A couple of weeks ago, my mother traveled to Atlanta for a conference. The first night she was there, she called me all excited and proceeded to tell me about the seventeen metric tons of junk she’d snagged at the vendor fair. I asked her how she was going to get it all home, and suggested she get another bag for it or something.
She ended up moving 95% of her clothes (basically, everything but her shoes) to her hanging garment bag and packed her suitcase with her haul of foam stress relievers shaped like animals and tote bags and pencils and jump drives and whatever other trinkets were handed out.
You know how this ends. Delta lost her hanging garment bag. So my mom arrived in Roanoke with nothing but her shoes and a suitcase full of flea market shit.
She has called the airline like a hundred and seventy-four times over the past couple of weeks, where they helpfully told her that most bags get lost at curbside check-in, which she used, and that they had no idea where her bag could possibly be, even though she’d watched them put a barcode tag on it.
When my luggage was lost on the way to New Hampshire a few years ago, US Airways knew within minutes that our bags were still sitting in Philadelphia, and two phone calls later I’d gotten authorization for reimbursement of $75 per day our luggage was lost so I could go out and replace some of the stuff. Two days later our bags showed up, so I got some free clothes out of the deal.
I don’t know if my mom is just not as crafty as I am, or if Delta just sucks, or if it made a difference that she was stranded without her bags in her home city rather than away, but so far she’s had to file some incredibly complicated six page claim form, and they haven’t offered to reimburse her for a thing.
Meanwhile my mom had packed pretty much every piece of spring work clothing she owned, including bras and underwear, and has had to go around looking like a hobo for the last two weeks. I’m like this too – I don’t have a lot of clothes and I tend to pack all of them when I travel, so if my suitcase were lost I’d be going to work in my Christmas tree flannel pajamas or something.
Last week sometime, Delta told her that they’d found a bag at Hartsfield with a 50% match to something or other, and that they were pretty sure it was her bag and they were going to fly it to Roanoke so she could make sure. I don’t understand the 50% match thing, because how can a barcoded bag have a 50% match? I don’t get that. But in any case, they were going to fly this orphaned bag up to us yesterday, and then Hartsfield basically shut down.
She is convinced that the world is out to get her.
So now, she may or may not get a bag that may or may not be hers this week, and we’re all wondering: where has it been? What has it been up to? What kind of condition will it be in? What will be left inside? My mom has some pretty cute clothes, so someone might have taken them all. And we’ve all heard horror stories about bags going missing for weeks at a time and then showing up all mangled and destroyed.
But at least her shoes and her vendor junk are intact.
Also, if you were interested in seeing the version of my sisters’ Queen performance that included pseudo-costumes, a kitten cameo, chicken-leg dancing, and a groin injury, you can go here to watch that.