Delta Forces Passenger To Gate Check Priceless Artifacts – Doesn’t End Well

A Delta passenger has had their luggage destroyed, including their priceless contents, after being forced to check a bag at the gate, as reported by USA Today.

Delta Forces Passenger To Gate Check Priceless Artifacts – Doesn’t End Well
Delta is in some hot water over this baggage issue. Photo: Flickr user Bill Abbott

Upon receiving a bill of $2600 from the passenger to try and recover the artifacts, Delta said they couldn’t repay without a receipt of purchase. That’s a bit hard for a priceless hand-crafted item over 100 years old.

What are the details?

Passenger Katelyn Peters was making her way from New Mexico to Canada when she was stopped from boarding her Delta flight. The Delta representative explained that there was no room onboard for her case and it would have to be stowed in the cargo hold.

Inside, however, were priceless family artifacts that had been given to Peters in trust to represent her family and where she was from.


Peters relented her bag and proceed with her flight. Once she arrived in Canada, she found her bag in a state that she felt could only be described as ‘been through a shredder’.

This devastated her, with her family heirlooms being destroyed despite being safely stowed in the bag. She sought compensation from Delta for the items, stating that she had an ‘heirloom belt, heirloom top, heirloom shoes’ and a myriad of other items (such as makeup) destroyed in her case. She asked for $2,600 USD to try and rebuild her collection.

Delta initially replied that they would not be able to repay this amount, as she was “unable to provide a receipt or bank statement to substantiate the original purchases”. They did meet her a quarter of the way and offer $530 USD.

Unsatisfied, Peters posted the news to Twitter and brought the matter to the media’s attention. Delta, in what we can assume was damage control, promoted the issue up to a higher level and reached out to her with a better offer.

Delta issued a statement to USA Today, offering a public apology to Peters and ensuring that they will review the case to prevent similar situations in the future.

“We’ve reached out to her directly to try to make this right,” Delta representative Adrian Gee wrote in an email to USA Today.

Delta Forces Passenger To Gate Check Priceless Artifacts – Doesn’t End Well
Delta has tried to make the situation right but still offers no explanation on how it happened. Photo: Delta Airlines

Peters confirmed to USA Today that the airline has reached out to her, but she has yet to have a satisfying outcome.

For travelers facing a similar scenario, View From The Wing suggests that passengers should not board the flight if they cannot bring their items into the cabin. Ask the airline to re-accommodate you and ensure that on the next flight, you are taken care of.

What do you think? Do you think Peters deserves compensation? Let us know in the comments.

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