The Free Gift American Airlines Gives You if They Lose Your Luggage

by SharonKurheg

According to the Department of Transportation’s final Air Travel Consumer Report of the year, in 2023, U.S. airlines lost (they prefer the word “mishandled” – that includes lost, damaged, delayed and stolen luggage) over 2.8 million bags. As you can see from the DOT’s chart, Allegiant lost the least, while American lost the most:

a blue and white table with numbers and textThe only thing any of them (*cough* except Hawaiian, Frontier, Spirit, and United *cough* OK….the only thing SOME of them) can say is that they lost fewer bags in 2023 than in 2022.

What happens if they mishandle your bag?

There are 2 parties involved in your bag being mishandled – you and the airline.

What you should do

If your bag is lost, Nerdwallet has an excellent post, step by step, of what you should do.

What the airline will do

Each airline has its own protocol for what it does if your bag is lost or delayed. A quick search from your search engine of choice (try MISHANDLED BAGGAGE “NAME OF AIRLINE” (Delta, jetBlue, Spirit, etc.) will easily tell you what each airline does.

American Airlines’….”gift?”

However, a passenger named Meredith Dean recently discovered what American Airlines sometimes does if they lose your bag. She was flying to the Grenadines about a week or so ago, and her bag was mishandled, delayed, whatever.

To make her life a little easier, American gave her an amenities bag. But not just ANY amenities bag. Nope, it’s a special “we’re sorry we lost your luggage” amenities bag. She did the “reveal” of its contents on TikTok.

The small bag included:

  • A straight-edge razor with a tiny tube of shave cream
  • The smallest bottle of stick deodorant possible (doesn’t matter…it was broken and unusable anyway)
  • A plastic comb/brush combo
  • A toothbrush and “Freshmint” brand toothpaste (“I work in a prison,” a viewer commented. “Those are the same toothbrushes and toothpaste we give the inmates.” “They gave me Freshmint when I was in the hospital, another said. “It tasted like 200 year old gum”)
  • A single refreshing towelette
  • A 0.5oz tube of hand lotion


a close up of a tubea blue comb with a white backgrounda white and blue packet with a blue and white logo

The bag also contained a note that said:

Please accept our sincere apology for the delay of your luggage. Be assured every effort is being made to recover your property and return it to you as soon as possible. We realize this delay is an inconvenience, but hope you’ll find the contents of this amenities kit to be useful.

You can see the entire video on this page of Dean’s TikTok presence.

Our thoughts

I love how American has lost SO MANY bags that they’ve made these amenities kits, with an apology note automatically included, especially for those who are stuck without their checked bags!!!

The funny thing is that almost all of the things in these kits are what most people would have in their carry-on, not their checked bags, no?

And hello…a straight razor? Shave cream? Can you be even more masculine? Could they also at least include a small vial of shampoo and conditioner? A teeny tiny bar of soap, maybe? We won’t even get into the possibility of a sanitary napkin…

Dean’s aftermath

The good news was that American Airlines reunited Dean with her checked bag within 24 hours, so that’s a good thing. She seemed very positive about that fact.

For those who are stuck without their luggage for 2 days, 2 weeks, 2 months, etc. I’m not sure how much a single, solitary refreshing towelette, etc. will help their predicament (although, to their credit, American Airlines says they will “reimburse you for the reasonable and necessary items you need immediately while away from home without your bag.”) but I suppose it’s a nice gesture.

The comments on the video suggested that a few people have received similar amenity kits from American Airlines when their bags were mishandled, but many people in the same predicament on that, or other airlines (Air Canada and KLM were specifically mentioned) said they got nothing. How about you?

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