Z. Madison

For when you're relaxing at home or killing company time - Z. Madison's here for you.

7.13.2007

Is There Anything Better Than The Site Of This After A Long Trip?

Well, yes...there's this:
I've had my luggage lost twice before; once on a return flight from Miami and once while in Europe. Both times paperwork was easily filled out and a reunion with wayward bags occurred within 24 hours. The Miami misplacement even landed me a boyfriend (who's since gone the wayward way himself).

Now when I tell you Iberia Airlines sucks the sweat off a dead man's dick, it's the most polite way I can communicate how I feel about this company's customer service.

There were two stages to my latest European Adventure: London and Pamplona. My friend (the ex-Soviet) is currently living in London. I was to fly there to see him and spend a day or so hanging out in the capital before we flew to Pamplona for the Running of the Bulls.

Stage I: London Lovin'
In Stage I, American Airlines was my ride. There were no issues whatsoever with AA. In fact, I heart AA merely for the ride home to New York on which there were about 50 or so African refugees traveling with us. Due to their special dietary concerns, the crew was unable to serve us the beef entree and we had to make due with chicken. The chicken would've been my choice anyway, but when the profusely apologetic attendant agrees to comp you and the funny, Chipolte-craving, Hawaii-bound handsome Marine seated next to you on his way back from Iraq free drinks, you jump at the chance to milk her empathy for all it's worth - in this case two chardonnays and two Amstel Lights respectively. Between the engaging conversation and quick catnap, seven hours never flew so fast (pun intended).


Stage II: Pamplona Party
Stage II consisted of the X-Sov and I attending the annual San Fermin Festival in Pamplona, Spain. While the goings-on which occurred there are worthy of a solomente post (upcoming once X-Sov sends digital pics), the pertinent part is that we flew to the fiesta via Iberia Airlines, Spain's national carrier.

Pamplona boasts an airport smaller than the American Airlines baggage claim area at JFK. It only has two 'gates' which open to a big parking lot you walk across to the small plane which deposits and whisks passengers to and fro Barcelona, Madrid and Ibiza. X-Sov and I arrived the standard two hours prior for an international departure on Monday, July 9th. We were the first to check in for our flight and I placed my black rolling suitcase on the check in scale. We then checked his bag and my additional piece of luggage.

Our flight took off as planned for Barcelona where we were slated for a five hour layover. The layover extended to seven hours. Once we finally boarded and were all belted in, the captain came over the loudspeakers and announced that due to the late timing, we were not going to be able to land in Heathrow as planned due to the "curfew" the city enforces. [OK - what the fuck, one of the busiest international airports shuts down at 11:30pm???] No problem, the bags are on board and wherever we end up landing, we'll just collect and head our way back to Westminster.

Upon landing in Lutin (WTF? WhereTF?), we head to baggage claim. Mind you it's now about 2am BST. This tiny shit airport is already basically closed down, as is the Tube, trains, etc. Bags start spilling out onto the conveyor belt. I happily pick up the second bag I checked and X-Sov retrieves his. Funny - shouldn't my black suitcase have come out first as it was the first one to be placed on board?

...

20 minutes later I ask one of the baggage guys if there was another truck of luggage we're waiting on. There is not.

FUCK.

I approach the crew and explain my situation. The place where I'd fill out the necessary forms is closed down - not to mention we're at THE WRONG AIRPORT. And, I'm leaving for the States the next morning. (er, in a few hours). I hear them out and will speak to British Air once at Heathrow in the am. (Iberia and BA have some sort of a partnership. The plane and crew we flew from Barcelona from were actually BA, not Iberian).

A few hours later I am helpfully informed by a BA agent at the customer service counter "You're looking at a nightmare." I'm then informed that my best course of action is to wait until I return to NY and file all necessary paperwork to initiate the process of returning lost luggage which I took an hour to do after landing at JFK with the American Airlines desk who also seemed to represent Iberia, British Airways and the like.

It's four days later and here's where we are:

1. After three separate calls to British Airways I've finally been informed that it's not their problem and they, while partners with Iberia and despite being the actual carrier I flew in the second leg of the return flight to London - um LUTIN, have nothing to do with the process.

2. After spending hours on hold over two days with no one answering the Customer Service help desk at Iberia, I finally get a human on the line and although they have my flight info, the bag's ID number and the case file from American Airlines, I am haughtedly then angerly informed that they will not help me as I filed forms with American Airlines. She spat out that I should go to JFK and start the process again. When I protest and respectfully suggest that their London agent speak to AA's London agent as this was their fault for losing the luggage in the first place, the punta hung up on me. Seriously. Bitch hung up on me. When I called back and got her supervisor, he was just as nasty. Fucker.

3. Thank God for American Airlines. Even though they have nothing to do with all the bullshit that went wrong, they're looking out for me like the Embassy would. The NY office is now working with their London office to stalk the Iberian assholes and try to retrieve my wayward bag. They've also gently hinted that it may come to simply getting a check (worth about 1/3 of what the value of the items I can remember are packed in there - some of which are irreplaceable), but they'll do everything in their power to resolve this as quickly as possible.

Bottom line? It's good to be home. God bless America and God bless AA.

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8 Comments:

At 2:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe they didn't care about helping you cause you're a foul-mouthed, vulgar bitch. Just a possibility.

 
At 1:16 PM, Blogger Z. Madison said...

Anon from NYC (my site reader can track you) - it's not the first time you've left hate posts. My question to you is why spend nearly an hour reading such a foul-mouthed, vulgar bitch? Is your life so pathedic that you can't find something better to do on a Saturday night? Just a possibility.

 
At 11:00 PM, Blogger dmbmeg said...

you poor little lamb! we need to talk

and update your link :) please

 
At 1:44 PM, Anonymous Jeremy said...

Z - Long time no talk. Sounds like you are staying busy. I'm sooo jealous. I miss the European excursions. So did you end up running with the bulls?

That sucks about the airlines. I had a similar problem in Europe. But it sounds like all the airlines are sucking wind these days with delays, lost luggage, cancellations, etc.

Glad you made it home safe.
Take care,
Jeremy

 
At 4:18 PM, Blogger Z. Madison said...

dmbmeg - at last i find you again! sorry to hear what went down with the old site. we need to catch up over drinks soon. lots of gossip for ya'. xoxo

jeremy - too long, stranger. partially (ok mostly) my fault. you'll have to wait just a bit longer to hear about the Toros... :) and agreed about the airlines. i've just been informed that heathrow has 20,000 bags in lost/found from the past week or so. hopefully, one's mine.

 
At 11:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok, first of all, I seriously live like 2 hrs from NYC, so your site tracker isn't exactly accurate. If I were you, I'd be begging for more "hate" messages - unless you want "0 comments" after every post. I like the irony of you calling my life pathetic without you even knowing how to spell the word.

 
At 9:41 PM, Blogger Z. Madison said...

Anon, Your ISP registers a specific address on the UES in Manhattan each time you've left a less than flattering (and sometimes incoherant) post over the past year and half.

Comments are added value and always appreciated, whatever form they come in. Drunken hate-spewing spinster surfers are always a welcome addition.

 
At 4:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My comments are never drunken and honestly I only usually viewed your blog after checking out other ones you were linked to. Seriously though, I only wish I had the money to live on the Upper East Side - that's pretty laughable. I would have no reason to lie to you. But yes, once in a while I like to leave the gibberish as a comment, like my calling card I guess. You should talk about more personal stuff sometimes. Let it out Z.

 

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