Monday, September 01, 2008

Unapologetic Neopolitan

Vacation is over, and there are oh so many good things to report about it, but first: one unfortunate (but hopefully retrospectively amusing) incident of the misplacement of my baggage by United Airlines. The route back to New York was admittedly a complex one--one that might seem begging for a disaster. I was to fly all through the night, from Eugene, to San Francisco, to Washington, D. C., to LaGuardia. We were off to a great start when right away, I was informed that United now charges $15 to check one bag. Just one. Two-thirds of the way through the journey, I breathlessly made the connection between Washington and New York, no thanks to a handful of apathetic and incompetent United employees, but I was assured that my bag had miraculously made a successful transfer in the 10 minutes I dashed through the airport. Skeptical of this, I was unsurprised when it failed to materialize on the lazily revolving carousel, and I went to file a report. That evening (already 10 hours later) a courier (ironically from a company called Perfect Delivery), buzzed the bell and brought me a bag that did not have my name on it, and in fact had no physical similarities to the bag I had lost. Nobody knew where my bag had gone. The next day, however, I received a call from a nice man in Connecticut, who informed me that the bag had been delivered to his house. He asked politely "do you have my son's bag?" The answer was no. What followed was four days of constant calls to United, each of which took approximately 25 minutes of their bungling to even know who I was or what I wanted, and finished with no update as to the whereabouts of my bag. They could not figure out whether it had been picked up again by the courier, if it was en route back to the airport, or whether it had been given to another incorrect family. Every time they idly plunked at their keyboard and then would assure my that the bag would be there that day (which it never was). The man in Connecticut was going out of town, but he said he'd leave my bag in their unlocked garage for the courier to retrieve. A great situation for everyone, I'm sure. Finally, four days late, my bag bumped onto the curb, like a mafia drop off (which is actually a semi-frequent occurrence in this neighborhood). Everything was there, safe and sound: my Hanes t-shirts, my favorite jean shorts, spare sneakers. All the staples of a good vacation. There was even a dusting of sand at the bottom.


w. leavitt said...

i think United should charge you another $15 for the exciting story.

plumpdumpling said...

I'd love hear about your emotional state and tone of voice during these phone calls. I can't imagine that you've ever yelled in your life, but I can imagine how frightening it'd be if you did.

HollyHopes said...

...even a dusting of sand...sounds like a good title for a movie or novel or glad you got re-united with your jeans et al