Fun With American Airlines and British Airways
Unlike my last post about airlines, this one’s about luggage.
I was going back from the US to Amsterdam, transferring at Heathrow. Customs & security in England took so long that by the time I got anywhere near the A-gates they’d already started boarding, so I hurried to the gate and got on board of the plane as one of the last people. Only later did I discover that Heathrow is the absolute craziest airport in the world that should take a very, very good look at how they do things in a proper airport like O’Hare or Schiphol. They don’t even seem to know anything about their gates until 30 minutes or so before it’s scheduled to leave! Anyway, pretty much as soon as I was in the plane the pilot said something like “it looks like everyone’s on board already, so we’re taking off 30 minutes early, woo!” I remember thinking something like “good thing my luggage didn’t have to go through 1 hour of customs & security.”
We landed in Amsterdam, I got off the plane and I waited at the luggage belt, but my baggage never showed up. As I was looking around to figure out where to go to fix this problem, this guy working there came up to me in his cart and was like “can I help you?” So I said, “I just got here with British Airways flight BA217 [or something along those lines anyway]” and he said “that’s the one from London?” and I said “yeah, does it make a difference?” He said “no, actually it doesn’t. Anyway, you have to go to that office right there” while pointing at this place with a huge line in front of it.
I went to that office and waited for 30 freaking minutes until it was finally my turn. Then it turned out that this was the KLM & partners lost luggage claim thing, and the BA lost luggage office was on the other side! I wasn’t the only one misled by the bloke driving around on his cart and like 5 people who had been waiting behind me followed me to the other office where of course all the time no one had been to at all. Turned out my suitcase was still in London and it was scheduled to come toward Amsterdam in about 30 minutes on the next flight. Gee, thanks.
I scheduled a delivery for the next day between 9 and 12. That was all very decent, except for the fact that they actually came at 14. When I called them at 12:30 they said “oh, it’s normal that they might run a little late.” Sigh.