Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas Airport SNAFU: Lost and Found

As many of you know, I try to keep things interesting. And, yesterday when I flew into Dulles International airport was no exception. Let's just say me and Murphy's law seem to be intimately acquainted.

After getting off the plane with my brother and greeting all the family at the baggage claim, I put my carry on down beside carousel 14 so I could pick up our luggage. The luggage seemed to take forever to come out, but I grabbed both of our duffle bags and off we went. My brother had his carry on, and I had the big bags. My mother and sister were just giddy that we had arrived safely. Well, as you may have guessed, my carry on was left next to the baggage carousel. Of course I didn't discover this until a little before midnight, as I was going to charge my cell phone. I looked for my carry on (in which I carried my charger) and then realized I didn't have it. 

My first impulse was to check the surburban that we drove home in. I combed it twice to no avail. Then, I called my brother who was visiting a family friend with the other car. He checked, but again, no luck. So, I told my mom and dad, who then told me I needed to call the airport. So I googled 'Dulles International Airport' and got a number for the TSA lost and found. I got a lengthy explanatory message with instructions regarding baggage. TSA only kept items lost at check points. Any bags left on or near carousels were picked up by airport lost and found or the airlines. So I called the airport lost and found and got a similar message. On both occasions I left a message. I also drove back to the airport last night and spoke with Delta. They were clueless, but I thanked them anyway. I would just have to come back today, which I did.

The operating hours of the lost and found on Saturday are from 10am-2:00pm, so I was out the door a little after 9:30am. When I arrived at the airport I first went to the TSA lost and found, because it was the only one open. I waited for a while, then overheard the lady in charge say to a family in front of me who lost a bag in the baggage claim area that it was airport lost and found that was responsible for their bag I also took my leave with them from the TSA office and waited for someone to show up at the other office. Seeing no one there I went to a little shop called 'Guava and Java' and got myself a cup of hot chocolate. The temperature was good and so was the chocolate. So, I sipped that as I walked back to the airport lost and found office. 

When I got there it was open and there was the family again. They were referred to the airlines with their problem. Also in front of me was an African immigrant or missionary of some kind. He was looking for a bag that he lost containing his bible. Luckily for him, he found it. Then it was my turn. I talked to the guy running the place and he told me to look down this one aisle in the back that held all of December's lost items. I looked up and down the rack. I saw nothing that even remotely resembled my bag. I looked down to the ground slightly depressed and began to speak, "Well, if it weren't here, where else might I expect to find it..." but just as I asked the question I looked at the swivel chair behind his desk. "Wait, that's my bag," I said. But at the same time I was worried that it was actually his. I thought maybe he might have the exact same bag. Silly thought in retrospect, but I was about to ask him just as he asked me its contents. I told him that it should contain my laptop which was a macbook adorned with stickers from different countries. He then ripped of the tag, had my sign it, show ID, and I was on my merry way. 

And so my Christmas vacation starts of with a bang. A good old airport SNAFU. Gotta love it.

1 comment:

Scott Earl said...

Man, I'd have a heart attack if I left my bag with my laptop at the airport.