Thursday, December 14, 2006

I almost lost my luggage

I made the fatal mistake of using very generic looking luggage with no distinctive markings. Usually, I have a colorful piece of gimp that I attach to the zipper but I failed to attach it in my haste leaving. When we arrived back at Logan Airport in Boston, I was busy changing Dova while the luggage did a carousel dance from one baggage claim to another. When we got out, most everyone had picked up their luggage and left. We got Doug's, Adam's and Dova's suitcase, but no sign of mine. I spotted one that looked just like mine even with a similar hard plastic luggage tag, but it clearly was not mine upon closer inspection. Heck, no big deal, my Zen non-materialistic side said, it's only some dirty laundry and my work laptop (thankfully I didn't bring my own laptop). Plus the work laptop has an annoying BIOS password to render it useless to most folks. But then I realized there were some things that I really didn't want to lose.
  1. The first big annoyance was that my coat was packed in there. I thought I was being smart by packing and checking my coat instead of lugging it along with everyone else's through the carry-on. But I didn't count on it being 19 degrees F the night we arrived back! Luckily, Doug had an extra windbreaker so it (barely) took the bite off.
  2. Although I claimed that I didn't mind losing my work computer, I didn't want to have to go back to my IT department and explain to them that I lost it on a personal trip. I'm sure there is some major violation in that.
  3. My glasses. In my frugal mindset, everyone in the family got glasses this year, so that next year, I wouldn't have to sign up for the Vision benefit. Losing my glasses would mean either having to get new prescription lenses for my old hideous glasses or buying a new pair outright for $539 (it was $243 under the plan and paid using FSA dollars). Ouch! My benefits are already locked in for next year and losing luggage is definitely not a "qualifying" event for changing them.
  4. Grandma paid $31 for this beautiful portrait of Dova with her favorite princess Ariel. The cost of the portrait is not so much the issue, but to replace it, we'd have to fly back to Disney World again and retake it!! Or perhaps with some major perseverance, I would be able to track it down through their thousands of portraits taken per day.
  5. This cute Ariel costume is certainly replaceable, but I did fork over $60 for it and buying another one would simply make the total cost of owning one completely outrageous.
In the end, I did receive my luggage the next day, with everything intact. One zipper was completely broken and now sports a distinctive piece of duct tape. Another zipper pull came off and it also had a TSA inspection tag which I usually get when I pack a laptop. Since it was so beat up, maybe it did simply got lost. My guess was that it was picked up by the person who owned a similar piece of luggage. Especially since I got this free present in the outer pocket. I didn't think that the Catholic Church was into proselytizing with pamphlets, but apparently, it is OK to do so with stolen luggage!

Lessons learned: take the glasses in the carry on as well as the coat in wintertime. Plus I'm really a material girl after all. More posts on the actual trip to come...


Anonymous said...

Like the new header, that's pretty darn cool looking! Looks like you guys had a heck of an adventure.

One thing I learned the hard way one time, which fortunately turned out ok, was never ever pack your car and house keys into your checked luggage. I'm sure there's something about people breaking into houses, etc - but my problem was a flight that was delayed 16 hours. I couldn't even go home from the airport and come back, because my keys were in my checked bags, waiting for the plane - big high drama.

I also read about this guy's blog the other day who is experimenting with mail order eye glasses - I don't have any firsthand experience with it, but he's got some interesting info. Its glassyeyes dot blogspot dot com

Bigqueue said...

It's losing things on the trip out that freaks me out. I have had luggage lost for a couple of days, only to have to go to a meeting without notes or fresh clothes!

I tend to carry-on all notes (maybe just on a CD is I need to travel light) or send them to myself via email. I also pack one change of clothes on my carry on. (so I can at least rotate through the hotel laundry without having to rush out and buy things....)

But on the way home....I generally don't care if my bags get run over by the plane or sent through the engines while en-route....I'm going to be happy to get home and sleep in my own bed...and there is usually very little that makes me unhappy when that's within sight. (of course, I don't wear contacts these days, so I don't ever find myself without glasses on the plane...)