I have always enjoyed road trips, but a trip as far as California to Carolina goes without saying that an airplane should be involved, so we booked our flight two months in advance, also our car, and motel, win/win/win.
I bought Cindy a new suitcase for the trip, not a little suitcase but one big enough for her to carry all she needed and still have room for souvenirs, its made of lightweight material to make it easy to lift, and yet the size is impressive.
I got myself carried away and packed everything Cindy had laid out for the trip plus more, I threw in her laptop, my boots, all of her shoes and mine too, by the time I got finished, I had no idea what I had packed and I was proud of myself.
I called Cindy in and bragged “Hey look I got all our stuff in one suitcase” she looked at me shaking her head and asked, “How much does it weigh?” I reached down to pick it up and realized that I couldn’t, I slowly began to unpack.
From one suitcase we went to two and a couple of carry ons, and yes I had to take out some of the extra stuff that we really didn’t need, even though it did fit nicely in the big bag, all the tags with our information were attached, and even the cool locks that keep your stuff from falling out and disappearing, giving you the security that everything is going to arrive just fine.
Just before we left Cindy upgraded her smart phone to a new one that is virtually indestructible, you get it dirty and all you have to do is rinse it off, you run over it with a car and you just rinse it off, drop it off the roof and rinse it off, lose it accidentally in the toilet like a lot of people have done, and all you have to do is rinse it off, forget the rice just don’t forget to rinse.
I packed the chargers to our tablets and electronic devices into a leather bag, including Cindy’s new charger and cable which had yet to be opened and were still in the original packaging, I zipped this bag closed and packed it inside one of our suitcases, locked the fancy locks and checked our baggage at the airport, I was still under the weight limit so this was a good thing.
At our destination the first bag rolled down the ramp and hit the conveyor slowly making its way to us, the second bag finally rolled out and I grabbed it off the belt, everything looked good, we had the right information on the tags and the locks were still in place.
My Mom met us at the motel so we threw our luggage into our room, and had a mini Family reunion at a local restaurant with half of the family, we finally made it back to the motel around 11:30pm, and after a couple of delays at the motel we finally got a chance to unpack and unwind, I unlocked and opened the first suitcase and laying on top of our previously folded and neatly packed clothing was a note that said something like, “for your safety we randomly search luggage, and we chose you”
This kind of freaked me out, so I grabbed the other suitcase and among our obviously ransacked articles of clothing I found the bag containing our chargers unzipped and dumped, what I did not find was Cindy’s new charger and cable.
Telephone calls to the airport resulted in time wasted that I will never recover, that damned canned tune which played while I was on hold is still ringing in my head, finally getting through to the right person I was told to get on the website and email the link pertaining to pilfered luggage, which I did expecting a quick reply.
Two weeks later when we were getting ready to fly home I attempted to check in online, not happening, Cindy was sure it was due to my email, so I picked up the phone and felt a bit of my soul being sucked away again when the same canned tune began.
A real person finally answered and verified that the tickets were OK, I mentioned my email and inquired about when I may get a response, I had to explain the whole situation, then listen to a speech about how serious they were about the pilfering of baggage, I held on while she transferred me to the department which handles these claims.
Next person that answered gave me the same speech and told me it was TSA and not the airline, so I would be transferred again, this went on for what seemed like hours, and the last person who answered again gave me the speech and vowed to do everything in their power to help me, beginning with “When was your flight” and ending with “if you are serious about getting your stuff back you have to make a claim at your destination airport in person within twenty four hour of your arrival”
I was furious by then and asked how many people actually get their suitcases unpacked and can get back to their destination airport within twenty four hours to report a loss in person, I was informed that after twenty four hours they could not be responsible for a passengers supposed loss, I guess there is always a loophole.
On our return trip home I packed all of our important stuff in the carry ons, Cindy had some food and drinks that she knew was against the rules which she packed anyway, right on top of a full package of Oreo Cookies she attached a note, “A little something for you to snack on while you ransack our luggage”
Our luggage was untouched.