In December I flew to Utah to spend the holidays with my family. The trip there was fraught with so many bad, random things going wrong that I seriously wonder if the 2016 curse wanted one last shot at me and mine.
On the way out the door that evening, my suitcase handle broke at the little metal part and fell right out of my boyfriend’s hand, slicing into his finger so deep he needed stitches.
I drove myself to the airport and he rushed to the ER that is luckily not five minutes away from us.
I’d never had to worry about parking at the airport since I always got a ride or a cab, so finding parking took a while, and then I was trying to haul my stupid ass suitcase across it to find the airport and I couldn’t see beyond the sea of cars to tell which direction it was in.
Luckily, a shuttle driver finally came along. She was very sweet and got me to the terminal right away since I was so close to being late for my flight.
I was so late they said my bag may not make it but they checked it anyway just in case and so they could fly it the next day if it didn’t make the plane.
I was going to my gate when they called my name overhead, saying I was about to miss my flight, so I booked it, laptop case that weighs about a fourth of me and all, and I barely made it to the gate, and only because the flight attendent was nice enough to argue with the pilot that they didn’t need to close yet and should give their stragglers the few minutes we had left before they had to close the door.
The run left me wheezing and coughing with what I’m pretty sure was a mild asthma attack for about 20 minutes straight. I guess I didn’t quite outgrow the bad lungs like I thought.
I got home to Utah okay after that, and my poor boyfriend luckily was fine. His finger is still healing as in it’s still sensitive, but there was no permanent damage, something I will forever be grateful for.
The bag understandably did not make it onto the plane since it was checked so late and Southwest’s bag handler said it was flown out of Nashville to Chicago since that’d be faster and it’d make it in the morning.
The bag mysteriously disappeared in Chicago. I called to see if it had made it to the airport and the person said they didn’t have a record of it and she’d have to start digging. She called back that night to say the bag had been found being scanned in at Boston. So somewhere in there, the bag was taken out of the system (since it wasn’t showing up at all) and then somehow misplaced.
Which is why I’m pretty sure what went down, went down in Chicago (besides the fact that it’s Chicago and pretty much one of the worst, criminal, corrupt cities in the U.S.).
My bag was flown in the next day and I got it that night. Southwest was very nice, gave me voucher for the inconvenience and for damaging one of the wheels. I went out to eat with my family (yes, I washed my clothes the night before since I was getting all kinds of skanky in the same outfit that long) and we went home that night.
When I unpacked, the bottle of bourbon I’d bought for my mom’s birthday (late December bdays are hard because they get swallowed by the holidays so we make sure mom’s bday is special) was gone, as was my push knife. The bottle of wine was still there and wrapped up, so I think it’s safe to say they didn’t take the expensive stuff out of my bag because they were afraid it’d break. And there would have been no reason to remove my push knife for any safety reasons.
So I called the bag people who’d been so nice when my bag was missing, and they didn’t answer, and I called and left messages, and they never got back to me.
I filed a claim online with the airline and the TSA and the TSA said you have to fill out a form and mail it in (It’s government, they have no incentive to do a good job or provide any kind of customer service) and they said in their email that the bags are only inspected by them very quickly and the airlines have it most of the time, basically saying they were going to claim no responsibility whatsoever.
The airline was more responsive, had me file things with them and send them pictures of the missing items and I’m going to see what they say, but I’m already getting the sense that they will not dig into the theft too much, and at best will reimburse me something.
Just to be clear, I’d rather have the thief fired, locked up and publicly shamed than be reimbursed, because he’ll be able to do this again, and probably has before.
Moral of this story? Don’t fly with the good stuff. When I shared my story, a ton of my friends jumped in and shared their stories of stuff being stolen from bags, showing this is not as uncommon occurrence as I had thought. So ship your stuff, because airlines and the TSA both can point to the other and say it must’ve been the other one’s people, the airline may do something, but the TSA sure as hell won’t, and they sure as shit make it difficult for you to file the claim and then make you wait while they mull it over.
Don’t fly with the good stuff, and make sure your bag’s up to snuff on being carried too because if my poor boy had been more badly injured, there would’ve been a lawsuit against the suitcase maker as well.
And don’t forget to check out my sales. Evie 5 for $0.99 for only one more day .
And Evie 3 up for free till midnight 😉