Me and My Baggage
This is no metaphorical discussion and no, I am not about to discuss my emotional baggage (if any).
It is really about physical baggage. The baggage that I checked in on my recent trip to India, that is.
The travel was for only three days of meetings but unfortunately they required that I be physically present there.
Any normal person would not have to check in a bag for a short 3 day business trip. But, whoever said I’m normal? I’m my friends’ best courier service to and from India. 🙂
I’m always shuttling things back and forth for friends and family – whether it is clothing, jewelry, toiletries, medicines, or other stuff on request from people here and there. I try to avoid food stuff but that’s not always possible. At a minimum, I rule out the most obvious no-no’s, such as fresh fruit and vegetables. !!!!
Since I was needing to check in a bag anyway, all my work clothes went in there too. That includes the business suits I needed for the planned meetings, including our board meeting. Yikes!
I was traveling with a colleague who checked in his bag only because I did so, given that the wait at the other end would be inevitable anyway. Bet he never does that again!
Mid-way between US and India as we changed flights in Amsterdam, I checked with the counter on a lark to see if our bags had arrived and would be transferred to the ongoing, connecting flight.
They confirmed that my colleague’s bag was loaded on to the Mumbai flight but they could not locate mine. Could not locate! How could that happen? The airline employees looked confused as well. Not a reassuring sign!
I crossed my fingers, hoping that the computer had “overlooked” something and that my bag would magically arrive at the other end.
It was not to be my lucky night. 😦
The airline employees apologized profusely and assured me it would be there on the next flight to Mumbai, 24 hours later. This is what normally happens, and it has happened to me before.
I thought to myself, surely I can live with one day of no baggage…
However, for three solid nights, they told me the same thing.
Meanwhile, my assistant was calling the airline in the U.S. and the same thing was happening by our office staff in Mumbai, all frantically trying to help. [It turns out that I had become quite the celebrity at the Mumbai airport. When I checked in for my return flight, everyone (I mean everyone) knew me! And they all made sure they apologized…]
The worst part of this adventure was that they had no idea where my suitcase was.
But the night before I was to depart from Mumbai, my bag was finally located. It was in Paris! Wow. Paris? How’d it get to Paris??!
The agent assured me it was sure to be on the next flight from Paris to Mumbai. Problem was that it would arrive just as I was departing my favorite, aromatic city.
Back on the phone. Please, please don’t send it to Mumbai! Ship it back home. Pronto.
Turns out that the one time I had planned no shopping in Mumbai, I was forced out there to get some business attire to wear for my meetings. Not easy to do when your time is limited and getting out of the office before 9 pm is not possible. Thankfully, I managed and didn’t need to show up to the board meeting in jeans!
Happy ending though….when I landed in my small town airport in the U.S., my bag was there to greet me. Apparently, it had arrived on a flight just a couple of hours prior to my arrival.
To my amazement, when I opened it, everything was intact, just as I had packed it. One of the weirdest travel experiences I’ve had in a long time.
Now, I have to wait for my next trip to be courier again…because all that stuff is still there, just waiting to be delivered.