August 23, 2010

Lost Luggage

Once upon a time I did something to offend the luggage gods. I'm not exactly sure what my offense was, but I've been paying the price ever since. If you are ever traveling with me, know this: a suitcase belonging to me, or any bag checked under my name is liable to have issues, so plan ahead accordingly.


 I can't exactly say when I first started having problems with luggage... I'm sure I was frustrated when my bag didn't come off the carousel like normal, but after we were reunited all was well, and I moved on with my life. If only I had known it would happen again, and again, and again over the coming years....

Here is a brief run down of my poor track record when it comes to lost luggage:
  • Hawaii 2006 - my bag somehow got on a different plane, but at least it was the return trip. You don't miss your stuff as much when you're at your house with your own closet.
  • North Carolina 2007 - this was the worst. It took our bags three days to catch up with us. Dave wore some of his brother's clothes and I had to borrow stuff from Dave's aunt and his mom. Grandma Betty was also king enough to lend me her swimsuit - blue and sparkly with a gold belt and a ruffle bum skirt. Grandpa Clark offered his swim trunks to Dave, but there was no way that was going to happen. I'm pretty sure the waist was the size of just one of Dave's legs.
  • Christmas in Texas 2007 - both our bags are lost again, but somehow the third suitcase with the presents made it there! We may not have had our clothes on Christmas morning, but at least we had gifts! (We actually opened a few presents early so we could have something fresh to change into)
  • Seattle  2008 - another bag lost on the way home 
Here there is a break when airlines started charging for check bags so we only traveled with carry-ons. For two wonderful years we never lost a suitcase. Then we took a trip on Southwest (where bags fly free!) and ran into trouble again.
  • Mexico 2010, flight to LAX - Dave's suitcase, which was checked under my name, came off the ramp completely smashed. We took it to the claims office where they gave us a choice: exchange for a new bag, or fill out a form for reimbursement. Since the suitcase was pretty much destroyed and we hadn't even got to the cruise ship yet, we went with the exchange.
  • Mexico 2010, getting on the boat - when you go on a cruise, you leave your luggage with a porter and board only with what you'll need for the immediate future. The bags are then delivered to your cabin in about 3-4 hours. Well, 3-4 hours later all the suitcases had arrived but mine. It came time for dinner and everyone changed into nicer clothes (except me) and we left to eat. When we got back my bag still wasn't there. We checked the "luggage holding pen" and it was empty - all bags had been delivered to our deck. The steward directed us down to security to look at the unmarked bags - mine wasn't there. It also was not with the bags that had been confiscated for bringing liquor on board (no surprises there). Security told us if it didn't turn up in an hour, they'd start a deck-by-deck sweep, so we left for the evening show. After the show, and 8 hours after getting on board, my bag finally arrived! I have no idea where it was hanging out, but it was probably one of the last ones delivered.
My advice - always pack a change of clothes, including underwear :) in your day bag, along with any toiletries you might need because you never know what's going to happen!

* Photo is from Google Images, http://science.howstuffworks.com/transport/flight/modern/baggage-handling.htm

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