Man's luggage mutilated from flight – so how did it happen?

A photo of a mangled suitcase has passengers fearing for their luggage after one man’s mishap while flying.

The image, shared to Reddit on Tuesday, has since racked up more than 97,000 reactions and 4,500 comments from horrified users.

“My uncle’s suitcase after his flight,” the caption simply read. In the shot were the remains of a bright red suitcase, now in tatters on the airport floor. The front pockets and right-hand side of the luggage had been ripped to shreds, while the wire frame of the bag had become detached.

The damaged red suitcase.
A user on Reddit shared this photo of his uncle's suitcase after a flight but said most of the stuff inside was undamaged. Source: reddit

‘Suitcase used as a chew toy’

People on the internet was quick to share its concern with observers appalled at the state of the suitcase.

“I would lose my s**t,” one person wrote. “Something used this suitcase as a chew toy.”

“Did the flight land or did they just throw it off on the way by?” someone asked. But a few people on Reddit thought they knew exactly what happened.

“[It] got chewed by a conveyor for half an hour,” one person suggested. “This is the most likely scenario,” agreed another. “I work at a UPS hub and honestly a lot of cardboard boxes come to the trucks looking like this because of jams on conveyor belts.”

Another explained further: “They use conveyors in airports that run quite quickly. That [the suitcase] probably got jammed up where there is no photo-eye sensor to detect jams. So for potentially a few minutes the conveyor was zipping along with the bag stuck.”

A luggage conveyor belt.
Last month a behind-the-scenes video of a machine aggressively pushing luggage between conveyer belts went viral. Source: TikTok

Clue reveals what may have happened to luggage

However a further clue has since been revealed into what happened to the bag. The owner’s nephew says the airline refused to tell his uncle “how it was damaged” but he has an idea.

“He did find asphalt gravel inside it so he assumes it somehow ended up dragged across the tarmac,” the man wrote online.

Miraculously only a few items were damaged in the incident.

“Most of the stuff inside was undamaged,” the poster said. “Nothing major got f***ed up. The only things damaged were a hairbrush, the heel of one of his shoes got taken off, and had a grinder destroyed."

While the man says his uncle “wasn’t comfortable sharing the airline” he added that “he is being reimbursed for the suitcase and the items damaged.”

But for some it was enough to never check a bag in again. “Seeing my luggage come out like this is one of my big fears when I’m flying,” one person wrote. “This post certainly gave me another new shiny fear to add to my big long list of fears while flying,” another added.

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