It's not the luggage, it's the baggage.
First, American Airlines will never get my or my family's business ever again. Ever.
Second, coming to terms with possibly losing your luggage actually happens pretty quickly. The good news is that it happened on the way home and not on the way to somewhere.
Third, ultimately, it's just stuff.
Here's the short version. Incoming plane delayed in Miami so our flight was arriving and departing two hours late. We knew we'd miss our connecting flight to JFK. No ticket agent at desk. Waited thirty minutes, walked to call AA. Boom! Desk agent. Very long line. Called AA reservations, no direct flights out of Miami 'til Monday. Maybe a couple of standby seats Sunday night. No itinerary change had been sent. Bought three tickets on United for Sunday morning to Newark, made an overnight hotel reservation with points, faboo hubby had to get home. Will deal with cancellation in Miami. Got on plane, landed in Miami, turned on phone. Ding! New itinerary! Sunday morning, back to JFK via….Columbus. Wait...WTF? Columbus? On non-AA, regional jets, 22-seaters. No.Nope. Not doing that. Good news. Bags on Carousel 24! Baggage claim…actually, no. Bags not on Carousel 24! Baggage claim desk. Why? Bags have been re-routed to JFK via...Columbus Fucking Ohio! We request bags be pulled. Bags cannot be pulled off domestic flights until itinerary is cancelled. Upstairs to ticketing. Cancel itinerary. Bag request made. Vouchers given. Cannot use vouchers in United terminal in morning. Back to baggage. Bags will take two to eight hours to retrieve and store in baggage room. Temper tantrum! Wait! One bag is coming on Carousel 27! We wait. And wait. And wait. While waiting, apology to recipients of temper tantrum. At 9pm, no bag. We confirm bag babysitting and will pickup all bags in morning. Taxi…Aloft…food…wine…shower…sleep...5am…taxi…airport…baggage claim desk. Good morning Maria, we are here for our bags. Oh no, your bags aren't here. They have already left for your final destination. JFK. NO! Our final destination is now Newark! You can have them delivered from JFK. Fine. Request made. Delivery info confirmed, they should be at your house this afternoon. They will call when they are leaving. Great. Check-in just got easier. Eat, board plane, turn off phone, read, play Bubblewitch, nap, read…land in Newark. Turn on phone…no ding. Hmmmm. Friend with car service picks us up. Tell him the tale of woe. He's going back to JFK later, he could grab them. Nah…I'll just call when we get home. 3:15pm. Home! Kitteh! Chartrooez porch! Call American Airlines to get delivery time. Speak to Leslie. Oh gosh no…only two of those bags were sent to JFK last night, they arrived at 1:27am. The other arrived at JFK…let's see…oh, ten minutes ago! So that's why no ding! Because the bag got on a plane AFTER I got on a plane even though we were told all three were already there. GAH! Tell Leslie a friend can pick bags up, is that possible? Yes, make notation in file. Text friend with car service. Text friend photos of bags and luggage claim tickets. Cross fingers, say "fuck it" and start to make mental list of everything in bags and do an estimate of replacement costs. Get wine, play convict scrabble with my boys. Ding! Text from friend! Photo of bags! Are these them? YESYESYESYESTHOSEARETHEM! Bags arrive at the abode with in friend's vehicle at 8pm-ish. THANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOU! Bags in living room. Celebratory glass of wine. And yes, that really is the short version.
Here is the important part. I realized at some point post-temper tantrum, that it really was only stuff. Stuff can be replaced. We were all together, we were safe, we would be home the next day, we had the important papers. So, what was the deal? What was my baggage with the luggage?
First, lack of control, that is really hard for me. I'm a problem solver by nature, not being able to act and fix the problem gets me pretty unsettled. Second, gross incompetency. We were straight up lied to, given misinformation or told a different story at each leg of this "interesting" adventure, likely to simply get us to go away. Leading to the third, a total lack of professionalism that was was pretty stunning.
Ultimately, we've already been refunded that leg of the trip, within 24 hours I might add. But it was still pretty paltry considering the expense of three additional one-way tickets because...NOT Columbus Ohio.
And, I'm pretty sure there is an asterisk next to my frequent flyer number. Oh well. Hello? United?
UPDATE: I can't even make it up! I posted this blog at 5:20pm. Went downstairs and I have a message from AMERICAN AIRLINES baggage resolution department. Even though our baggage was in fact removed from the airport, THEY need to know that we received our luggage so they can update the file.