14 September 2007

The Great Luggage Saga of 2007

My wish to you all...never lose your luggage while abroad, at least not while flying United (I can't help but wonder if this would have been easier if we were on Al Italia or something).

So last night, Pebbles called the number provided at the airport. First, though, she had a lot of trouble using the phone in our room, and the front desk wasn't very helpful (although they were fine taking our money for every attempted phone call). We finally got through using Melissa's cell phone. After a very long conversation, we learned that they hadn't been able to locate the bag, and maybe it would arrive tomorrow, but maybe she'd get it in a few days. This was upsetting news, and Pebs was on the verge of losing it (remember, too, we had been flying all night and out all day, so...tired!).

I had my trusty Premier Exec card handy, so I went upstairs and tried another route to find this damn thing. After another series of frustrating calls (for some reason, the calling card I was using went mute when I called 1.800 numbers), I got a hold of my uncle Len (thanks again!) and he three-way conferenced me in with the support line. We got on the line with a nice rep from India, who had a hard time understanding me (the irony!), and FINALLY were told that the bag was going to be in Rome this morning at 8.50. Then they'd get it to us in Florence.

We called this morning and confirmed, yes indeed, the bag had arrived. And that it would arrive in Florence this evening. But then, it may be 2-3 days before it got to us at the hotel in Florence. Which is, according to the books, about 5 km away...Yes, 2-3 days to go about 3 miles. Apparently, they are using the horse and buggy method here. We said we'd go get it.

Needless to say, United will be getting a few calls and letters about this. I may have to put my coworker Valerie on the case, because she is awesome at that stuff. I expect reimbursement for the transport to/from the airport, at the least. I understand they got it to Italy as soon as they could, but to then make us wait another 2-3 days because the couriers only go when they have a whole bunch of bags is extremely poor customer service.

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