Saturday, March 28, 2015

Delayed baggage and my future precautions.. :P

It was cute of Delta to put this tag. :)
The flight to Phoenix was the first time my luggage was delayed, though I have travelled so many times with a checked in luggage. 

We have to take the checked in luggage out of the conveyor belt in the entry airport to the US and drop the luggage again, as a custom of the US. I could not find my checked in luggage at the belt in MSP (Minneapolis) airport, and I reported to Delta. They told me my luggage was delayed in Paris, and advised me to report to the Delta ground staff at PHX (Phoenix, my final destination). They also told me that it may take up to 2 days!

Upon reaching PHX I checked the belt again, just in case my luggage magically appeared. :P Then I reported to the Delta ground staff, as it was not there. I was told I will receive it by very late the same night to the address I indicate. I gave them the hotel address that I would be staying for the next of few days.

I was given a small complimentary package (that resembled a typical pencil case, stuffed with many stuff. :D). Actually, it was pretty helpful. It included tooth paste and brush, comb, shaving cream and shaver (which was pretty bad that it cut my face :( ), deodorant, and a vest. These were the things I immediately needed (soap and towels were provided by the hotel). So I liked their thoughtfulness, and it reduced the potential negative tone in this blog post, though I was highly irritated that time. :D

My hand luggage was my laptop bag. It had my laptop, laptop power cable, camera, phone, Nexus 7, pen (yes; both a pen drive and a writing pen), and diary, along with all the important documents. I did not have any change clothes. I had to go to the conference in the same clothes that I came flying 24 hours! If only my talk was not on the same day, I would even have avoided going to the session on the first day till I receive my luggage!

I took a long shower, and confirmed I did not stink though wearing the same clothes. :P Luckily the conference did not have a limitation on what to wear. Hence I was able to go to the conference in denim and sweatshirt. My suit was in the checked in luggage (I like to be more professional on the day I talk; after that I don't mind - and no one cares either). So I composed a list of items to take in the hand luggage, in addition to the computer (since I apparently did not have anything else to do in the hotel).

And the next page.. :D
1. Suit (if business attire is required) - Now I understand why many people take it with them instead of nicely packing it in their checked in luggage. Can't do a shopping for this in the foreign land due to the lack of time.

2. Chargers - I had my USB cable in the hand luggage. But my computer did not have enough power for even itself to be able to charge my phone or tab. Hotel receptionist was unable to provide this or the international convertor though she tried to help.

3. Power converter - I had my computer power supply. But the Euro to US converter was in the checked in luggage. So still I could not use my computer. I hate the fact that we have different and weird shapes of sockets everywhere.

4. Light weight clothes for the next day - most importantly, one or two pairs of socks!

5. Paper shoes - This is something I learned from the hotels in Shenzhen, China. They are so convenient to use in the hotel, specially to the toilet. I had two pairs in my checked in luggage.

6. Enough money to buy whatever needed, in case of such delays.
0. Most importantly, all the important documents such as booking confirmation and diary (if you have one) - This I never failed to keep in the had luggage.

In fact, I did not receive my luggage the next morning. When I called them using the tracking number I was assigned (using skype on my tab, using the little power it had), I was told that I will receive it before 3 p.m that day. According to the Delta site, we can reimburse as much as 50 USD per day, if the delay caused us some monetary loss (such as buying underwear), upon producing the receipts. I did not bother to claim such, as I did not have to spend anything just because of this delay. I don't think dinner expenses count as something caused by this delay. :P

I received my luggage only around 3 p.m. I was not at the hotel to receive it. I had to update the preference in the site, mentioning that the luggage do not require signature (so that they can deliver it when I was still away from the hotel), indicating them to leave at the reception, as I would be away for the conference. I got my luggage from the receptionist finally, when I came back late around 10 pm after the conference.

Though Delta ground staff had no clue on the delay, I assume it has something to do with the short connection time in Paris CDG. With just 1.5 hours between the flights and a bit even lesser than an hour to check in time, I even had to run to the gate, just to be safe. Still there was a long queue waiting to be checked in. While minimizing the layover time will shorten the overall journey, I am going to avoid such short transits.

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