When I travel, I usually always carry-on one pack, my Eagle River pack. I always fill it with my technology, any important documents, and a couple changes of clothes (just in case the airline loses my checked baggage).
However last June when we were flying back to the United States for the summer, I decided to just check my carry-on bag for the last leg from Newark, New Jersey to Minneapolis, Minnesota, because I was sick of carrying it around. We were able to squeeze all of our important items into Rachel’s carry on and stuff my carry on with all of the clothes. As soon as we boarded the United Airlines plane, I quickly ordered a cold beer! As you probably know by now, Kuwait is a dry country, so I was super pumped to have one!
As I was enjoying my beer, I was watching a couple of Baggage Handlers loading luggage onto the plane next us. I was watching as they would monotonously grab a bag, scan the tag, then chuck it on the conveyor belt, and watch it disappear into the belly of the plane. I was enjoying the entertainment, when I noticed something different in the pattern. They scanned a bag, looked at, then set it on the fender of the conveyor machine. I was starring at the bag, when all of a sudden I realized, THAT’S MY BAG!
The Baggage Handlers finished loading the plane, and just walked away. In the meantime, the final passengers were boarding our flight, and we were about to leave in any minute!
I immediately pressed the Flight Attendant call button . . . .
Me: “Excuse me ma’m, I’m sorry to bother you, but one of my bags is on the conveyor machine by the plane next to us.”
Flight Attendant: (Looking out the window) “Are you sure?”
Me: “I am 99% sure! I have a very distinct bag. Could you have somebody check? I would hate to leave my bag in New Jersey.”
Flight Attendant: “Ok, ok, I’ll have someone check.”
*In the meantime, the two baggage handlers are hiding under the terminal, with their faces buried in their phones. All of the passengers are now loaded onto our flight, they are about to close the door! Then the United Airlines Gate Agent comes onto our flight and comes over to me.
Gate Agent: “Sir, is there a problem?”
Me: “Yes, one of my bags is sitting on that conveyor machine, on the wrong plane.”
Gate Agent: (With a look of disbelief on his face) Oooooook, I’ll look into it.”
He leaves the plane, and I can now see him out my window walking towards my bag. I’m a bit nervous at this point and my fingers are crossed that it IS my bag, because I’d hate to cause a big deal over nothing!
Then I see him check the tag, grab it, and walk towards our plane. It indeed WAS my bag!
In the meantime, the two baggage handlers are still hiding under the terminal, with their faces buried in their phones. They think they are hiding, but I can clearly see them.
Moments later the Flight Attendant walks back over to me:
Flight Attendant: “Sir, thank you for letting me know about your bag. The baggage handlers were just about to put it on our plane.”
Me: “Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight!” “Thank you for your help!.”
Seriously, about 1 minute later the door to our plane closes, and they start to push our plane back from the gate.
So my advice to you: Always look out the windows once you are seated on your plane. You never know if you’ll see your luggage being loaded onto the WRONG flight!
One time I saw a bag fall out of a cart and then some minutes later, it got run over by a plane. Fortunately it wasn’t my bag.
Yikes! Could you imagine if it was your bag?!? That’s why we always carry on our technology and valuables, and only put clothes in our checked bags.