Monday, March 20, 2006

Lost Luggage

Did you know that airlines temporarily lost 30 million bags last year? 200,000 of those were never found. United Airlines once separated me from my bag for five days. I was flying out of John Wayne Airport in Orange County, returning to Baltimore (BWI), and when I arrived, my bag was nowhere to be found. Assuming my bag hadn't made the connection (it was a tight one in Denver), I filed a missing bag report and went on to Washington DC, expecting that it would be delivered the next day. Alas, it didn't arrive, and I had to return to Charlottesville the next day. Because I had been in California for two weeks, I had taken most of my wardrobe (that's right, I'm a poor grad student) on the trip, and consequently had to buy some shirts and socks in D.C.

I spent hours on the phone with United, berating them for losing my bag and trying to figure out what the compensation would amount to. Back in Charlottesville, I received a call from an America West agent in Phoenix alerting me that my bag had turned up in their lost luggage office. How it got there, I'll never know. Two days later it was back in Charlottesville, intact and with no items missing. United "apologized" with a fifty dollar voucher that could be used only when booking on the phone. My gratitude, to say the least, was limited.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Patrick said...

they lost "your" bag? :)

6:28 PM  
Blogger Phlip said...

OK, irregardless of whose bag got lost, that sucks.

Anyway, I thought the more interesting factoid was this: The 30 million misdirected bags comprised only 1 percent of the 3 billion bags processed last year by airports, up from 0.7 percent in 2004. So it's getting worse!

And yes, I used the word "irregardless" in an attempt to annoy you as an English student!

5:48 PM  
Blogger Ben said...

I would fire back with something to offend a scientist--like an unfalsifiable hypothesis--but alas I'm braindead. Thanks for the statistic; even though the situation to which they refer is getting worse, your numbers put things in perspective. Chances are pretty damn good that you'll get your bag...eventually.

3:51 PM  

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