2007-08-01

Foiled again by air travel...

I've traveled a fair amount for work in the last couple of years. I thought I was pretty savvy. I know how to get through security quickly, when to use the sky cap, where to find the outlets to charge my laptop, when to book flights when they're cheaper, etc. But, today, I was totally flummoxed by our modern air travel system.

My flight left early. Let me say that again... MY FLIGHT LEFT EARLY. When does that ever happen? Like a lot of business travelers, I have the timing down perfect so that I don't waste too much time sitting in the air terminal . But, to have someone just up and decide to leave early, well, that's unheard of! What do you tell your boss when you miss your flight? That they decided the plane was full enough and just decided to go? Yeah, like he/she is ever going to believe that. Luckily, I made my flight anyway. The ticket agent warned me that the plane was leaving early (information that would have been useful YESTERDAY.)

But even though I made my flight, the airline had even more in store for me. My weakness, you see, is that I hate carry-on. Yes, I know it's faster and there's less chance of losing a bag, but it's so nice to be able to just slip into your seat without heaving something into the overhead bin, and then risk getting crushed when you have to pull it out again. And, in all my travels, I have NEVER lost a bag. So, I usually tempt fate and check it, like I did this morning. The problem came when I arrived at the destination and went to the baggage carousel -- and waited, and waited, and waited. There was an announcement over the PA saying that our bags were at a different carousel, so a whole bunch of us stampeded over there to wait some more. Then, bags arrived, but from a totally different flight. It was now nearly an hour since we landed, and I went back to the original carousel. It was then that I noticed all this luggage lined up against the wall, with people from my plane looking scouring for their luggage. So, I did the same. And surprise surprise, I found my luggage! Against the wall, nowhere near either designated carousel.

Was this some kind of cruel arline joke? Or did our luggage somehow leave early, too?