Did I Forget Something? A Story of Lost Luggage

You’ve just gotten off a long flight and now you’re slowly heading to the baggage claim area. You stand next to the correct carousel  and wait…..and wait…..and wait. Finally, you see the flash of lights and hear the siren. The belt on the machine starts to turn. You look for your bags (and being smart, you put a bit of ribbon or something on them to make them easily identifiable). After grabbing your suitcase when you see it come around the bend, you head to your car, fighting back a few yawns. Home sweet home is a short drive away.

….but wait. Maybe you never got your bag. In fact, you completely forgot to collect it once you got off your flight. You were so anxious to get home, you walked out without realizing it. Or maybe you just forgot one item. Regardless, once reality sets in, you’re probably in a panic. Maybe your favorite shoes, souvenirs, or iPad was in that bag. However, while this is an unfortunate occurrence  it does happen more often than you might think.

In fact, a friend of mine recently hopped off a short flight, retrieved his car from the parking lot, and went home. Forty-five minutes later when he actually got home and popped his trunk to remove his bag, he realized the bag was not there. Despite being one of the most responsible travelers I know, he forgot to retrieve his suitcase from the baggage carousel at the airport. Instead, he completely forgot about it and walked right out of the airport with just his carry-on.

He immediately called the airline and described the bag, and luckily they had it in their possession. What also helped was that he had put a personal luggage tag on it. The airport advised him to return to there to collect the suitcase. Great, he thought. Since it was a bit of a drive, he invited me along with him on the return trip, so I went.

What was quite odd was when we arrived at the airport to pick up the bag, they didn’t ask for his ID or anything in order to claim it. Unbelievably, just his word was good enough. He had his airline ticket handy just in case, but they didn’t even ask for that. Nope, they just handed it over and let us be on our way.

Maybe it was that particular person working, that airport, or something I can’t think of, but nowadays it seems you have to show ID for everything. What’s to keep random people from stealing your luggage otherwise? I suppose a thief would have to know the baggage was lost/unclaimed, but still. The only way I could see not needing ID is if the baggage did not have a ID tag on it. However, it would still have some sort of sticker with the flight ID on it. Weird.

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