|Subject: Carryon luggage - a word of caution|
Ziners (especially those who carry on all luggage),
Several years ago I carried on a garment bag on a flight on American. I hung it in the closet near the front of the airplane, and went back to my seat in economy. At the end of the flight, I went to collect my garment bag, only to discover that it was missing from the closet. Instead there was another bag that resembled it. A nearby flight attendant told me to take the second bag.
When I stopped by the airline's desk at the airport, they told me they weren't responsible for any luggage in carryon on the plane. They did tell me the itinerary for the person whose bag I now had, but also said they would make no effort to contact him. Instead, I was responsible for making contact with him, and arranging for the swap of bags. I did so, and met up with him the next day.
Since that trip, I have confirmed with other airlines that they are not responsible for carryon bags. So, the moral of the story is to keep an eye on your bags in carryon! Since closets seem to have gone the way of props, this isn't too difficult if you store our bag above your seats or under the seat in front of you, though.
Happy travels, Dot in Silicon Valley