Hope Dims For Lost Bag

January 14, 2010

in Luggage Stories

Several years ago I was traveling fairly often to Del Rio, Texas to visit my fiance who was stationed there. Del Rio is a tiny little border town 3 hours from anything. Luckily, Continental had recently started flying a little commuter plane in a couple times a day. The only problem with the little commuter plane was it had severe weight restrictions and routinely luggage was arbitrarily left sitting on the tarmac. Many trips I made to Del Rio and back and was lucky enough to get back home and always had my luggage with me – until December 17, 2006.

I was living in Orlando at the time and remember getting in late that night. Orlando can be very slow getting luggage from the plane to the baggage claim area. It is not unusual to wait 30-45 minutes, sometimes an hour. So I sat there waiting and watching for the luggage from my flight to arrive. I watched all the luggage come out and go round and round and everyone claim their bags and leave the airport. I watched the few remaining unclaimed bags circle the conveyor belts until the conveyor belts were turned off. No bag for me. It was very late, close to midnight, I had to be up at 7:00 the next morning to go to work and now I have to file a claim for lost luggage.

The Continental baggage claim employee working at near midnight on a Sunday was about as happy to see me as I was to see her. What color bag? Black – just like everyone else’s. Wheels? Zippers? Yes – just like everyone else’s. Pull handle? Of course. Just like everyone else’s. I was issued my claim ticket, given the 1-800 number and web address to check the status and shoved on my way.

The next day at work I am online every hour checking the status of my claim. Coworkers are popping their heads in my office – have they found the bag? Heartbroken, I tell them no. By 10:30 a.m. I’ve decided all hope is lost and I start making an inventory of everything I had in the bag so when Continental determines my bag is a lost cause I can get all my money’s worth from them for all my worldly belongings. I start calling the 1-800 number in addition to checking the website just in case a live person knows more than the Internet. They don’t. By the end of the day I have committed myself to the realization I will never see my poor luggage again. But alas, not 15 minutes after getting home, I get a call – my bag has been found and it’s on its way to me!

Later that night, just out of curiosity, I log back onto the Continental claim website to see what the status of my claim says. Instead of saying something mundane like “resolved” or “file closed” or something like that, it says “WHO KNOWS WHERE BAG HAS BEEN.” I found it hilarious. I saved a screen shot of the page. I’d like to think my luggage had a little adventure of its own without me.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Demotage January 16, 2010 at 10:21 pm

Glad you got your bag back. Somebody seems to have had a sense of humor at the airline. Although not a flight thing, it reminds me of a letter I once received in the mail ….. Months after it was sent. The USPS has rubber-stamped the envelope with "Found in supposedly empty equipment". Ive always found it funny that the post office actually had a rubber stamp that said that.


Wavy February 1, 2010 at 10:38 am

I'd love to see that screenshot.


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