I’ve had both experiences. My luggage was lost twice by American Airlines, both times between Chicago and Mexico. Arriving in Mexico without one of our bags was no fun and when it did finally get delivered to our hotel, it had several items missing from inside the bag. The time we few from Mexico to Chicago on Christmas day, the one bag that had the gift items we were bringing home for my family was the bag that never arrived, lost for good. I think we did get some sort of compensation both times but it never makes up for inconvenience and the loss of items that are important, not to mention the experience of going through it all and dealing with their incompetence.
The one time I was asked if I’d take a later flight that had a stopover in Vegas coming home on Southwest from Arizona to Chicago on what should have been a direct flight, it was offered as a choice and along with accepting the later flight, I received a voucher for a free flight anywhere Southwest flies at a later date. I took a trip to Mexico some time later with that voucher..for free.
I took the last flight out on a Sunday night from Baltimore to Toronto. I was running late, so I ran to the airport wearing the t-shirt and shorts I’d had on all day. Had an 8am meeting on Monday with my colleagues and our new boss. My luggage got left behind in Baltimore. Being Sunday evening, nothing was open. Had to meet my new boss in t-shirt and shorts. Maybe not so bad for some people, but when you are working for a company that was famous for blue suits and wingtips, not so good. (Janet Maley)