Well it had to happen one day and it did. At the American Airlines baggage reclaim at Heathrow, the one bag checked by the Hopeful Traveler never appeared on the baggage carousel. As much I could have felt stressed out by the event, I felt less so because one other chap waiting at the carousel did not find his bags either.
What to do? I headed straight to the American baggage service counter. You must always immediately report the missing bag to the airline. An American associate quickly took down my details and completed a ‘Property Irregularity Receipt’ which includes a file locator number that is necessary when contacting the airline about the status of a delayed bag. She confidently said the checked items are likely on the next flight into Heathrow arriving three hours later. She further assured me that if the bag is on the next flight, it will be delivered to my hotel and that I should inform the hotel staff that a bag of mine is expected. But because of multiple deliveries the soonest anyone could receive their bag is six hours after that second flight's arrival.
I placed my confidence in the airline’s so-called sophisticated baggage tracking system and headed into London to my hotel. But what about a change of clothes, toothbrush/toothpaste? What if the bag is not found that day? The saga continues in the next post.