Cracker by Damian Christie

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Cracker: Being there is everything. Having your bags is a nice bonus

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  • Josh Addison,

    I've never lost a bag, but I almost stole one once. I was flying to Wellington for a wedding, and coincidentally ended up on the same flight as my boss, who was flying down for a funeral. My bag was a company branded one we'd been given as a Christmas present the year before. When I got to the baggage claim, I was able to grab it straight away, since it was easily identifiable with my company's logo on it. As I walked off with it, I noticed that it felt heavier than I remembered, but I figured it must be mine -- who else on that flight could have a customised bag from my company? ... Oh, right. I quickly checked the tag, realised I'd just pinched my boss' luggage, put it back on the carousel and found my one. Good thing I thought of it when I did, otherwise I'd have been unpacking in the hotel room before I found out what I'd done...

    Onehunga, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 298 posts Report Reply

  • WS,

    hmmm. maybe the two $50 notes came out of someone elses bag ..JOKE

    Christchurch • Since May 2007 • 8 posts Report Reply

  • Dinah Dunavan,

    Carry-on only from now on. My SO recently had two weeks in his home country and took one carry-on bag. He complained that it was too full and then came home with it twice as full (presents for me, of course) and it still had room in it. You can always buy more shirts/socks/underwear/shoes etc. My experience of arriving on Christmas eve sans suitcase with ALL MY KNICKERS in it (oh, and the presents) was a very salutory lesson.

    Dunedin • Since Jun 2008 • 186 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    I do have some good experiences:

    I was once off to Switzerland on a winter weekend in London, flying out of City Airport. The IRA had blown up a building in Canary Wharf the week before, so people were a bit jumpy. I got in a cab at around 5:30 for a 7pm flight and was then stuck in traffic is half the roads around the wharf were closed off. Made it to the airport at around 7:05 and was all set to get a cab home and make it to the slopes by Saturday afternoon, if at all.

    The checkin people rang the gate: "the doors aren't shut yet, it's worth a go". One of them grabbed one of my ski bags, I took the other and we more or less ran through security and down to the gate. I got my skip trip in with moments to spare. I wrote a nice letter to the airline when I got home.

    Swissair. Went bust a few years later, so obviously customer service doesn't count for much.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Ngaruna Kapinga,

    Is she saying Timaru is the only airport not on the network? Surely then, that'd be the first place to try when things go missing. Do they have phones in Timaru yet? Fire? The wheel?

    Timaru aka the planet Biro aka the planet Air NZ Flight Luggage

    Wellington • Since May 2008 • 26 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Do they have phones in Timaru yet? Fire? The wheel?

    Oi, watch it.

    Though basically my entire net career is based around the idea that nobody from my home town can read or type...

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • Ngaruna Kapinga,

    Breakfast in Auckland.
    Lunch in Christchurch.
    Dinner in Queenstown.
    Luggage? Fuck knows where.

    Classic, wonder if Mastercard would consider running a "Priceless" ad on this?

    Wellington • Since May 2008 • 26 posts Report Reply

  • Jo S,

    I'm a bit paranoid, so I always carry a clean shirt and a full spare set of underwear in my carryon luggage. This has come in useful several times.

    Mostly airlines have been pretty good, but my trips for work often end up in several jumps, and those are the cases (hah) where something goes missing.

    After a trip to a conference in Croatia, AKLD-Singapore-Frankfurt-Croatia-Vienna-Amsterdam (to go on to the Hague), in Vienna the airline suddenly demanded I check in my poster tube (after 4 flights where I took it as hand luggage). Naturally it didn't show up in Amsterdam. At 9pm in Amsterdam, speaking no Dutch, needing to catch the train to the Hague and not being able to find any airport staff I was getting a bit stressed. Luckily Dutch people speak a lot of english and are very nice. A lovely lady (fellow passenger) sent her teenage son running off to find someone for me, who then sorted it out and forwarded the poster on to my hotel so I could put it up while I gave a presentation a day later.

    is it autumn yet? • Since May 2007 • 80 posts Report Reply

  • Gabor Toth,

    I did this ... only to have the bag's handle come clean off in my hand as I set it down. Attached to the handle was ... the only tag.

    Heh!
    (warning if at work - loud volume at the start)

    Wellington • Since Dec 2006 • 137 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    Sympathies Damien, I hope you get your bags back, but after 10 days it seems unlikely.

    My first trip overseas I was at an airport in middle US and watch as my bags were loaded onto one of the two small planes on front of my gate. Only to be quite disturbed to discover I was getting on the other plane. The "friendly skies" folks would not deal with the issue then and insisted that my bags would catch up to me. They did but not before I had to talk with a senior professor wearing my shorts and a smelly T-shirt.

    Since then I've lost bags regularly. Every time I have flown into Tucson for some reason my bag goes somewhere else, even when my partners bags made it! So now I always carry clean underwear in my carry on.

    The latest trip we lost our bags twice in Mexico, once when we had to run for a connecting flight and we rightly expected that the baggage handlers would be less keen on running. And then again on the way home via LAX where it seems our bags got on the wrong plane and didn't go to LAX at all.

    Sigh.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4458 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie,

    Lucky for you tho' you're in the media so someone will be assessing your complaint, delivered via PAS. The rest of us are never so lucky.

    Yeah, I appreciate that fact, although I kinda justify it by saying to myself that I'm doing it for the little people ;) figuring that at least if I complain loudly something might get fixed that means someone else who isn't in the media mightn't get screwed over next time. And if it just so happens that Air NZ, I don't know, decide to renew my recently expired Koru membership and give me a bunch of airpoints so I can relax somewhere sunny where I don't need any luggage, then that's good too, for the um, little people.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1164 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    Though basically my entire net career is based around the idea that nobody from my home town can read or type...

    Has anyone else with rellies in the UK come to the conclusion that even though everyone might have an email address, they never, ever open their emails, read them or reply?

    Maybe the younger gen are onto it, but I'm unconvinced.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    Every time I have flown into Tucson for some reason my bag goes somewhere else

    You should check with Timaru airport.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    "This is just really appalling customer service. "

    Yep but matched equally by a journo(?) who uses their position to vent their spleen.

    How many Shop assistanst and waitresses have had "People of Self Importance" threaten them, their job, their bosses job, etc. Because they didn't get, their 1st Class slippers when on some tax payer funded junket ( Mr Burdon). Or the famous "Do you know who I am!?" (Mr Roulston).

    Since Oct 2007 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie,

    Yep but matched equally by a journo(?) who uses their position to vent their spleen.

    As a blogger, to be fair. Which I also use to talk about my cat dying and how to tell male from female sparrows. It's kinda a lucky dip ove here. I certainly never pulled the TVNZ card on anyone I spoke to, it shouldn't be necessary. And I reckon losing about $10k worth of my shite is a bit worse than not having slippers :)

    But totally agree about people trying to puff themselves up in such situations. Having worked in bars I don't know how many times I've heard the "don't you know who I am line" uttered to doormen. Which always seems so utterly useless, because clearly, they don't.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1164 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Having worked in bars I don't know how many times I've heard the "don't you know who I am line" uttered to doormen. Which always seems so utterly useless, because clearly, they don't.

    My partner had this said to him by a former mayor of Chch who shall remain nameless when he asked her for ID to sign her up for the video store. Here's a tipper: he just asked you for ID.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Litterick,

    There's an awful lot of people here trying to educate the blogger, with their golden rules and guiding principles about air travel. My guiding prinicple is that, if someone suffers a misfortune, it does not help to tell him he should have done something else.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1000 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    But totally agree about people trying to puff themselves up in such situations. Having worked in bars I don't know how many times I've heard the "don't you know who I am line" uttered to doormen. Which always seems so utterly useless, because clearly, they don't.

    Or if they do, do you really want to be pulling crap on people who aren't getting paid enough to swallow it?

    But reading this thread, I know airport check-in clerk isn't my dream job. But would it make life a little easier for everyone if people could show a little human empathy? Alan Bennett wrote a really nice piece about his experience with prostate cancer, and I was quite shock to read that a man who'd made a career out a persona of extreme reticence, saying he wanted to grab a snotty hospital clerk, shake her and scream in her face "JUST BE NICE!"

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • jb,

    Undoubtedly aprocryphic, but anyway

    A long line at the American Airlines counter. Finally, a particularly well-dressed man gets to the front, loudly announcing that he wants to check in for first class.

    The harried agent does her best, but there's no room. He starts getting louder and more angry. He's blathering about his power and authority.

    She tries to placate him, but to no avail.

    Finally, he yells, "**Do you know who I am?**"

    Without missing a beat, the gate agent grabs the microphone. "Attention in the gate area. We have a medical emergency. The man at gate 11 has just suffered a serious bout of amnesia and doesn't know who he is. If anyone recognizes him, can they please come forward and help him?"

    a.small.town.in.germany • Since Jan 2007 • 86 posts Report Reply

  • Susan Snowdon,

    A long long time ago my brother went on his OE. His hobby at the time was racing a speedway bike, but he was going to be too poor to buy a bike when he got to England, so to save on expenses he took his own bike engine over. As carry on luggage... (They let you do that in the olden days.)

    Since Mar 2008 • 110 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    "so to save on expenses he took his own bike engine over. As carry on luggage... "

    That shud have been stopped, due to the possibility of the flamable gasses coming from it as the air pressure lessens (same reason Zippo lighters have always been banned) - I hope it was at least during the days on nonsmoking.

    And $10K worth of kit going west would have me doing a little haka too.

    Since Oct 2007 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Gabor Toth,

    A long long time ago my brother went on his OE. His hobby at the time was racing a speedway bike, but he was going to be too poor to buy a bike when he got to England, so to save on expenses he took his own bike engine over. As carry on luggage... (They let you do that in the olden days.)

    Until the introduction of x-ray machines for NZ domestic air flights, sport-pistol shooters traveling to away-competitions used to take their gun cases on board as carry-on baggage all the time.

    Wellington • Since Dec 2006 • 137 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Hosking,

    Jb:

    Reputedly (well, its in his biography) the originator of that line was the late great Peter Cook. He was supposedly in a line when some self-important type threw a tantie and he intervened.

    Its a true test of character, I think, how people treat those in positions of comparative powerlessness.

    Went seriously off a certain Highly Respected Broadcaster and Writer (now of fairly advanced years) some years back when I saw him needlessly reduce a receptionist at a TVNZ function to a nervous wreck because of some trivial oversight which wasn't even her fault.

    I also saw a very prominent MP and supposed Champion of the Working Classes behave in similar fashion to a Auckland University low-level staffer who was unable to tell him where a meeting was.

    South Roseneath • Since Nov 2006 • 830 posts Report Reply

  • Helen Searancke,

    For a year or two when I was travelling with my then toddler daughter to visit grandparents in Wellington, Air NZ would always lose something - stroller, suitcase, etc. It happened at least three times (Auckland to Wellington).

    More recently I had two strange luggage experiences while travelling in Vietnam:

    Firstly, arriving in Hanoi from Ho Chi Minh City, one of our two suitcases wasn't on the carousel. A quick glance around the luggage area established that it had been taken by a tour guide to stand with a big pile of other luggage, destined, we assumed, for a bus tour or something. Hooray for a distinctive luggage label (thanks World Journeys) and a purple detail on a plain black suitcase.

    The other thing was that, before you could clear the arrivals hall in Hanoi, two nice young women checked that our baggage receipts matched the luggage we were hauling out of the airport - an excellent security feature, I thought.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 24 posts Report Reply

  • Beatrix,

    I'm kind of intrigued by the idea that you shouldn't do whatever you can in these situations to help yourself...is someone actually suggesting that you DON'T pull whatever strings you can? Better to be humble and luggage-less? Seems a TINY bit self defeating to me.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 15 posts Report Reply

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