Monday, August 07, 2006

That's Why Your Empire Collapsed

There was a group of nine of us from my church that flew to Tanzania. We each brought two bags (one a personal bag, the other filled with materials and gifts for the pastor's and women's conferences we'd be teaching, the schools we'd be visiting, etc.) In all, there were 18 suitcases.

Upon arrival in Dar Es Salaam, we discovered that British Airways had lost three of our bags back in London. After being in-country a few days, two of the three were finally located and ultimately shipped to us. The third bag was finally discovered an only reached us as we were preparing to leave the country.

On the way back home, out of nine bags we were returning with (we purposely brought back fewer bags), another suitcase was lost.

Several days after we returned to Miami, British Airways called to say that they now had found the bag, and it was being delivered. Then it never came. Now they don't know where it is. No idea. It was in Miami, and now it's gone.

So the final tally is: out of 18 bags our group traveled with, four were lost at one point or another by British Airways. That's 22% of our bags. And that's unacceptable. Another missionary who was booked on our same flight into Dar lost all of the bags in his group. In Miami, while we were filling out our lost baggage claim, there were at least a dozen other people from our flight waiting to fill out paperwork on lost baggage.

So that's British Airways. Caveat emptor. Evidently we can add baggage handling to the list of things the Brits don't do well. Put it on the list next to "toothpaste" and "food that tastes good."

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