Luggage: 1, Me 0.
This was a long travel day, even for me. It wasn't the four flights that concerned me, but the three having very tight connections. I packed a strong carry-on already foreseeing the future that my checked bag would get lost in transit.
- Roanoke [ROA]-->Atlanta [ATL]
- ATL-->Charles De Gaulle [CDG]
- CDG-->Amsterdam [AMS]
- AMS-->Zagreb, Croatia [ZAG]
The first two legs went uneventfully. I stopped through One Flew South in Atlanta for my favorite pre-flight meal, stocked up on some tasty snacks and even had an exit row seat to stretch out and sleep for my flight over to Paris.
From the start, I was skeptically eying my transfer in Amsterdam to Zagreb. It was only 40 minutes and I needed to pass through immigration. I thought getting to Amsterdam would be easy, so I was dumbfounded when I heard my name over the plane’s PA system as we were about to depart from Paris. Anytime I hear my name publically announced, I automatically cringe. No good can ever come of this.
I raised my hand and the flight attendant told me I had to deplane. Deplane?! Confusion and frustration passed over immediately and maybe I wasn’t a model citizen in those brief moments. While walking past the stares and judgments from other passengers, I asked the flight attendant what was going on. He gave me a very weak answer that I was being escorted off because my checked bag hadn’t made the flight.
When did it become customary to make me miss the rest of my flights because they had failed to get my bag on the plane? I understand upgraded security issues but I’ve had my share of lost bags even recently and never once been forced to also miss flights. Typically, I am the last person waiting at baggage claim staring longingly at the empty conveyor belt before I accept my bag has been lost in transit.
After a perplexing conversation with the Air France attendants at Charles De Gaulle, I was standing in the airport with no flight and no rebooking. A brief stop through the lounge was useless. I didn’t even grab a quick glass of bubbles to help with the stress. At customer service, I’m not sure if the woman hated her job or hated me, or both. Without seeing any other options, I logged onto the KLM app and saw a flight to AMS and then on to ZAG that got me into Croatia only 1.5 hours after my scheduled arrival. These are the moments I’m so happy I have my credit card memorized. Simple. Easy. Booked.
I think desperation was written all over my face because the customer service woman finally offered to cancel my original flight to Croatia so I could recoup some money.
It shouldn’t come as a shock, but when I arrived in Zagreb, my bag was lost. Of course it was lost.
After a few hours of work and a quick shower, I washed away my sorrows with a fantastic hotel dinner of grilled squid and veal washed down with a glass (or maybe two) of wine.