felt embarrassed that she didn’t look at the suitcase she had walked off with. If he was a captain then he knew to mark his case better and if she had just taken the time to look before she walked off she would have noticed the tags, emblems and more that said it was a crew member suitcase. We never heard if she found her own suitcase. She never mentions finding hers or if she even had one. She goes from returning the one she took to looking for someone to complain to, I think this “lady” has a problem and she is lucky she is allowed to fly HA again.

  • Judy Serie Nagy

    Compensation because someone was mean to her? She should not be travelling unsupervised.

  • Rick

    I hate big companies when they do that, lazy employees from the customer service use a standard template, I even got few with my name in the title and someone else’s name in the content before, which shows they do use a template without checking it, the ironic thing is the first line of the letter is ‘We do care about all our customers’ YEA RIGHT!!

    In this case I think what the airline company did was enough in terms of compensation, since it was her mistake to begin with. I always check my suitcase, I put stickers on it or to make it stand out so i don’t take the wrong bag. But it is also understandable why she could have made the mistake.

    Obviously the staff from the hawaii airline doesn’t have a good team spirit since team members don’t give a damn about each other and did not try to stop their colleague from ruin their company’s reputation on customer service. This also shows the company culture has problems, there wasn’t enough training obvisously and the management team have lost touch with the firstline employees, this cause their staff to lose interest and honor of working for the company.

    Another thing I don’t understand it, since the airline is already compensating Mikulchik, it doesn’t hurt if the customer serivce who dealt with it go just a tiny step further to make this more personally. I guess this is the difference between a great company and an OK company I guess.

    Mikulchik probably will never travel with Hawaii airline again, and Mikulchik will spread the word and tell everyone her experience. A bad review travels 10 times faster than a good one.

    P.S I travelled with Air China before on a 10 hour flight from london, and the air stewardess was impatient and had a very rude arguement with the person sat next to me. Since that time I have not travelled with Air China for 7 years, and I don’t plan to in the near future either. The competition is harsh, so service industry better get their standard up.

  • Carver Clark Farrow

    It would mean hiring many people as many airports have multiple exits at each baggage claim. Plus, it would slow everything down.

    Personally, I try not to purchase black bags, and when I do, I always personalize it with a huge brightly colored luggage tag.

  • Rick

    I hate big companies when they do that, lazy employees from the customer service use a standard template, I even got few with my name in the title and someone else’s name in the content before, which shows they do use a template without checking it, the ironic thing is the first line of the letter is ‘We do care about all our customers’ YEA RIGHT!!

    In this case I think what the airline company did was enough in terms of compensation, since it was her mistake to begin with. I always check my suitcase, I put stickers on it or to make it stand out so i don’t take the wrong bag. But it is also understandable why she could have made the mistake.

    Obviously the staff from the hawaii airline doesn’t have a good team spirit since team members don’t give a damn about each other and did not try to stop their colleague from ruin their company’s reputation on customer service. This also shows the company culture has problems, there wasn’t enough training obvisously and the management team have lost touch with the firstline employees, this cause their staff to lose interest and honor of working for the company.

    Another thing I don’t understand it, since the airline is already compensating Mikulchik, it doesn’t hurt if the customer serivce who dealt with it go just a tiny step further to make this more personally. I guess this is the difference between a great company and an OK company I guess.

    Mikulchik probably will never travel with Hawaii airline again, and Mikulchik will spread the word and tell everyone her experience. A bad review travels 10 times faster than a good one.

    I travelled with Air China before on a 10 hour flight from london, and the air stewardess was impatient and had a very rude arguement with the person sat next to me. Since that time I have not travelled with Air China for 7 years, and I don’t plan to in the near future either. The competition is harsh, so service industry better get their standard up.

  • John Baker

    I went to college just outside NYC so for 4 years I flew through the NY airports a lot. At that time (early 90s), you had to show your claim check to a rent-a-cop to get out of the baggage claim area. I haven’t seen that lately though. I bet the rent-a-cop cost more than paying off the stolen luggage claims.

  • PleaseStopTheWhining

    “I felt assaulted,” she says. “When I got to the place I was staying, instead of relaxing and enjoying the first days of a two-week vacation, I felt horrible. I cried. I was exhausted and couldn’t go outside. This lasted for two days. I was robbed of hard-earned vacation time.”

    Oh please. You have seriously got to be kidding! These people need to just hide in their homes and not go out. A stranger yelled at you. Big deal. You should have forgotten about it before you hit the exit doors.

  • alsous

    This really stood out to me too. Someone like that would not have reacted normally when confronted about taking a suitcase and not looking.

  • Carver Clark Farrow

    Actually, that’s probably a layperson’s definition. The classic definition of theft is the taking of property of another with the intent to permanently deprive that person of said property. It’s what’s classically known as a specific intent crime. The last part, “permanently deprive the owner” is key for a theft statute. As a mentioned elsewhere, that’s why joyriding is a usually a separate crime from theft.

    Under these facts, the OP could not be convicted of any theft based penal statute.

  • sara8032

    Can’t remember if O’Hare used to do it, but at Midway they used to have someone check your claim check stub vs your luggage tag. This seems to have ended right about when TSA took over private security at the airports..

  • RetiredNavyphotog

    That is why I check a bright pink suitcase.
    (OK, easy on the jokes.)

  • RetiredNavyphotog

    The airline employee may have just had the element of surprise on his side.
    Sometimes when we are not that focused, a unpleasant altercation can be very upsetting because we are not expecting it.

  • DavidYoung2

    Hmmmm…… let me see if I can sum this up. She took somebody else’s bag and that person was upset. The person yelled and lectured her, so she felt embarrassed. Yeah – she should feel embarrassed. The OP almost walked off with somebody else’s property because the OP wasn’t paying attention. Now she wants MONEY because she made a mistake and the other person got mad at her for stealing his property (until she got caught and returned it.)

    It doesn’t matter that he’s a crew member. The OP made a mistake. The OP wasn’t paying attention. The OP is totally at fault. The OP should have offered up $100 for the inconvenience of making the person wait around trying to figure out who took the bag (my guess is they waited until all the luggage had been picked up, then found one unclaimed bad and noticed it looked like the crew memeber’s.)

    Imagine the STINK the OP would have made if she had to wait around until all the bags had been collected, then realized a crew member had taken HER bag. She would probably be demanding a free trip to wherever because it ‘ruined’ her vacation.

    Take responsibility for being inattentive and making a rookie mistake.

  • RetiredNavyphotog

    She might have felt better is she shot off an e-mail immediately when she arrived at her hotel room.

  • Helio

    I had the same crew member problem not once, but twice. It didn’t matter that my luggage have seals and colorful ribbons in an attempt to differentiate for the others – the people don’t care neither pay attention!

    Once I was with a bright blue case, with a rainbow colored band and I had to yell in order to get it back from a family who was almost ant the exit door. And they needed some time to realize that wasn’t they bag, even with the band… :-/

    The other time I was with a red bag, and an old couple took it from the carousel. I already had seemed theirs bag in the carousel, but I didn’t got because I noted the lack of my big pink lock and black ribbon – unfortunately they didn’t note them…

    I bought bags in different and bright colors to make it easy to me to find them, and to help to differentiate from the almost omnipresence of black bags. The problem is, the other people who use no usual colors, believe they are the only smart ones, and don’t pay any extra attention to make sure that the bag they took is really theirs.

    I understand the crew member. He probably overreacted, but I almost overreacted – it took a lot of self-control to not yell (a lot…) with the absent-minded people.

    And I believe the OP received more than she is entitled to. Let’s imagine the following: she wasn’t with the bag of a crew member, but with the luggage of a fellow passenger, and this eventual passenger yelled to her, with his family surrounding them. Will she call to the company to ask for compensation?

  • Helio

    I cannot agree more!

  • Helio

    I tried that. But if someone also have a bright pink suitcase? He/she will suppose that nobody had the same idea, and will pay no extra attention to make sure that this particular pink suitcase is really his/her.

  • JimDavisHouston

    I maybe getting cranky in my old age, but my bag has been taken many times, even though I have markings on it, and I’m sick and tired of it. Then I have to stand and wait, or call the phone number on the bag to exchange it for my own. I had one person in ORD that wanted me to bring the bag to his Hotel room. (A Doctor carrying medical supplies for a Soccer Team.) I told him he had 15 minutes to get his butt here, or I was leaving with it. And this Dufass had the nerve to be angry because he had to return to the Airport.

    In my eyes, the OP deserves absolutely nothing. Take the scolding, and move on. She should be compensating the person she inconvenienced.

  • ctporter

    No sympathy here at all for the OP, and I do not think Hawaiian air should have given her anything, not even an apology. She is reacting badly to having to face the consequences of her actions, how is this something that deserves anything but scorn?

  • SallyLu

    Thanks Carver, that was my thougt too. So many people saying she “stole” the bag, but it seems to me that to steal there has to be the intent of taking someone elses property.

  • Jeanne_in_NE

    Do not mess with “The Luggage”.

    Any Terry Pratchett fans out there to get the reference?

  • Zod

    I’m sorry if this sounds harsh, but really? What kind of an idiot are you to take someone else’s bag off the carousel by accident? I mean, if she did it on purpose, then great! But come on? Doesn’t she know her own bag? I would know by the weight, or the fact that one of the wheels sticks or the handle doesn’t have that soft spot I always hit with my pinkie. Or any number of other things! Talk about your clueless vapid traveler! Pay attention people! The world is a unforgiving place. If you don’t pay attention, then you deserve what you get!

  • Zod

    Yes, Stealing! If she did it on purpose, then she’s a petty low-down criminal and deserves to be prosecuted. If she did it by accident, than she’s a vapid brainless idiot who believes that the world needs to look out for her and people are only on this planet to serve her! I wonder, is she blonde by any chance?

  • Cybrsk8r

    This DOES NOT, repeat DOES NOT happen at the baggage claim. It happens in the TICKETING AREA, while you’re in line at your LOCAL, repeat, LOCAL airport waiting to check your bag and fly away on your vacation. So you’re 1000 miles away, while the thief has a picture of your bag with your address on it, and he knows there’s a good chance no one is home.

    Does that clarify it for you?

  • Joshua

    The OP left the baggage carousel with somebody else’s bag. She caused the problem in the first place. The $100 voucher is more than enough compensation.

  • MarkieA

    My thoughts exactly. What? Are we now demanding compensation when someone – OMG! – yells at us!!!! Is this what we’ve become? Somebody hurt my feelings. I was walking around dazed and confused because my mommy never taught me how to handle a rude person. You know, you could’ve just walked away from the situation. It’s really easy.

  • gracekelley

    The airport has a video ( I am reminded often that my steps are traced from the second I get outta my car until I get back in it when i report to work) and they like to tell me everytime i renew my sida badge too that they can trace just about anything in an airport pretty much until you step inside a bathroom…… Just get the video and see how close the crew member got to her proximity and watch their body language towards the lady that was apparently berated and could not stop crying enough to leave her hotel for days….. Alas there is a way to find out the truth not just the OP’s side and then the crew member’s side of which both will be skewed…..just saying! BTW I literally can’t get out of the bed on layover’s sometimes based on how I am treated so i understand what she is saying just imagine having 150+ people berate you a daily basis over stuff you have ZERO control over it is good times!

  • Carver Clark Farrow

    It does. Thank you. It still doesn’t make an sense. So somebody is surreptitiously gathering addresses of travelers. It still makes little sense.

    The underlying premise if flawed. That someone’s home is empty because someone is traveling. Spouses, roommates, etc. I guess perhaps you purloined the address of a traveling family that might work.

    Besides the intrinsic difficulties, the potential thief has no idea what to expect when arriving at the traveler’s home. Is it alarmed, is it protected by a Rottweiler with a bad attitude, etc.

    Hardly seems likely.

  • Carver Clark Farrow

    I wonder why the downvote?

  • Carver Clark Farrow

    I also put my office address because no one is home during the day. If my bags have to be delivered, its much easier at my office than at home

  • Trudi

    How many times does the airport announce that you should check the name tag on your bag becasue many bags look alike? The airline exceeded their responsibility with the voucher. What more could she possible deserve? Maybe she can use the voucher to buy some reading glasses.

  • Cat

    Clearly the flight attendant recognized that this was a mistake, similar bag with the persons name on it, his bag missing. Thats how they knew who to page. While it was irresponsible of her to not check the tag- there was also no reason for the attendants attitude to be aggressively insulting and punative, especially when she was apologetic.

    What she should get is an actual letter of apology from the offensive attandant. Her’s was a mistake, his actions were purposeful and uncalled for. As far as compensation for her weepy loss of 2 days— come on lady, crap happens and its up to you, not the airline, how you react to it.

  • wiseword

    I fat-finger voted “no,” but that’s not what I really meant. I don’t think it owed her money, but it certainly owed her an apology and maybe flowers to her at her hotel. But a BIG apology.

  • Sierra Rose 49

    I would just love to hear what this lady would say if the HA crew member took HER bag by mistake. She would probably demand FREE tickets for the rest of her life. Pullease! Obviously she didn’t pay attention to one of the final words said when you leave the plane … “We realize many bags look alike, so be sure to check the bag you take is your bag.” I have flown Hawaiian many, many times. Have all flights been perfect. No. Overall, however, HA employees are by far the most courteous, helpful and kind of all the DOMESTIC airlines in operation. Hey lady, next time fly to Hawaii on United or American/US Air and see how their people treat you. Been there, done that. And that’s why we drive 300 miles to PHX to fly Hawaiian.

  • Joe Farrell

    The OP needs to grow up, and grow a pair – even if female. My gosh, really? How does she survive day to day if someone yelling at her gets her all verklempt. People are arseholes sometimes – when she apologized and he lost it – she should have just turned around and walked away.

    When people lose it I generally now just turn around and start walking away – leave them standing there like the buttheads they are – its amazing how fast the ‘aggressor’ realizes there is nothing there for them any longer and the rant just tails off to silence. Who wins then?

    She sat in Hawaii for two DAYS crying because someone yelled at her? OMG – the drama.

  • Joe Farrell

    Sure, I understand but have never heard about such a ‘ring’ being arrested . . . doth thoust have a reference or just a paranoid fear?

  • Helio

    Me too…

  • JimDavisHouston

    Sorry I have to disagree with you wiseword. You walk off with my bag, and throw me off schedule, I’m gonna be upset. And I definitely am NOT going to apologize. People have to wake up and pay attention. And people trying to get compensation for their own mistake is total BS. It’s getting very old, very fast.

  • Dutchess

    Ridiculous is being in tears for two days and not leaving the house because someone got mad at you for doing something stupid and calling you on it. I’m guessing she was more embarrassed than scared and now wants to get even. Sorry lady, pay more attention when you grab your bag. ALWAYS check your tag and make sure it’s your bag and this entire situation could have been avoided.

  • Cat

    Jim, you sound like the kind of person who LOOKS for reasons/justifications to be nasty to others. Like the flight attendant in this situation perhaps you should steer clear of customer service jobs. Mean people get very old, very fast too.

  • BMG4ME

    They offered her enough compensation however her request was reasonable – they should have offered her an apology – just as she did for taking the wrong bag. Some people (not me) would have just dropped it and let it find its own way back.

  • BMG4ME

    Zod, for perfect people the concept that someone else might make a mistake is unthinkable but for those of us that are idiots, I apologize for our shortcomings.

  • BMG4ME

    Everyone who is siding with the flight attendant is forgetting a very important point. The flight attendant was in uniform and was representing the airline. The flight experience doesn’t start when you get on the plane and end when you leave it. If I berated someone in public and it were identifiable who I worked for (as it could quite easily be since I proudly wear a shirt with my company’s name on it many days of the week) and it got back to my company, I would expect to be chastised. As a religious person who dresses as such I have no doubt whatsoever that if I were to behave in similar way in public, it would create a negative impression of others like me. People have to be very mindful of the impression they give to others when they are visibly part of a group.

  • Len

    If she felt an assault had been committed, she should have called the police.

  • bodega3

    Actually Carver, it does make sense, it is just that you don’t have a criminal mind to understand it. We have always instructed clients not to put their home address on an ID tag that is open and hanging on a bag. Use your business, use our agency address, don’t put your home address.


    Lisa deserved her the tongue lashing she got and hope this made her pay attention next time. She should be the one trying to offer the crew members a monetary reward for her thoughtless mistake.

    The other crew members were put out with her mistake also. The crew member may have been a little hard on her, but she should just live and forget it. She is owed nothing by Hawaiian.

  • Carver Clark Farrow

    Actually, I was the Chief Appellate Attorney for a criminal defense firm for several years. I dealt with some truly dreadful people. I think I’ve been to at least half of the prisons in California. Learning how they thought was a truly eye opening experience – one that I am NOT eager to repeat. I jumped ship a at the first opportunity and went back into business law with a focus on technology.

    I would curious to know why your agency gave that advice.

  • Carver Clark Farrow

    Lol. You got one too.

  • Carver Clark Farrow

    Lol. I get down-voted for providing first year law school legal analysis. I guess someone really dislikes me.

  • Carver Clark Farrow


  • Carver Clark Farrow

    New Bag
    Identical Bag
    Fill in the blank

  • Carver Clark Farrow

    The OP made a mistake. That’s hardly something to get upset over. Is she entitled to compensation? NO, but the crewmember didn’t have a reason to be upset. Suppose the airline had lost his bag. Would he have been upset as well. Stuff happens.

  • JimDavisHouston

    No, not really. Actually, believe it or not, I’m considerate to other travelers, and treat them as I would like to be treated. Things just get ridicules. Your reply has upset me deeply. I will require a fair amount of compensation in order to get on with my life.

  • bodega3

    Yeah, my cousin closed his criminal law business. Criminals don’t pay their bills…go figure!
    Every agency I have worked with has given out the same information. You cancel your paper while you are gone, you stop your mail, why advertise your address at the airport that you are heading out of town? Remember how crooks use to watch people use their phone cards at the pay phones? The same reason you shouldn’t leave your address on your car registration and your garage door opener in the car. I actually know someone who had their home robbed while they were gone due to this!

  • JimDavisHouston

    The crew member *did* have a reason, in my opinion. Think about it. It took time to realize the “mistake” was made. More time to get someone to page her to bring the bag back. She was long gone with his bag, and still had no idea she had the wrong one until the announcement was made. How the crew member handled himself is up for discussion, but compensation for getting upset? Especially when she was the cause of the issue? If I were the one who yelled at her, would she try to sue me for compensation? I think not, but the Airlines are easy pickings when it comes to things like this. And no, I don’t work for any travel related company.

  • JenniferFinger

    Well, she did make a mistake and took the wrong bag, even if she needed to. But the crew member should have just accepted her apology in the spirit in which she offered it, instead of lecturing her and threatening her.

    That said, I don’t see that you’re going to get anything more out of the airline. She did make a mistake, so they’re not going to see that they owe her an apology for the crew member’s reaction. I think the form letter and voucher is the best she’s going to get.

  • William_Leeper

    First it appears you have no idea about how reputation management works. If you are in uniform, or if you are wearing a company ID tag, you represent the company. At most every company, you are expected to act professionally and courtesely to EVERY member of the public especially a customer.

    I do not disagree that the op made a mistake and caused someone else inconvenience, but a crew member could have handled this situation much differently. As a business manager, this person would probably not have a job any longer if they were my employee!

  • AUSSIEtraveller

    too much.
    If true, crew member should be disciplined.
    Why is it everything doesn’t go the way you expect, you should be compensated with money ?
    No compensation is necessary. Get over it.

  • MarkKelling

    The luggage might eat you.

  • PsyGuy

    I would have had her politely arrested for stealing my bag. No need to lecture, that’s what the judicial system is for. The airline certainly didn’t owe her anything for stealing the crew members luggage. She took no responsibility for her error and lack of paying attention, which if she had she would have been able to enjoy her vacation as opposed to having a fit because someone yelled at her for doing something wrong which she did.

  • Carver Clark Farrow

    The articulated facts do not support an arrest for theft, nor do they even support reasonable cause to detain the OP.

  • Carver Clark Farrow

    I get the cancel paper, stop mail, etc. All of that goes to foiling the opportunistic crook who drives around looking for vacant homes. I’d be curious to know the luggage tag bit. I’m sure the agencies had good reason for the advice; I’m just not seeing it though.

    Also, unless you have a post office box, what address would you use on your car registration?

  • Ali Jackson

    Judging by the massive over-reaction by this woman, I’d bet money that “lecture/threat” wasn’t nearly as catastrophic as she described. I find it hard to believe that the co-workers would simply stand by and watch someone yell and/or physically intimidate anyone.

  • Carver Clark Farrow

    I guess it comes down to a philosophical difference. I see no value or justification in getting upset over a good faith, commonplace mistake that is properly rectified upon the offending party learning of the mistake. Especially if the offending party offers a sincere apology without being solicited to do so.

    I call it a commonplace mistake because many airports (probably most) take the proactive step of reminding people to check the tags as many bags look alike.

  • EdB

    “I’ll let her tell the rest of the story:

    I apologized sincerely, fully understanding the inconvenience of my mistake.

    PsyGuy, explain to me how “She took no responsibility for her error” when she admitted to and apologized for her mistake?

  • EdB

    What more could she possible deserve? How about an apology for the inappropriate behavior of the airline’s employee?

  • EdB

    I was thinking the same thing. It must be great for Zod being so perfect that they have never made a honest mistake. I guess us mere mortals with our imperfections must be really annoying.

  • Cam

    I guess the voucher is nice, but some sort of real response to the issue would have been better.

  • Raven_Altosk

    OH NO! I was too stupid to check my luggage tag and when someone was upset that I had taken his thing, I couldn’t put on my girl panties and get over it! The airline offered me $100 to go away, but I want MORE! I was BULLIED!

    Grow up, lady.
    Or don’t travel.

  • Miami510

    How about Hawaian Airlines paying her $5000 and giving her free flights on their airline for the rest of her life? Of course I’m being sarcastic. The only real problem I see is that Hawaian Airlines needs a better letter writer.

  • Mia

    I think the airline went over and above. If she felt assaulted then call the airport security and make a claim, but really, she was just taking advantage of the fact that this was an employee of the airline. What or to whom would she have complained if it was another passenger’s bag she had taken? To be honest, I think this employee overreacted because it wasn’t as if the bag had left the airport or was stolen, it was a mistake and these things happen. But after what was a probably long shift, he was tired and wasn’t in the mood to be nice. No law broken here and this woman should have apologized and left the airport and got on with her vacation. Crying?? Oh please, woman, grow up. Just a side story: I woman pulled out in front of me while I was driving in a parking lot, she just shot out of her spot and I had to slam on my brakes. The person in the car behind me tapped my car, which left a little dent on a new car. I got out, got a hold of myself, told the person who pulled out of her spot so abruptly what she did and that she needs to slow down, then I turned my attention to the person who hit me, who was yelling at me for stopping. He calmed down, gave me his info but the person who caused all of this was furious. She continued to tell me that I was rude, wrong blah blah. Two witnesses came over and told me their names and that they would be happy to speak with my insurance company. This woman started crying, now her car wasn’t hit because I was paying attention but she was mad because I wasn’t very nice to her. I didn’t yell, but told her, sternly, she needed to watch what she was doing. Well, I was wearing my company’s uniform shirt. She called the DM of my employer and complained about my behavior! Of course the details of the story were slanted more to her favor, she told them she wanted them to compensate her for my, “rude and uncivilized attitude.” She said she was a client and would no longer be one if I didn’t apologize and if my employer didn’t give her whatever it was she wanted. My boss told me they basically told the woman if she wanted to leave the company, leave, but they couldn’t manage my behavior outside of work. However my boss did tell me that I shouldn’t engage with anyone in a negative manner while in my uniform. I didn’t get in trouble at work and my car was fixed but now, I wear regular clothes when I go to and from work and change my sweater when I get inside.

  • alsous

    Her understanding of “sincerely” is probably a lot different then the rest of the world. We only have her word on how she apologized. Did she just “my bad, sorry” because if it was a sincere apology she would realize that taking his bag may have made him “cry” for being held up and missing important things he had planned, by a stupid woman who didn’t even read the tags and “ruined” his time off. I am amazed because she was almost out the door. What if she had not heard her name being paged and had gotten to her hotel? Doesn’t she read her tags? Look at her suitcase? I agree, some people should just stay home.

  • EdB

    My reply was to PsyGuy’s claim she did not take responsibility for her mistake where according to the story, she did. Wasn’t commentng on if it was sincere or her level of sincerity.

  • Raven_Altosk

    Are you serious? She called your employer???

    Oh, at that point, I would’ve declared “it’s on” and posted images of her and her car and her license plate on facebook with “WARNING: BIGGEST IDIOT CRY BABY EVER”

  • cowboyinbrla

    I think the point is, the more distinctive the suitcase, the less likely there will be a mix-up.

    My luggage is getting old and battered, so I’ve patched more than one problem area with colored duct tape. Aside from making it virtually impossible to not recognize my bag, it also (I hope) makes it look like it’s not worth rifling through, although I carry everything valuable on me.

  • cowboyinbrla

    Don’t be so sure. Who’s to say she wasn’t waiting on someone to pick her up, for twenty or thirty minutes, during which time the crew member is stuck in baggage claim?

    Add to that: generally the airlines are cheapo enough that they provide ONE cab or shuttle per crew to bring them to the hotel where they’re laying over. So the rest of the crew, who were probably ready to get off their feet, are also stuck waiting on this situation to be resolved. So he’s got the rest of the crew getting miffed at him for holding them up too.

    So yes, he may have been an ass, and it may not have been appropriate, but an apology and token compensation seem perfectly adequate to me. Crying for two days because someone yelled at her? She’s a dangerously unstable person who shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near a world in which things go wrong.

  • Eileen Joan

    It makes me wonder just WHAT was in that suitcase that had him so crazed someone might have taken his bag. Mmmmmm.

  • Mel65

    Oh Dear Lord. She felt ASSAULTED? She was in a daze? She felt horrible and exhausted and cried for days? Someone shouldn’t be let out alone without a keeper if they’re that flippin’ sensitive. I’d be irritated if someone else took my “similar” bag because they were too careless or in too much of a hurry to check, so she got yelled at. BFD. Seriously, I probably yell at people worse than that every day on my commute to work (road rage…thy name is me). What investigation did she want? “We investigated and believe that you appropriated and manhandled our crewmembers personal property and violated his sense of well being. Instead of apologizing, we’ve decided to blacklist you. Have a nice day.” What a whiner. All I can do is shake my head.

  • Mel65

    Real response to the issue?? What’s the issue and what would be an adequate “real response”? It was a mild confrontation that happened because one person was careless and another was irritated. These things happen everyday in stores, banks, airports and parking lots. Sh*t happens. People need to stop thinking the world owes them a nice experience every damn day.

  • stockholmray

    It is most disturbing that any stranger can pick up my bag and walk off with it possibly before I can reach the carousel from the plane. Why aren’t passengers required to show boarding pass and baggage stub before removing any luggage from the carousel area? As for Lisa Mikulchik, without hearing the other side of the story, who can honestly say if $100 is fair compensation? I would hear reports from the co-workers and then if warranted apologize, comp her flight, and give her a discount voucher for her next fight. As for the employee, some kind of anger management is probably in order.

  • Zod

    Come on…who hasn’t stood at the baggage carousel and made the mistake of grabbing the wrong luggage? But before you remove it from the carousel, you look at the tag. If it doesn’t have your name, you let go and wait for your bag to come around. It really isn’t that difficult to do! This is even more critical when you *KNOW* that your bag looks like many others! It doesn’t take much time to check the tag! I can tell you, that if someone else took my bag, I would be livid! A verbal scolding would be the least of her worries! And if she didn’t apologize to *ME* for taking my bag, I would file charges against her! She thinks her trip to the islands was ruined? She doesn’t know the word if it were my luggage she stole! Like I said above…if you don’t pay attention to what you are doing, you can’t complain if you become a darwin award recipient!

  • Zod

    Now you’re just making excuses. Sorry, I’m not that forgiving. You can’t walk through life with blinders on and I will not make allowance for stupidity! That’s the problem with people today, we forgive stupidity, and as such, people continue to do stupid things because there are no consequences. She’s lucky that the flight attendant didn’t file charges against her. If it were me, there would have been police involved. People need to be punished for being stupid, not rewarded! My gawd, I can’t imagine if she decides to breed!

  • Carver Clark Farrow

    First, despite your fervent desire, you would not have had charges filed as no crime has been committed nor is there probable cause to believe an arrest Is warranted. You may want to learn some basic law before making such assertions.

    I’m happy that you have achieved perfection. That particular life goal has eluded me.

  • PsyGuy

    Yes they do. The bag was not hers, she deprived the owner of the use of their property, and she did not use reasonable care when taking possession of the property. Hawaii, does not have a mistake defense.

  • PsyGuy

    Sorry doesn’t mean anything. You know what an apology and an empty sack is worth? An empty sack. Try walking into someone’s house, taking their stuff, and then when arrested and arraigned say “I’m sorry”, in Jurisprudence language that translates as “guilty”, all the mitigation and extenuation doesn’t change that.

  • JewelEyed

    Yeah, but anyone anywhere could have been a total sphincter to her and if she’s this delicate, her vacation would have been “ruined” anyway. She needs to double her dosage and grow some thicker skin.

  • Randy Culpepper

    Airline employee here, and I’ve NEVER even heard of a crew member checking a bag.

    I will say that, contrary to what many crew members feel, if you are wearing that uniform, you are representing the airline. ESPECIALLY in the airport. The behavior displayed by this airline employee is not acceptable.

  • EdB

    Yeah. That part about a checked bag by the crew member kind of threw me too. I have never seen a crew member waiting around the luggage carousel before. I was thinking maybe it was a gate side check baggage and she just lumped it into the term checked because it wasn’t in her possession anymore.

  • EdB

    You accused her of not taking responsibility yet I show you in the story that she did. All that other crap you just spewed is just that, crap and irrelevant.

  • JewelEyed

    Except that HR policies and union policies would NEVER allow this.

  • BMG4ME

    She said she apologized. As for “darwin award recipient” I am sorry I don’t read science fiction :-)

  • Michelle C

    I vote that they offered her $100 more than they should have. She screwed up and got called out on it. Don’t these airline employees get very little time between flights? I can see someone getting very upset at thinking they are going to have to replace their belongings on the short time they have off. Plus they probably have family photos or some other personal token too. Either doesn’t matter if it was an employee or someone who was taking a month long vacation with all the time in the world. This was a very careless mistake on her part and now she has convinced her self that she was was wronged???? Unless this guy physically battered her I don’t care what he said. I am going to assume that he was a giant jackass, and if she thought he was reacting the only normal response would have been to tell him to get over it, that she had already apologized. Crying for two days on her vacation is either a lie or she is “delicate” who soaks up the dramatics. It is time for her to move on and realizes the errors of her ways.

    I’m very curious to the process and time it takes to find out the name of the bag taker and page overhead.

    Yes it would have been nice if any company would take the time to write a personal response to each complaint instead of just copying and pasting a form letter.

  • Don Nadeau

    I also put my name and mobile number (not listed) only on a baggage tag. No address. Isn’t this all an airline needs to contact me?

  • Carver Clark Farrow

    You misunderstand the law. Even In Hawaii, in order to be guilty of theft you must have act…

    “… with intent to deprive the other of the property” Haw. Rev. Stat. § 708-830(1)

    You confuse the affirmative defense of mistake with a requisite element of the statute. As I stated elsewhere, to support a violation of Haw. Rev. Stat. § 708-830(1), the OP must actually know that the bag is not hers. Theft is relatively rare amongst crimes in that intent (which requires actual knowledge) must be proven by the prosecution before it can make a prima facie case. Without a prima facie case, the defendant does not need to worry about defense.

    As the OP did not know that the bag was not hers, she lacks the requisite mental state for theft.

  • Carver Clark Farrow


    Out of curiosity, what exactly would you (PsyGuy) have had her to do demonstrate that she is taking responsibility? Perhaps her first born?

  • Carver Clark Farrow

    Silly analogy. In your example, the person acted intentionally. The OP acted inadvertently. Hardly comparable.

  • Carver Clark Farrow

    The airport would have to hire tons of people to manage that. That cost would be passed on to the flyers as additional fees on tickets.

  • EdB

    For this address scheme to work, they would have to have accomplices in your home area. So unless you live in a large city and it just happens to be the large city the accomplice is in, the address won’t do them much good. This wouldn’t be a very “profitable” method to find empty houses. There are a lot more easier ways for them to do that.

  • EdB

    Probably nothing short of disemboweling herself right there in front of him would be the only way of showing her true sincerity as to error.

  • pauletteb

    The OP walked off with a bag that didn’t belong to her. That’s just plain stupid/careless/lazy. The first thought of the bag’s owner was probably that it had been stolen. Had she walked off with MY bag, I would have been irate as well.

  • PolishKnightUSA

    I read the blog and the author was a victim of a similar mistake. Someone took his bag from under a bus that looked similar and he had to track down the owner. The owner was nice and mailed him his bag and that was the end of it.

    Let’s try reversing this: If you fly regularly (as an employee) you should know this can happen and make your bag unique. Sure, a nice shiny black bag is stylish, but don’t get too into yourself: It’s the most common bag out there. Flare it up a bit. Put your airline’s logo on it with a sticker. Heck, since baggage can get misrouted I would suggest sewing your name and phone number on it!

    The employee was a jerk who made his company look bad. She was NOT entitled to compensation whatsoever. But goodwill was certainly called for.

  • Joe_D_Messina

    Why would they need the address? I can google my name and come up with my street address in just a couple clicks. I think this is an urban legend. Not saying it is impossible for somebody to do this, but I don’t see any articles verifying this has actually happened to any large degree.