Yes, my luggage went missing – AGAIN. And this time, I was pretty impressed!
My luggage probably went missing just at the very start of my last adventure. This is what happened: I was due to fly out of Sydney around 8pm. Little did I know that there were massive thunderstorms rolling into the area.
I breezed though airport security without a hitch when my phone rang. I normally don’t don’t answer unknown numbers, but this time I felt REALLY compelled to do so. Was I about to have the most Matrix-like moment in my life? Was I the modern-day Neo? I had to find out.
“Hello? This is Tara…” On the other end of the line was the QANTAS representative I had just checked my luggage with. There was urgency in her voice. She seemed quite concerned and suggested putting me on an earlier flight just to be sure I made my connecting flight to Dubai as my flight to Melbourne was delayed by at least an hour. This seemed like a good idea, so I accepted the change, got my new boarding pass printed and went to the gate.
Ten, fifteen minutes passed and that’s when… This announcement happened: “We wish to apologise that due to the weather, Sydney Airport is now closed” Um.. guys.. seriously? Wow, that was a first for me. No flights were coming in or going out. The storm was THAT bad.
Delayed flights in Australia don’t bother me too much; they’re pretty uncommon. Years ago I was up in the Gold Coast when one heck of a crazy electrical storm rolled though the area. The airport was completely closed down for the night. I was stranded in Queensland but it was ok, because the airline put the entire flight up that night. The next day, I woke up feeling refreshed and headed to Sydney.
But I mean, I wasn’t stranded – thanks to QANTAS’ quick-thinking we were gonna outsmart this thunderstorm and get me to Europe!
After waiting about an hour, we were able to board our plane. The flight to Melbourne was completely ordinary… but this is where I went from “Economy Traveller Tara” to “Travel Like a Rockstar Tara!”
My on-board flight attendant had a bit of a chat with me before the landing. There would be a QANTAS representative waiting for me at the gate to help me navigate the airport. This was awesome! I was getting the full VIP treatment on the cattle class budget!
As soon as I arrived to the gate, we were boarding the plane. I took my seat and that’s when the feeling of dread washed over me. I JUST realised that my luggage wasn’t going to make it. Looking back, my luggage was probably still on the first flight I was due to take to Melbourne. And if that was the case, there was no chance that my luggage would be traveling with me.
Oh well. There’s nothing I can do to fix this. I navigated Dubai and London like a champion. Both those flights were delayed. Actually, all four of my flights were progressively delayed. Maybe my luggage would make it, but I didn’t have high hopes.
I arrived in Stuttgart, Germany. I used my Jedi mind powers to will my luggage onto the luggage belt. And then… there was a big loud “clunk” sound. The belt stopped. It just stopped… I looked around feeling like a lost little puppy dog. Not one person that was on my flight was around. Everyone was gone. I was the only person standing in the baggage arrival. That’s when I realised… yep… my bag never arrived.
I walked out of the airport and told the attendant about “the curious case of the missing luggage.” I gave my German address and hoped for the best.
I used all the online tools available and even took to Twitter to find out where the heck my luggage went! This time, however, I felt like my luggage was gone forever. Communication with British Airways (they were the code share) was really lacking and there was absolutely nothing I could do. Then, the next day… just as I was about to give up all hope, there was a buzz at the door. My luggage arrived in all it’s glory minus the excitement and fanfare of the last time my luggage went missing.
So, there you have it, folks… that’s what happened. A life-lesson worth mentioning: You can strike the lost baggage jackpot TWICE, in a frickin’ row – when you least expect it.
And here’s some tips I’ve compiled from my past lost luggage experiences.
- Make a quick list of what you’re packing. It’s really annoying to do this step, but the airline will be asking what’s in your bag. So, just have a really rough list and quantity of what you’ve got.
- Take a photo of your bag. This will help when you’re trying to explain what the thing looks like. This way, you won’t have to reach back in your brain to remember what colours your bag is or what kind of identification markings it’s got.
- When you realise that your luggage has gone missing, tell both the airline and your insurance company what happened. Tell them ASAP… that way if you make a claim, there’s already an email trail.
- Can’t get any answers? Try Twitter! I’m serious. The best way to fine out what the heck is going on is to take to social media. They airline will private message you and let you know the status.
- Keep all the paperwork from the airline. This includes ticket stubs and your baggage tags. You’ll need all of this to lodge a claim. And if you do purchase some new clothes, keep those receipts, too. In some cases you’ll need to supply the originals – I hate that because things can get lost in the mail – so the last time I sent mail to an airline with originals, I made sure to certify the letter. I also took photos of everything!
Have I missed any tips? If so, please list your travel hacks below!
An Aussie girl gone walkabout in the great big world!