Luggage Woes

- wadE

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This isn't the first time I've railed against Northwest Airlines, the TSA, or Laguardia Airport for handling of luggage.

About the only thing that has changed in the 2 years since I wrote that article is that you no longer have to wait at the TSA scanner with your luggage to potentially open it for inspection. Instead they just go ahead an open it on their own, and will cut any locks off if you have them. Makes you feel safe, doesn't it?

At any rate, LGA (Laguardia Airport for those of you not up on your airport TLAs) was once again a mad house flying back after the holidays. There's a whole other story on flying with two dogs, but I'll save that for another time. Since I was stressed at the time trying to keep two dogs from running loose in an airport, I didn't even think about the TSA person you leave your bag with being inundated with baggage up to his waist.

Even with Chelle getting upgraded (and therefore getting to the front of the security line) we barely made the flight (adding to the stress levels). Upon arriving back at MSP, we get off the plane and go for our luggage, renting one of those lovely carts for a $3 fee (3 freakin' bucks?!? What a ripoff that is!). Anyway, by the time we get off the plane, take the dogs outside for a pee break, and get to the luggage carousel most of the luggage is off the plane...what I didn't know at the time is that all of the luggage was off the plane. I find one of our 3 bags and wait for the rest. Fast Forward, and I come to realize that 2 of our bags never made it.

So I visit the lovely lost baggage counter to find out where my bags are. After some incessant typing on the keyboard, I come to find out that there is no record of any of my bags in the system, even the one I was holding in my hand. According to Northwest, my bags were tagged, but never checked. At least I was able to return my lovely cart for the 25 cent return bonus!

To make a long story short, the bags eventually showed up a day later at 7:45 at night. A bit dirty, but otherwise not missing anything, which I fully expected since the two that didn't make it contained 99% of the xmas presents that were packed.

Several things disturb me about this. First, anyone could have easily swiped my bag from the TSA. They were literally up to their waists in baggage. They have a tiny area out in the lobby in LGA, as opposed to MSP where they are actually behind the scenes in the bagroom, so the counter people take your bags and put them on the belt like they used to. Second, the most probable reason my bags didn't make the flight is that the TSA didn't get them out in time. While I wouldn't want them to skimp on checking bags, they might want to consider better staffing for peak times such as the holidays. Lastly, Northwest had no record of my bags... none. Even the one that actually made it on the plane and was unloaded in MSP. Normally they are sticklers about this. I've been delayed several times on flights while the crew had to find a bag for person who didn't make the flight because you can't travel without your luggage... but apparently it's not a problem to send your luggage late? Somehow this doesn't make me feel safer...just more angry and stressed.

Happy #$%&$@ New Year!!!! :-)

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