Thursday, January 10, 2008

I don't know where to begin ...

Perhaps I should begin at the end. Imagine a small room at Auckland International Airport around noon today. There are several disgruntled people sitting about and they are trading stories of how THEIR bag has been lost since MONDAY !!! I realize that we are in a class by ourselves … we are beyond angry … we are beyond hope. These dear creatures still think it is possible that THEY could be reunited with their bag. We say nothing. Despite the fact that Sydney phoned us last evening to tell us that the bag was on a 6:30 PM Air New Zealand flight, we are not at all sure that reunification is imminent. After all they told us the same thing on Saturday the 5th and yet somehow the bag had been routed back to Sydney instead of to our hotel.

I cannot begin to outline the HOURS we have spent on retrieving this bag and replenishing its contents. The medications alone required a full day in Christchurch seeing a doctor and then going to two pharmacies for medications that cost an arm and a leg. And then there were the phone calls … to Sydney … to Chicago and a hopelessly ineffective United baggage claim office where no one seemed to be able to do anything but “wait for the bag to show up in our system.”

We know that the bag was delayed in LA, but not why. We know that on 12/20 they forwarded it to us in Ayers Rock. We spoke repeatedly with baggage people in Ayers Rock who swore they never saw the bag. Apparently it sat in Ayers Rock until the 30th of December when it was returned to Sydney. By the time we heard that it had been found, they were planning to ship it back to Virginia. Then the Sydney to Auckland and back to Sydney snafu happened. So when the Air New Zealand baggage agent wheeled our little green bag out the door, we turned to the assembled crowd and said simply “Twenty-three days … Twenty-three days we have been waiting for this bag.” A hush came over the room … a respect for our combat status by those new recruits in the baggage wars who had yet to know the true test of battle … and we headed off to START our vacation.
another satisfied United customer ... (NOT)

1 comment:

Liz said...

Enjoy the rest of your trip! :)