What? And you thought the Highlighter Inquisition was enough for one trip? Nahhhhh. I finally cleared "security", stopped in for a tall Canadian draft, hooked up my laptop and (big surprise) my flight was delayed. No real problem other than the fact that my connection is to the last plane to Charlotte from Philly. But, being the conservative traveler, I have built in 1.5 hours of connection time and the flight is just a hair over an hour, so I’m still feeling pretty good. Until the announcement. "Passengers traveling from Montreal to Charlotte, your plane has just left Philadelphia on it’s way here." Great news – unless it is already departure time for the flight. I shrug, board the thing when it gets there and resign myself to hotel and meal voucher land in Philly while weaseling myself to the seats closer to the front and calculating my gate to gate time in case a schism in the space time continuum helps me out.
The plane lands, the doors open. Myself, a woman headed to Phoenix whose flight takes off 5 min before mine two gates down from mine and a family with three little kids hit the ground runnning. Well, I’m running since I’m in my ultra comfy new airport Merrells – the rest of the crew are kinda hauling, limping and lurching, hampered by thoroughly impractical shoes and too many kids to carry and run with (not to mention the required 57 bags of kid junk). I spy an airport cart, empty, with driver. I step in front of it and ask how long to get to Concourse B. The driver tells me he’s not going there. Meanwhile, his cart fills with the band of refugees from my plane. I hop in, smile and say, "So where are we going then?". And we were off!
Whizzing through the Philadelphia airport, I try hard to see the departure screens, praying for a delay in my home leg. No such luck. Still, we are moving at a good clip, sling the lady going to Phoenix off at her gate (OK, so we slowed down *some*) and then screech to a halt in front of our gate. Which is deserted other than the gate agent packing up his stuff. We toss tickets at him, race down the jetway and fall into our seats in exhaustion. And then we wait. And wait. Then we slowly pull away from the gate. The speaker crackles. "Well, folks, we are in line for takeoff. Not exactly sure where since they only announce the top 10, but we are somewhere after that. Hopefully we should be able to take off in the next 30 minutes or so." *groan*
Flight to Charlotte (once we got off the ground) was uneventful, it goes without saying that my luggage did not make my plane so I got to stand in line to report it as having been "separated" (that’s the new term for "We freaking lost your stuff, mmmkay?"). Nice lady at lost… oops, separated… luggage pulls out her form. I hand her my baggage ticket with my number and tell her it is a jade green Samsonite hardside roller bag, overhead sized. She looks at me and says, "So what does your bag look like?". I try again. "It’s a green 22" Samsonite Silhouette hardside roller bag". She hands me a sheet of generic luggage pictures and tells me to pick one. I pick the hardside roller bag carryon. She asks what color. I say green. She asks if it has wheels. I check for a hearing aid. Finally she asks what kind of nylon. I apparently looked a tad cranky as the guy behind me says, "I don’t think hardsides are made of nylon." She hands me a disclaimer of loss sheet that says the airline isn’t responsible for the loss of anything valued over 42 cents and will only pay for those if you can provide original receipts (OK, so not that bad, but close) and a phone number to call in case they can’t find it.
I look at her, smile and say, "So how am I supposed to know if you can’t find it? It seems like you would know better what you can and can’t find, doesn’t it?". Nonplussed, she says, "Well, if we don’t find it, we won’t deliver it and you should call to see if we found it." I respond (now kind of having a twisted sort of fun), "So if you don’t deliver it at some point, I should call and ask if you found it and didn’t deliver it or if you didn’t find it and didn’t deliver it?" She says, "Yes." I say, "So why do you need my phone number?"
"We need your phone number so we can call you if we don’t find your luggage." Yep, it’s true. Common sense is less common than fish for Thanksgiving. Boy, I can’t wait for my flight to Vancouver…