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At a Loss

October 21, 1990

The article "Getting a Grip When You Lose Your Luggage" (Savvy Traveler, Sept. 23) is easier said than done. My husband had that unfortunate experience on a domestic flight this summer. One bag was lost. It contained all of my husband's clothing.

It was an irritating experience. We were on an 11-day trip through Virginia. Needless to say, it placed a damper on our vacation. We had to fight through the bureaucracy for cash authorization necessary to replace some of the clothing needed. Further aggravation was from the claim forms which we had to fill out. An itemized account of the clothing and model numbers were required. We did get a cash settlement, but it seemed a minimal compensation compared to the aggravation and what we lost.

The consumer usually comes out the loser in the end, unless one has the fortitude to pursue such cases, as did Stanley Arkin in your article. It was only lost luggage this time. But what happens when an airline mechanic is irresponsible or, worse, a pilot? There should be penalties levied against airlines when irresponsible acts occur. Maybe it's time to revise the Department of Transportation's regulations and the Warsaw Convention's terms.

MARY SMITH, Laguna Hills

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