Buffalo Trace

Buffalo Trace
From a few years ago, me mugging with the bronze buffalo sculpture at Buffalo Trace Distillery in Kentucky.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Another Flight on Delta or The Mysterious Case of the Missing Bag



I've been in New Mexico for Christmas since 12/21. I flew out a little early because that day happened to be my sister's 75th birthday.


Fourteen members of the family gathered at Sadie's, our favorite Mexican restaurant, to celebrate. As usual, the margaritas were potent and the food outrageously good. My sister enjoyed herself immensely, and so did I, by the way.

I drove over to Atlanta early Friday morning and flew out of its airport. I arrived more than two hours before my flight. I sat in the gate area and read until boarding was called. I had an aisle, exit-row seat, so legroom wasn't an issue. Of course, I had the Incredible Hulk in the middle seat beside me; I spent the entire flight leaning out into the aisle, getting bumped by every passenger passing by on his way to or from the restroom. I had a couple of screwdrivers to dampen my annoyance.

I brought two partially full suitcases by order of my family so I would have room to carry Christmas loot home. I checked the larger at the Delta baggage counter at Park and Fly Plus. The smaller rollerboard and my carry-on bag I took on the plane.



The Delta baggage guy manning the counter carefully attached a yellow "Priority" tag to my checked bag. This means it's supposed to get V.I.P treatment. (Insert laugh here.)

Historically, the baggage service at Albuquerque's Sunport is very good about off loading the Priority bags first. The first 15 bags or so appearing on the conveyor in baggage claim all sported the yellow tags. Mine was not among them. Where the hell was my bag?


A guy who also checked his bag at the P&F Plus counter and rode to the airport on the same shuttle with me stood next to me at the conveyor and received his non-priority bag. But mine? No way.

After an appropriate amount of time, I headed into Delta's Baggage Claim office. The clerk there looked up my claim check number and reported that my bag -- having never made the flight -- was still in Atlanta. What? Wow, that priority tag really works some magic.

The next flight in from Atlanta wasn't scheduled until 9 p.m. The clerk advised that I probably shouldn't expect it delivered until the following day. She then gave me a little toilet-article kit that Delta has made for just such occasions, and sent me on my way.

Finally around 4:30 the following afternoon, my bad arrived. The bag indeed arrived on the 9 p.m. flight as promised, but it took the delivery company 19 hours to get it to me -- nine hours longer than it took Delta to finally get the bag from Atlanta to Albuquerque.

Fulfilling my duty as a frequent flyer, I've alerted Delta, with emphasis, letting them know they need a new delivery service in Albuquerque.

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