Amid the worsening saga of luggage handling and airport labour shortages there is no shortage of horror stories.
One woman was shocked to see the state of her husband's suitcase - which was shredded. Still, he wore it with a smile, if only to show the extent of the tatters.
Passenger Karen Nowland had been flying with Etihad to Sri Lanka. The luggage they were handed in Colombo airport bore little resemblance to the one they handed over in Manchester.
The suitcase was completely destroyed, as were its contents. Tops were reduced to tatters.
Sharing images to social media, Nowland showed there was little more than rags.
"My husband looks like a pirate!" she said of the tatty t-shirts that would have made Robinson Crusoe blush.
The panel ripped out of a stripy top was not a flattering look on her husband.
It wasn't the start of the tropical holiday they had expected. The remainder of the case arrived in luggage claims wrapped up in plastic to keep their belongings from falling out. Over week later, Nowland and her husband are yet to hear from the airline.
"It arrived on [the] carousel in Colombo in a plastic bag. What on earth happened?"
Having emailed Etihad without response the travellers posted the images online to see if they could get an answer to what happened.
Despite the carnage they handled the luggage malfunction with humour.
"Not sure the backless look suits my husband," she tweeted.
Etihad issued a statement saying they were previously unaware of the incident but were offering their support to the Nowlands.
"We are conducting a full investigation into the cause of the damage to the guest's baggage, as well as our partner's guest communication process to ensure this doesn't happen again," a spokesperson for the airline told The Sun.
"We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience our guest experienced."
Etihad has a dedicated service to handle claims of missing and mishandled luggage. In most cases passengers are awarded compensation for damaged or lost luggage, however this is a long process and the maximum amount is dictated by the origin of your carrier.
According to the NZ Carriage of Goods act the maximum payout you can expect in New Zealand is a more modest $2000 per item. In the US you can claim a far more generous $5500 per item.
If you are flying with goods worth more than this, it is worth checking if your insurance covers your luggage.
While mishandled luggage is unfortunate, there are some airlines that have worse luck with customers' luggage than others, as a recent study revealed.