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United Customer Livid After AirTag Showed Lost Luggage At Random Apartment Building For Days

Valerie Szybala tweeted about her experience and warned other United customers with lost luggage after spotting other suitcases about by the trash.

United Airlines airplane and United customer's lost luggage in residential area
Scott Olson/Getty Images; @vszyb/Twitter

Too many of us have been the victim of delayed or completely lost luggage, whether we were traveling domestically or internationally.

But this might be the first time someone could say their luggage ended up at a McDonald's.

That was exactly what happened to Valerie Szybala's luggage, however, according to her AirTag's information.

Szybala recently flew with United Airlines, and upon landing in Washington, D.C., on December 28, she was notified her luggage had been delayed.

She was given the option to either pick up the luggage herself or to have it delivered. She selected to have it delivered, which in hindsight she said was a "big mistake."

Fortunately for the former United Airlines customer, Szybala had included an AirTag inside of her luggage, which was also locked with a TSA-approved lock and she had a detailed record of what possessions were contained inside.

Szybala's thoroughness would later pay off, but not before a real head-scratcher of a journey.

Szybala soon turned to Twitter, calling out United Airlines for having lost her luggage and lying about it. According to her AirTag, her bag had been moved to a residential area and was left there for several days.

You can see the full thread of updates here:

It might make sense if a third-party delivery driver had the bag in their car, which was parked in their residential area, but this brought Szybala no comfort as customer service told her her bag was located in a distribution center, not a delivery driver's car.

As the luggage's journey continued, Szybala continued to update the thread, including her AirTag (luggage) proceeding to move around town, including to a McDonald's and a shopping center, before going back to the same residential area.

Szybala even went to the residential area where her AirTag was pinging from and there were other people's suitcases left sitting outside by a series of dumpsters, though these had been emptied and abandoned.

Szybala was eventually able to get her bag back after receiving a "sketchy" message from someone she didn't know, presumably a third-party delivery driver. But the bag was delivered safe and sound, undamaged and with all possessions included.

Szybala also offered several pieces of advice for people who would be traveling at any time with more luggage than just a carry-on.

"Using a tracking device in your luggage can be a lifesaver. Without the AirTag (and a viral Twitter thread), I wouldn't have my bag back now."
"Photo or inventory your belongings before traveling in case you need to file a reimbursement claim."
"If your bag arrives on a later flight than you and they offer to hold it at the import for pickup or deliver it, NEVER CHOOSE DELIVERY. The third-party delivery service is where this got sketchy, in my honest opinion."

Szybala also added in a later comment to purchase a TSA-approved lock for all luggage to prevent potential snooping or stealing in case a bag became delayed or lost.

Some were left infuriated by the "Calm down" comment.

Some were disgusted by the terrible experience Szybala went through.

Others shared their own horror stories, and they were indeed horrible.

While others were grateful Szybala eventually got her bag back, with all of her possessions still contained inside, they still felt United Airlines and their companion, Couriers United, LLC, had some serious explaining to do.

Though it was likely the suitcase had traveled around so much because of being in a third-party delivery driver's trunk, it still didn't make sense everyone involved had their own version of the story to tell when it came to the location of her bag.