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2005-06-07 13:13:20

The backstory on our luggage problem

Our flight was delayed for several hours, so we left Bloomington airport believing that we would probably miss our connection in Atlanta.  However, the other flight was delayed too.  When we arrived in Atlanta, we ran to the other gate for our Orlando flight, dodging around several people who didn't get the memo.  We arrived at the gate relieved to find that they were still boarding.  However, when we presented our boarding passes, they said we were too late, as our seats had been cancelled. 

I remained mostly calm as I complained.  "How could our seats be canceled?  You are boarding.  We have a BOARDING PASS."  The gate attendant apologized again and continued the process of giving our seats to a few standby passengers standing nearby.  My move. 

This time I used awkward silence and a cold stare, continuing to display my BOARDING PASS prominently as a reminder of who was holding the moral high ground.  It worked.  Quite abruptly, she threw up her hands and exclaimed, "Oh fine!  Just get on the plane!"

As the aforementioned standby passengers exploded with rage, we ran down the jetway and did not look back.  Perhaps this was the moment that our karma account was overdrawn.

So we arrived in Orlando with very little hope that our baggage made the connection.  However, since there was to be one more flight from Atlanta to Orlando that evening, we waited in baggage claim to see if perhaps our bag were placed on that other plane.  This gave us plenty of time to watch the whole saga of Korby and Rob which I briefly mentioned yesterday.

When the other flight finally arrived, we stood by the carousel hoping our bags would appear.  It was almost 2:00am.  Everyone in the baggage claim area was very quiet.

Suddenly a young man standing next to me erupted in a string of profanities I dare not repeat.  His bag had appeared, but it was unzipped, and a sock was hanging out.  Only a few minutes later did I realize how grateful we were that the thieves in Atlanta took the time to re-zip Corey's bag after they stole our computers.  This kid was not so lucky.

Then we experienced a short-lived moment of great relief when our bags appeared on the carousel.  Corey picked his up and started to comment that it felt too light, but he was cut off by the sound of the loudest four-letter word I have ever heard.  The kid with the unzipped bag had just noticed one of his shoes appeared on the carousel, all by itself.

Corey opened the bag, and we looked in horror at his underwear, or rather, at the lack of any Mac Minis adjacent to same.

A heap of photographs appeared on the carousel and the kid screamed again.  One of his friends told him to "stop cussing" because "there are children standing around".

Corey took his bag over to the airline desk to report the theft of our equipment.  A book appeared on the carousel.  The kid yelled something about never flying this airline again. 

His girlfriend joined the effort to try and calm him down.  Another article of clothing appeared on the carousel, and the hall thundered with the sound of another one of those words I'd rather my kids didn't use.

The girlfriend changed tactics and tried to get the kid to report the crime instead of just standing around turning the air blue.  He "declined", arguing that he didn't even know where to report it.  Now it was her turn to start telling.  "Well you need to go tell somebody what happened to your bag!  Find that guy who lost two computers!  Wherever he is, that's the place to make a formal complaint!"

Later that day, Dan stepped up to the kid's defense with what I now consider the best quote from TechEd day 1:  "If there is ever a time for cussing, it's when you are standing in baggage claim at 2am and you see one of your shoes alone on the carousel."