SHE recently found herself at an airport baggage carousel waiting not-so-patiently for a bag that didn't arrive. It's not a situation SHE's had to deal with before. Just unlucky maybe? It had to happen sooner or later? Hmph. SHE travels a lot and has been fortunate, it seems, to have collected the checked baggage from the nominated carousel without any problems. That is until the last two flights that SHE's taken (ironically on the same airline, the one where the flight attendants wear quite a bit of orange). The same bag was left at the city of departure on both occasions in the space of 1 month. Hmm... Now SHE knows that mistakes can happen, but when the first excuse was that the 'bag tag came off' SHE found that a little hard to believe. Imagine the paranoia SHE has now that Qantas wants us to tag our own bags at the airport: if trained airport staff can't attach a baggage label correctly what chance does SHE have? Eek! The bag did arrive on the next day's flight - the first available given the island destination. Inconvenient? Hell yes...SHE was about to meet and greet a small group of travellers for a long weekend incentive program and that suitcase contained the event materials. Yep - most inconvenient.
The second time was more stressful. SHE was surprised by how kranky and out of sorts SHE became - trying all the while to remember it's all just stuff, it can be replaced! SHE's asked around...it seems women are more concerned about lost / delayed baggage than men - it's mostly about the toileteries, all those lovely potions and lotions that we have become accustomed to over the years and can't quite replace as easily as a new pair of knickers and a tshirt. More than 24 hours after arriving in Bali (yes, it's a little tougher to find the same stuff here) the suitcase was delivered. Better than not at all. SHE was a happy, happy girl. An embarrassingly material girl it seems.
And then there's the compensation process - and there does need to be an offering of some sort, an apology and a most contrite letter. Yes, that came via email along with the advice that Jetstar could offer a reimbursement for 'personal items (such as a toothbrush and toileteries) up to $40 per customer'. Is that a joke? When was the last time anyone from the Customer Care department found themselves without their belongings for over 24 hours and tried to replace items for $40?! Ridiculous. SHE is not happy.
Of course there's a lesson here: how appropriate! Up until a year ago SHE always packed those lovely lotions and potions, perfume and deodorant in an appropriate zip locked bag in the hand luggage. Just in case. And if travelling to warmer climates, the swimsuit and a sarong were thrown in, along with a spare pair of knickers and sandals. Just in case. Just in case the bag didn't make it. Yep...lesson learnt thanks Jetstar.