You lost my luggage?

If it has happened to you in the past you are a rare beast. Statistics tell us that 99% of luggage arrives safely at its destination. Which is incredible if you think about it. I always look at my suitcase trundling down into that Neverland of suitcase mayhem and wonder if I will ever see it again. I get to the other end (of the world) and lo and behold there it is! It’s a miracle.

Look how happy she is.
Look how happy she is.

Not so much fun is losing your bag – forever!  Yes we have all had baggage delays and then that nice man from Calgary airport arrives at the front door at 11 pm a couple of days later with the missing bag.  But what about when it disappears completely?  What happened?  Did the baggage tag fall off?  Did your address label tear?  You know you should have bought the sturdy leather one and not rely on the last-minute paper labels at the check in counter.  And you do realise you should have put your name and address inside your suitcase?  Otherwise how will they ever know it’s your bag?  Another problem is filling in the form for the lost baggage.  Can you remember actually what colour or make your suitcase was?  I know I couldn’t.  Mmmm – did I take the red one or the black one this time?  Did it have two wheels or four wheels?  Maybe the best thing is to have such a distinctive bag that it really stands out in a crowd.

And talking about crowds…. what is it with the baggage carousel? People stake their claim to a place right in the front leaving the late arrivals bobbing around trying to peak between shoulders to see if they can identify their bag.  Then when you do see your bag you have to rugby scrum your way through the crowd to get to it before it scoots along the line and disappears down the hole again!

Your bag is not there yet!
Your bag is not there yet!

So eventually when your unidentified suitcase lands up in the warehouse someone has to go through the contents to see if there is a way of identifying the owner.  Not a nice thought.  Remember that next time you cram all your dirty washing in a plastic bag.  Imagine that after a few weeks in a warehouse in Barbados!

Apparently there are giant warehouses all over the world where lost luggage piles up and the contents are eventually sold to defray expenses.  John Smith of the Toronto Sun described how he went to what they call “Roll Out Tuesdays” where unclaimed items are sold sight unseen by the pound. .  A bit like Storage Wars.  There is even a whole website devoted to one such operation down in the States.  You can buy just about anything and their blog makes interesting reading.

I guess you could come away with some great bargains – including wedding gowns!  Imagine how mad that bride was…..I wouldn’t like to be the airline representative for that airline!  Mind you – some wedding dresses might be better off lost for ever…..bride

By Lesley Keyter

Lesley Keyter is the face of travel in the fast growing city of Calgary. Every week since 1997 she has has featured live on the Morning News Global TV.

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