Coach Finstock: There are three rules that I live by: never get less than twelve hours sleep; never play cards with a guy who has the same first name as a city; and never get involved with a woman with a tattoo of a dagger on her body. Now you stick to that, and everything else is cream cheese. (Teen Wolf)
I have a few rules that I try and live by and one of those is I don’t check luggage. This past Monday I broke that rule and paid for it. I had meetings in Irvine CA. set for Tuesday and Wednesday, being a good steward of corporate money two of us decided to share a rental. John Wayne, the closest airport was too expensive, the other choice was Long Beach. Long Beach on Southwest, was 3 or 4 connections and 12 plus hours of travel time for a six-hour flight, not cool. I bit the bullet and booked American Airlines into Long Beach, which included a one-hour layover in Phoenix. American is an airline which I’ve flown on once in the last 12 months. This means I have no status and I’ll be boarding with the regular folks and competing for overhead bin space.
No staus got me Zone 9 basic economy. In Zone 9 you get to board last and here’s the kicker “No large carry-on bags will be allowed for basic economy travelers. You will, however, be allowed to take on a small personal item that fits under the seat in In front of you, such as a purse or backpack. Any bag that needs to be checked at the gate will be charged the checked baggage fee plus an additional $25 service fee. LINK” Once again being a good steward of my company’s money I paid to check my bag ahead of time avoiding the additional $25 service fee.
Let’s call this section Good News/Bad News
Good News – TSA PreCheck was a breeze. Bad News – Boarding began, first the business travelers, then the Disney families, after that the cheerleader squad and then me. Good News – I found myself in a row all to myself. Bad News – The overhead speaker comes to life “Ah (anytime the pilot begins a sentence with ah, it’s not going to be good news) we’re going to have a two-hour delay due to runway construction at the Phoenix airport“. I grab my phone and a quick search returns One of Three Runways Closed Through Feb. 21. Expected delays would’ve been a handy bit of information when I was booking this trip. Good News – They let us get off the plane. While most passengers were complaining to the flight attendants about the delay I head to the gate agent.
More Good News – I’m the second person in line behind Spencer, not his real name but he looked like a Spencer. Bad News – Spencer discovers he can be rebooked but can’t get his checked luggage. Spencer threatens to run down the jetway to retrieve his checked luggage. Good News – I have my cell phone ready in case Spencer follows through on his threat. Bad News – he doesn’t.
Bad News – I realize that I can’t retrieve my luggage either. Good News – The gate agent, Magic Mike can book me on the next flight, and it’s direct. Bad News – It’s into LAX and not Long Beach which is where my luggage will be some point on Tuesday. Good News – I get in at 9:30 PM Pacific an hour earlier than my original flight to Long Beach. Bad News – I’ve got to figure out some way to get from LAX to Long Beach. Good News – I found a cab for only $85.00.
Bad News – I have no clothes. Good News – My coworker with the rental arrived at the hotel 20 minutes after I did. More Good News – There’s a Walmart less than a mile from the hotel. Much better Good News – Their clothing selection offers something that I can actually wear to a meeting, and it fits. Bad News – It’s 12:30 PM Pacific time when I go to bed. More Bad News – I wake up 2 1/2 hours at 3:00 AM Pacific time, my body
thinking believing it’s 6:00 AM Eastern time.
Good News – The Hampton Inn provided a great breakfast. Bad News – The traffic from Long Beach to Irvine was worse than I-4. Good News – I have the American Airlines app loaded and it has the ability to track baggage. Bad News – It appears that my luggage is at LAX and not Long Beach, so I call American Airlines.
Good News – Michelle at American Airlines confirms that my luggage is at LAX and she is going to have it delivered to the hotel I’ll be staying at Wednesday night. Also, they’re going to reimburse me for my recent Walmart shopping spree. Bad News – It’s 10:42 PM Pacific time and Armando from WheresMySuitcase.com calls from the hotel looking for me. I tell Armando, I won’t be there until tomorrow night, please leave it at the desk.
Good News – I rolled into the Hampton Long Beach Airport late Wednesday and locked in their storage room was my luggage, hallelujah!
As with most things, there’s some sort of a lesson. The biggest lesson, keeping my cool. I could have released my frustration on Magic Mike, and it would have felt amazing, but chances are he wouldn’t have booked me on the next flight out. The next lesson, adapting to the situation. In the words of REO Speedwagon – Roll With the Changes. Sometimes your rental car won’t be ready, sometimes you’ll forget to book a hotel room and sometimes your luggage won’t show up and then you’ll be forced to adapt. Don’t panic, take a deep breath and ask for help if you need it.
In the morning, against my will, I will check my bag and board a plane for #FlyHomeThursday keep me in your thoughts.
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