The luggage story gets sorrier and sorrier.

I’m at the airport Hilton at Heathrow airport in London tonight. I flew in from Helsinki and tomorrow morning I fly on to Ireland. When I checked in at the airport in Helsinki this afternoon, my luggage was not there as promised. I got to Heathrow and went straight to the British Airways luggage office. My suitcase is here in Heathrow, but they can’t give it to me due to red tape. I *may* get it tomorrow morning, but I’m not counting on it.

Turns out that the dilapidated Heathrow baggage handling system (their words, not mine) ripped the ID tag off my bag. The name tag was still on it, so they matched it up to the name on the report I filed in Helsinki. The bag is scheduled to fly to Helsinki tomorrow. I told them not to send it to Helsinki because I’m on my way to Cork. They said if they took it “out of the system” and tried to retrieve it for me here at Heathrow, the bag may get permanently lost. They said let it go to Helsinki and then it’ll come back in a few days and maybe they can send it to me in Ireland. I wanted to strangle the British Airways guy who told me this.

I told him to pull it out of the system anyway. I leaned over the counter and said “Can you smell this shirt? That’s because I’ve been wearing it for five days!!!” It’s stupid to send the bag to Helsinki when it’s at Heathrow and I am, too. He couldn’t go fetch the bag, but left a note for the handlers to go pull it and bring it to the luggage office. He said if he left a note for the night shift, the bag would get lost for sure. (Interesting that British Airways has so little confidence in its own people.) So he left a note for the 5:00 a.m. shift, and I’m supposed to call in the morning and see if I can pick up the bag on my way to check in. I doubt it’ll be there, but I will create a scene in the luggage office tomorrow if they don’t have my bag waiting.

I may be spending more time in Europe than I anticipated–in jail. I’ll install Linux on all my PCs before I fly British Airways (or Iberia) again. 🙂