Yeah. Some kind of world travelers we are.
One of the things we have learned over the years is to always travel with a carry-on bag. Our bag contains stuff to live for 2-3 days in case luggage is delayed.
So we DID have a carry on with a change of clothes. But we DID NOT carry any toiletries in it. This 3-1-1 security stuff (3 ounces, 1 clear plastic bag, 1 per passenger) tripped us up this time. We decided to put our toiletry kits in our checked baggage so we wouldn’t have to worry about the clear plastic bag rule.
It was a good plan…
…until we missed our connecting flight in Atlanta and spent a night in Atlanta. Then we actually had to LIVE out of the carry-on bag. Kay and I made a quick run to a local convenience store to buy deodorant, a comb for Keith, and a few other things. The thought of flying 10,000 miles without deodorant was more than I was ready for!
Then 30 hours later in Bangkok, no luggage arrived. So we lived out of our carry-on again. We weren’t really surprised. We were originally booked to fly Atlanta-Seoul-Bangkok. Then we were re-booked to fly Atlanta-Tokyo-Bangkok. The Seoul connection was on Korean Airlines all the way. The Tokyo connection was on Northwest Airlines all the way. We didn’t know what to expect would happen to our bags.
At 2 am in the morning in Bangkok, no bags for the Seabourns. Filling out a lost luggage form is never fun, but especially at 2 am after traveling for 27 hours.
This morning, I had a hilarious telephone conversation with the local Northwest ground agent about our missing baggage.
Northwest agent: Sir, your baggage arrived last night from Seoul on Korean Airlines. [Recall that Kay and I had arrived on Northwest Airlines from Japan.]
Keith: That is good news. So do we pick it up and check in for our Bangkok to Chiangmai flight?
Northwest: No, it will be sent directly to Chiangmai. You don’t have to worry with it.
Keith: So, Korean airlines will check our bags onto the Thai Air flight to Chiangmai in Bangkok?
Northwest: No, Korean Airlines flew it directly from Seoul to Chiangmai.
Keith: So, where do we pick up the bags in Chiangmai?
Northwest: They will be on the conveyor belt. They will be on your Thai Air flight with you.
Keith: So did Korean Air fly them to Bangkok?
Northwest: No, Korean Air will fly them to Chiangmai.
Keith: How will they get onto the Thai Air 110 flight conveyor belt if they are not coming through Bangkok.
Northwest: Korean Air will fly them to Chiangmai.
One of the things Kay and I have learned about cross-cultural encounters: You must live with a lot of ambiguity. Ambiguity becomes your friend. At least, ambiguity becomes your close associate.
So, we are in the Bangkok airport about to depart on Thai Air and have no idea when we’ll see our bags. We’ve been chasing these bags, or they have been chasing us for 10,000 miles.
It will be nice to use my own deodorant again.
Update: The bags arrived with us in Chiangmai. I have no idea what happened on the human side, but I’m pretty sure about the spiritual side.