"American does not accept these items in or as checked baggage and assumes no responsibility or liability for such items, [emphasis added] regardless of whether American knew or should have known of the presence of such items in checked or transferred baggage. If any such items are lost, damaged or delayed, you will not be entitled to any reimbursement under American's standard baggage liability."
The airlines are well-protected when it comes to expensive items inside your checked suitcase. Unfortunately, the only way to be safe is to bring these items in your carry-on luggage. I understand that can be limiting.
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Ship and Save
Here's my suggestion: I travel around 400,000 miles every year, so it's inevitable that an airline will eventually end up misplacing a few of my bags. With that in mind, I haven't checked a piece of luggage on domestic flights in more than a decade. Instead, I have my bags shipped in advance directly to my hotel via FedEx, UPS or one of a dozen other dedicated luggage-shipping services. Expensive items can be insured, and you have both a tracing department and responsive customer service to deal with any problems that should arise.
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