Me • Airports • Luggage
Let me start by saying, I love to travel. The idea of exploring new places and cultures excites me to no extent. However, my years of traveling has brought from within me an innate hatred towards the airports treatment of my “check-in” luggage.
Here is how it all began; the very first time, I travelled internationally, my luggage was delayed. I received it after 24 hours. Traveling to a new country and I don’t even have a change of clothes! Words can’t describe my fear and feelings.
From then on, I think I gained the status of “favorite toy” of the primary luggage gods and on some occasions, the airport gods.
The next time I travelled, our pilot declared technical issue just before take-off. As a result, we stayed in the plane for two hours. And on occasion, they had to completely turn off the plane, so no light and fresh air.
Interestingly, the next few years allowed me to travel largely nationally, and in those trips, I remained incident proof. So, I guess my favorite toy status was limited to international flights only.
Once upon a time, travel destination Asia, my check-in and carry-on luggage stars collided and shook my travel mood once again. Of course, as an experienced traveler, I know the weight and size constraints of my carry-on luggage, but also as an experienced traveler I know almost never, it is put to test in terms of size. So, this one time I had gotten carried away, and stuffed a lot of things in my carry-on. And of course, it had to be that time the airline staff made me put my bag in one of those carry-on size measure bins near ticketing. I had two choices; take out stuff to fit the bin or check the bag. I tried my best to get stuff from carry-on to put in my shoulder bag (my larger bags were already checked and submitted), but no dice, so I just spent $140 and checked in my carry-on.
Other small level infractions include, squashing of my luggage, which led to me parting ways with a delicate, perfume bottle and a wooden box with intricate painting of cherry blossoms in a Japanese theme. And here is a fun fact, I had them stick on it the “fragile” sticker and right in front of me, the attended helping the lady on the ticketing counter, tossed it on the conveyer belt! Wheeeee…. went my fragile luggage.
Next destination Europe!
Guess what, I ended up traveling with a bag with no wheels! Come on, me, my family, no one figured this out, even when my brother had to drag the bag from the house to the car. It just didn’t register, a.k.a. the luggage gods had completely shut down that part of our brain. So, imagine my shock, I land in Europe with an approximate 50 lbs of weight, drag yes, carry, hell no! Here is the other cool bit of information; the other bag, its handle was broken. I hope the airport workers had fun tossing my luggage. No more, sliding out the handle to wheel the bag away in peace. I cannot revisit in writing, the amount of pushing, dragging, tossing, turning and at some point, kicking, I had to do to move, slide in, and slide out the bag on & off the trolley and later, on & off the train. Thank God, people were picking me up at my final destination, so at least they could carry the wheel-less bag between the two of them and I was stuck with awkwardly wheeling the handless-bag.
The next few times, I traveled within Europe, gave me mixed experiences. Maybe the gods were confused, as to travel within Europe should be considered a regional like trip or an international one. The times, I was traveling light, just a carry-on, I had drama free travel. The time, I checked-in my luggage, my favorite hard shell magenta colored bag, that depending on occasion could be used both as a carry-on and with the extra zip as check-in, came back to me, with one wheel ripped off! I swear, it seemed like someone hated that particular wheel and just tore it out.
However, my unlucky stars were back to their original axis the next time I travelled internationally (outside Europe). First, I have lost count of the times I weighted and re-weighted my bags to make sure I know exactly how much each bag overweighs, so that I can estimate the over-weight fee properly. But naturally, the minute I put them on the scale at the ticketing booth, my world went off its axis. Because, the final weight was not even in the same galaxy of my estimate, I ended up paying a fee almost1/3 of the ticket cost, for the additional luggage. As if that was not enough, when I reached North America, my luggage, all three checked-in bags were misplaced! Thank God, they were delivered the next day at my house. In the meantime, the attendant at the lost/misplaced luggage booth, gave me a one night survival kit. A 5 by 4-inch black baggie, the contents were a small tooth brush and paste (the size of my finger), a wet tissue, lotion and a deodorant stick.
After all is said and done, I am not giving up, although, I do hope the luggage and airport gods give up on me. I shall strive to realize a luggage-incident-proof trip for as long as I shall live.
To be continued…
Please, don’t hesitate to leave sympathetic comments or share your luggage abuse story