It was bound to happen eventually — after 9 or so international journeys (I’m losing count) our luggage was lost on our trip to the UK. It’s easy to see how it happened. We arrived at the airport in plenty of time, and we got to the gate without a problem. Then, just at boarding time, our flight disappeared from the monitoring screen at the gate — never a good sign. Then “all passengers connecting to London” (us, plus a woman named Dorothy) were called up to the desk. Our flight was delayed, and the airline was worried about us missing our connection, so we were rebooked on another airline, connecting through Cologne. We were assured our luggage would be rerouted, too, and of course we were only ACTUALLY booked from Vienna to Cologne, but we had to go “right now” to make our flight, and so we did.
We were only booked standby on our new flight, and although we got seats, they weren’t together. But while the first person I asked to switch so B and I could sit together actually said no (Dan worked out seating for himself and Liam), another passenger switched with me, and yet another switched so that B could have a window seat, and all was well.
Until THAT flight was delayed by about 45 minutes, which resulted, after a trip to the check-in counter for another booking, in a flat-out “Home Alone” style sprint through the Cologne airport while they actually held the plane at the gate for us while we got through security and passport control. Of course, we didn’t have seats together on that flight either, and the plane was literally backing away from the gate while we sorted things out. (Again, one person gave up their seat so B & I could be together while another volunteered to switch so that B, who wasn’t even whining, could have the window. People are awesome.)
So, sweaty and exhausted, we made it onto a plane bound for Stansted airport, and, 2 hours later than we’d planned, we finally arrived. But our luggage did not. So there we were, day 1 of an 18 day trip, with two kids, no bags and an early morning flight the next morning to Edinburgh (after which we planned to rent a car and drive 3 hours further away).
On the bright side, everyone we talked to from the airline was thoroughly helpful. Also, we didn’t have much luggage to drag to our hotel. And, I got to do a bit of unplanned shopping for the family at a mall outside of Edinburgh. By late the next evening, our bags had been located, and, with our carry on stuff, the fruits of our shopping excursion, and the kids’ clothes kindly lent to us by our bed & breakfast hosts (who have a 4 year old son), we barely missed a beat of our vacation. Both suitcases were delivered on the fourth day of our trip, safe & sound. (Never have I been so glad to see old socks.)
Our trip is going wonderfully (lost luggage aside), but we fly to Ireland tomorrow, and I can’t help over-thinking every single thing I pack in our carry on — instead of packing light and taking just what we need for the trip, I feel a little like I’m packing the carry on for wilderness survival for a week. We managed quite well for being without our bags for about 72 hours, but I’d really rather not do it again . . . especially not on this same trip.