Hey bellas! I got back from fabulous Las Vegas this afternoon. More on the trip later. Right now, I need to vent.
This is the third round trip flight I’ve taken on American Airlines this year. This is the second time that they’ve lost one of my bags in transit. And this time, they’ve done gone and lost all of my makeup and hair products and other precious personal items. I am beyond, beyond, beyond pissed. And besides that, I’m frazzled, I don’t have my daily essentials for tomorrow, and it’s totally thrown off my day.
If you’ve ever had a bag get lost in airline travel, you know the feeling all too well. Waiting while everyone else gets their items and floats on out of the terminal. Feeling that sinking weight in your stomach when the carousel turns off and the little gate where suitcase after suitcase came tumbling out is brutally shut. The helpless frustration that washes over you as the inevitably overwhelmed desk clerk listens to your story, a story they’ve no doubt been hearing versions of all day long. Then the waiting. Some wind up lucky and get their stuff back within the week. Judging from the depressing room of abandoned suitcases we saw today at Miami International Airport, many other people aren’t that lucky.
I try to be as sweet and kind to airport workers as possible. We’ve got family friends who are stewards, stewardesses, and pilots. I know from the stories I’ve heard from them, the industry has become a much less enjoyable environment. You hear the same refrain from people who remember the glory days of airline travel — flying isn’t fun anymore. Between figuring out newly implemented and convoluted computerized check in methods, throwing away your liquids and cigarette lighters, removing your shoes through security, and racing to your always distant gate in time for seating, it’s become an often stressful experience. Dealing with an often irate and ignorant public on a daily basis has to take a toll on you. I watch Airline. I get it. People can be crazy. But I’ve had some absolutely insane-making airport experiences and it seems to me that there is a lot the industry could do to alleviate some of its own problems. Start by training your staff to deal with people like they’re intelligent and reasonable human beings. Then try contacting some of those people whose bags are collecting dust in airports across the country.
My friend John came to pick us up from the airport, so he got to drive in circles for an hour plus, while we filed a bag claim report. He also had a bag get lost by American this year, and when they found it, they told him he needed to come pick it up himself. Never mind the fact that they were the ones who misplaced it, and he doesn’t have a car. When we finally left for home, I told John I felt compelled to write about it, to somehow get it out there that this track record of theirs sucks and I’d be completely done flying their airline if only I had a choice in the matter. (I don’t have a ton of choice, especially when it comes to flying to Trinidad). “Go ahead and write about it, but the thing is, nothing you say or do is going to affect American Airlines,” John said. “They won’t ever change because they don’t need to change, and we all just have to accept their shitty service.” He’s probably right. And that sucks.
I called the 1800 automated line, and they say my bag has been found and will be delivered within six hours after the delivery service gets it. There’s an asterix by that “six hours,” because they can’t guarantee the time of delivery. I’m praying it gets here before I leave for work tomorrow morning. It better. Grrrr!
Got an airport luggage nightmare story of your own, bellas? Share it with me!
** edited at 9:50 a.m. — They just dropped off my bag. Woo hoo! And from a cursory check, my stuff seems to be in order. At the very least, my most valuable items are there. And that’s all I care about. Now I’m off to thank the Lord, go to work, and listen to some Stevie Wonder to calm my spirit on the way. Today might not be such a bad day after all!