Friday, August 10, 2007

lost baggage

Just enjoying an Illy cappuccino on this cold, rainy day in Paris. Mon petit fee is napping. He has a cold because I dressed him in a short sleeved shirt thinking the sun's out, it's August, it must be warm outside. Still had Spain on the brain. I look very much out of place here with my tan and tossled hair. Tan courtesy of Spain. Tossled hair courtesy of Air France.

Twice our luggage was lost this trip. Going to Palma de Mallorca, Spain and then retuning to Paris. We knew we were in big trouble when we went to fetch our bags on the luggage belt in the small airport in Palma. Our flight had been delayed out of Paris so naturally we missed our connecting flight. Luckily though we were on the next plane to Palma, all three of us assigned separate seats. I about flipped, but quickly realized that was an easy fix. Who on earth would wish to sit next to a toddler without either parent next to him?

I had never seen any airport with so many unclaimed bags as there were in Palma. There were bags still going around on the luggage belt for over the two hours that we were there. Tons of bags were piled up against the wall, and there were bags and bags and bags everywhere just waiting to be claimed. Foreboding 101. We checked three plus a stroller and received nothing! Our cameras were in one of them (I wasn't thinking clearly and accidentally checked that bag - Oops!) It took one hour to stand in line and report our missing luggage to the one person that sat behind the counter. We thought we would never see any of them again. And a toddler in the city without a stroller is trouble so I could not unwind though I desperately needed it. Lucky for us though, we made it to the place we were staying and wouldn't you know it, they brought each one of our bags the very next morning! I would never have thought this would have had the happy ending it did. Too bad the return to Paris wasn't as easy.

Once again, our second leg delayed and our luggage lost. We've been flying for years and have never had this problem. When/if we return to Palma next summer, we will be flying Iberia! Anyway, we did receive one bag and the stroller but two were still missing. So off to the agents to report it.

There were eleven agents here as opposed to one in Spain. The luggage areas were about the same size. Thankfully it didn't take too long to fill out the paperwork. There were no unclaimed bags anywhere, the luggage area was spotless, and there were several agents walking around to pick up any stray bags and assist people. This was last Saturday.

On Monday they brought one bag and then called the porcellino to tell him the file was closed because we had received all of our bags. But this was not the case, we were still missing one bag. She didn't understand how this could be since it was noted in the file that we had received this bag already. Who told her that? Santa Clause? No, we hadn't received it. So they re-opened the file. Tuesday, I call.
me: Where is our second bag?
agent: It should be there. (typical French response - stressing the word "should") It arrived on Sunday. It should come in the afternoon or evening.

Wednesday, no bag so I call again.
me: Where is our second bag?
agent: You are still missing a bag? You need to fill out a form and send it in because sometimes they rip off the tags and throw them away.
What? Who is "they" and why would they do something so stupid? I call two hours later.
agent: You haven't received your bags yet? I will contact the delivering company and tell them to deliver you bags asap since you have been waiting so long.

Yesterday I got on the bus. All I had was a 10. Bus fare is 1,50. The driver asked if I had change. I said, no, sorry.
Phhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh huge sigh, mumble, shrugging shoulders like I was asking him to clean up the dog poop on the way. He took each coin out of the drawer and slammed them on the change tray like he was killing roaches. Later that afternoon I got stuck in the pouring rain with the tooter and mon petit fee. Mon petit fee had an umbrella, but I forgot mine because I was not expecting God to slit the sky. Got drenched and was freezing forgetting it was August.

Tomorrow it will have been a week since we arrived back to Paris. I called the airline every day since last Saturday. This last week reminded me why I needed a vacation in the first place and more importantly, why we don't want to stay here any longer. My sanity is actually important to me! Today I call again and the agent told me that the bag was lost and that they were trying to locate it. I was not too happy, but did realize that someone else may have a different story. So I called back again an hour later and that agent told me that yes, the bag was lost, but they found it and would be delivering it today. After all that I did get so lucky. Pristine Paris has its place, but I much prefer to live in organized chaos.