Traveled faster than my suitcase

Eight years after my plane was diverted from Iceland to Scotland in bad weather, causing my suitcase to be left behind and arriving late, it happened again. I had been on a trip to Tromsø, about 2,500 km or 4 hours air travel time from Konstanz. The plane from ZRH to OSL had been delayed (owing to the plane already being delayed upon arrival to ZRH; come on, SWISS, that is not really a good explanation that the plane is late because it is late), so I missed my connection to Tromsø as well as the conference dinner planned for the evening. On the return trip, there were no delays, but I waited a long time at the baggage carousel. Suitcases appeared and were picked up. The belt stopped. The display stated „last bag on belt“. I figured that I had been able to board the plane from OSL to ZRH without my suitcase being on board. Airlines make you pay for unloading your bag when your bag is on the plane and you do not show up for boarding. So they know if both the baggage and the passenger are on board. But they do not bother to tell you right away that your luggage has not been stored on the aircraft.

When I realised that the belt would not start again to deliver my suitcase, I walked over to the counter to file a search request. The staff were friendly and helpful, and they had set up a kiosk to enter the details of the lost item. I got a printout and an email confirming the search request and providing me with a tracking number. Using the tracking system, I found out later that day that the suitcase had made it from TOS to OSL, was delivered to ZRH with a later plane, and would be shipped by courier to my home. I got a call on my mobile the following day and had my suitcase back 24 hours after I had reported it as missing.

At present, I cannot confirm that SWISS always stands for the Swiss values of reliability and punctuality. However, their lost baggage tracking and delivery works well.

About Author: Hanno Langweg

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