It’s been 19 hours and 44 days

since United and SWISS lost my luggage in an overbooked flight between Denver and Chicago.

I have been trying not to be over dramatic about it and my incurable optimism has me thinking that it can still show up because it doesn’t really make any sense that a bag can just disappear without a trace.

The SWISS Baggage Service Team tells me that I have to wait. This is now high season, people are travelling everywhere for summer vacation and a lot of them are in the same situation or, maybe even worse, they got to the resort or city hotel where they planned to stay for a week or two and their bags didn’t get there, ruining their much needed and certainly deserved time away from the schedules of daily life.

At the SWISS Baggage Competence Centre, everyone is too busy to deal with me and my calls. Search will go on until approximately the 13th of July, someone wrote on the first email, and, as soon as we have news we will get in contact with you. They never did, so I called on the 15th and a very unpleasant and stressed out woman basically yelled at me for having the nerve to call about a carry on that, incidentally, I did not forget at some airport, but was actually lost because the flight was overbooked and I had to check it in at the gate because there was no space in the overhead compartments. How do you manage to lose a bag at the boarding gate is still a mystery to me.

The last emails I got from various people at the said baggage competence center, laconically informed me that [they] are sorry now it is by the end of July and that they will contact after the 31 July to advice you how to process for payment if bag not found. If the date is not changed again, I suppose August 1st will mark the beginning of yet another series of nonsensical electronic communication, since I do remember being told that I should be able to present receipts for the contents of my bag. Really? Do normal people actually keep receipts of everything they own and eventually pack? Or do they simply buy everything new before they travel and take care to keep a neat accounting file of source documents just in case their luggage disappears? I will not be able to present physical proof of the value of the contents of my bag. Does this mean that I will have no right to compensation? And then, after a business trip how does an airline compensate you for losing the results of your work? I suppose that’s not really their problem and all I am going to hear about it will probably be something along the lines of we really apologize and kind regards.

In the grand scheme of things, all this is, of course, very small and trivial, absolutely meaningless. I travel for work (mainly) and sometimes for fun. I am not forced to move by social, political or economic circumstances. I am not fleeing from wars and religious persecutions. I was not strip off by belongings and had to start from scratch rebuilding what has been taken away. No, an airline lost my luggage and I actually did not think that this would be possible since just about everything and everyone seems to be monitored and traceable.

I suppose, considering that evanescence does not seem feasible, my bag could, one day, be a minor star in “Baggage Battles” or just get bought in a low profile mystery luggage auction. I hope that this is what happens if I don’t get it back. I hope whoever gets it has the same fondness I had for my 70s DVF paisley print shirt dress. I hope he or she likes gold lurex tops and thinks that a pair on Armani black slacks are a foundation piece of every sensible wardrobe.  I really hope that whoever gets my bag appreciates the silk tie I bought my dad as a present and mostly that he or she takes really good care of my favourite, battered beige studded leather jacket. Maybe he or she will even be kind enough to realize that my name and contact details are in there too.

References
The Things We Leave Behind

Author: dreamingofmelville

I have watched too many movies for my own good, I have an absolute passion for clothes and an immense hunger for life and wanting to just take it all in. My closet (s) is a mirror of my current self, my former self (selves) my personal movies, my plans for extreme style makeovers and all the characters I did not get to play. I'm trying to tell the story of who I am, who I was and of who I will (most probably) not become one error at a time. These are the mistakes that make up my Closet of Errors. They are all intentional mistakes and part of of various attempts at writing my own story, at creating personas, at playing with possibilities. As most of our mistakes have consequences, so did my errors. I have no more space for all of them and while not having a minimalist, capsule wardrobe approach to life, I need to make space for a whole new set of errors. I hope you find some errors to identify and experiment with so I can share the story and intention behind them and see them transform into new narratives. The name of this blog (and of my shop) is a little twist on Shakespeare's "The Comedy of Errors" because this is also a story of mistaken identities

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