my soft spot

just a mom who plays hockey and knits

Monday, January 28, 2008

Sometimes it pays to complain

Leaving Las Vegas on Sunday was crazy. My flight was supposed to leave at 3:30PM and didn't actually take wing until 6:00. Everyone's outbound flights were delayed. We dawdled a bit getting to the airport, returning the rental car, etc., and my bag got marked "late check-in," which is kind of bull, as it was checked in about an hour and a half before we left.

In any case, after a flight that ranked with the New York New York outdoor rollercoaster, I waited for my bag at the carousel, and maybe 15 bags total came out, none of them mine. I was actually happy when I was told it didn't make the plane and that if it didn't make the next flight, they'd deliver it. "Just call at 10:15," she says, "to see if it made the next flight." She hands me a business card with the Southwest baggage claim phone number.

This, to me, implied that I could actually A) talk to a human, and B) find out what happened to my bag. More the fool I.

I called, and got an answering machine. Left my info... but not my phone number. (10:15 is kind of late for me, and I think I didn't sleep all that well in Vegas.) Called back, left my phone number. Called a third time, pressing "2" for the supervisor instead of the "1" I'd dialed before for regular baggage claim. It went to the same answering machine. I gave up.

Tried again in the morning, hanging up when I got the machine. Tried the "2" one last time... and actually got a human being. She said yes, my bag was there. I gave up on trying to make them deliver it and spent most of my lunch hour picking it up. I realized on the way there that I was going to have to pay for parking just to pick up my mislaid or delayed bag. Argh. $2 for 30 minutes? Highway robbery.

At the counter, I produced the parking stub, and asked them to comp the parking, since I'd driven there to pick up the bag. She sweetly apologized, explaining they basically had no relationship with the parking company--but she'd give me a voucher. A voucher? Like a free drink ticket? I gave up my street address and phone number, and she produced a printed sheet--for a $25 credit on a future Southwest flight!

Hey, not bad.


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