DAY 0: Cancun International Airport, Mexico
Different airlines have misplaced my backpack luggage three times.
Ten years ago I returned from 8 months in the Philippines; I was coming home so it wasn’t traumatic. The second incident was a stopover in Fiji on my way to New Zealand; I had planned to store the backpack in Fiji so really the airlines saved me airport locker fees by leaving it in LA.
When I arrived in Mexico and was left staring at an empty baggage carousel it felt like it was the first time.
In case it ever happens to you here is my advice on what to do if the airline loses your luggage:
1. Try to hold it together despite the overwhelming need to start a hyperventilating meltdown because life isn’t fair.
2. Find an airport employee to report the issue. When they have no idea what to do keep looking for people who do.
Resist the need to cry when the guy wearing an Information: How can I help shirt really doesn’t have any information and doesn’t really speak English. It’s not his fault he’s wearing a misleading shirt.
3. So after you find the right person and wait 20 minutes for them to find the form you need to complete. When they ask you what was in the bag, do not respond “MY LIFE” because that does not help them nor do they find it funny.
Make sure you report what was in your bag, particularly electronics or anything else you may need to claim. Get your copy of the form and a number to call on the progress.
4. Get on Twitter as soon as possible and tweet about the incident, tagging your airline. If yours is like mine, it monitors social media.
Westjet responded an hour later on Twitter reassuring me they were on it. Another hour later the bag was found and was scheduled for a flight the next day.
5. Drown your sorrows in tacos de carnitas. The crispy pork will make everything better. And if they tacos don’t do it, make sure to get a pork enchilada. The deep fried goodness will sop up any residual need to start sobbing.