Common Courtesy Is Out the Window

January 2, 2010

in Airport Stories

In November 2008, I was flying home to Oklahoma from Biloxi, MS. I had just completed Air Force Technical School, and I was excited to get home to see my husband and collect our things before the drive to my first duty station.

My flight was originally scheduled for 10:45am, so I arrived at about 8:30. My shuttle to the airport from the base never showed up, so I caught a taxi with someone else who was leaving. AFTER I have checked my bags (and they are no longer in sight), the guy at the counter informs me that my flight has been delayed until 2pm or so. Irritating, but bearable. Then, I could not get through security for some unfathomable reason. I was told to go here, get this signed, and all kinds of nonsense. On my fourth try to get through security, I gave up on my driver’s license and flashed my military ID. Problem solved.

I spent my day with the other airman until his flight left. My flight was delayed again until 9:30pm, so I decided to find the USO. Thank God for the USO. They made this whole day bearable.

Finally, I get on the plane and fly to Atlanta (which, by the way, is the opposite of the way I wanted to go, but it’s just too much to ask for for things to make sense). I am then stuck in Atlanta until 2am. Thanks to the magic of time zones, I got to Oklahoma around 3am. I hit the baggage claim and wait patiently for my green duffel bag and black garment bag. The second time I saw the obnoxious pink roll-away, I knew: the airline had lost my uniforms. I had my little backpack in my hand containing a laptop and a bottle of water.

Together with several other passengers, I head over to the baggage issues office. I was the last person in line, and I watched as all these other ‘adults’ each took their turn berating the poor guy behind the counter, because he obviously was the one who took their bags and hid them. I hear people yelling about their kid’s gameboy, or their shampoo, or a guitar. This guy is just out of high school, maybe in his first year of college, and he is IN TEARS when I finally get up to the desk. I describe my bags and leave a contact number. Bear in mind that losing one’s uniforms is an issue of national security, and could land me in quite a bit of trouble were they used to wreak mischief.

The guy behind the counter, sobbing, located my bags in Atlanta and told me they would be delivered to the address I had given by 5pm the next day. I think people have their priorities messed up. It sucks when the airlines mess up, or employees are rude to you, but COME ON! I had just spent about 15 hours in airports after not seeing my husband for almost six months, and I was able to have a reasoned conversation. Self-absorption is the reason flying is so miserable these days; common courtesy is out the window.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

debbie January 2, 2010 at 3:47 pm

What exactly did you want the airlines to do? Mistakes happen, they delivered your bags as soon as they arrived on the next flight. Did you want them to magically transport them immediatly once they were found in the wrong state? And exactly what type of common courtesy were you expecting? It doesn't sound like anyone was rude to you or disrespectful in anyway.


Marta January 2, 2010 at 4:28 pm

Get a grip Debbie.

Notice that the poster did say the other parrengers were yelling at the airline clerk and making him cry. It seems to me that the poster was very polite to the clerk who responded appropriately by finding her bags for her and getting them delivered to her.

Next time read the post through at least twice to make sure you understand it before you answer.


lah January 2, 2010 at 4:09 pm

I think she was talking about the OTHER people in line NOT showing any common courtesy.


Brad January 3, 2010 at 4:13 pm

Debbie, a little class in reading comprehension can go a long way.

To the OP, thank you for your service. As someone who flies for a living, a little kindness and patience can go a looong way towards making everyone's day go a little better.


Huck January 4, 2010 at 4:28 am

I can understand lost luggage sometimes and people should be more understanding which sounds like she was. However, I was on vacation once with Spirit and they lost it on the way to vacation, brought it 2 days later, $500 items stolen from it, lost it on the way back and brought it 6 days later. That is very incompetent and then trying to get any compensation was a joke of a process. Airlines should be made accountable for their actions.


RJ January 4, 2010 at 7:42 am

For all those of you who read it and only saw "She's complaining about lost luggage" – that was NOT the point of her story. The poster was talking about how rude people were to the poor employee, who was NOT responsible for losing the bags but was doing what he could to retrieve them. The poster herself sounds like she was not only calm and polite, but very kind.

Sheesh, people, read the whole story!


Leave a Comment
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Previous post:

Next post: