Airline mess – what a journey

What a day, what a journey …

Flew this noon from Munich to Zuerich for catch my ongoing flight to San Francisco with Swiss. And that day did start very well as Lufthansa messed up the connection flight by 42 minutes for a 35 minute flight. And as I was obviously the only passenger connection to San Francisco nobody picked me up at the airplane to bring me directly to my connection as Swiss did for the 8 passengers connection to Miami. So I missed my flight. What a start – and many thanks to Lufthansa. I was not the only one missing a connection as Lufthansa/Swiss had canceled the flight before due to “technical problems”.

In Zuerich Swiss did rebook me via Frankfurt with Lufthansa to board a United Airlines flight to San Francisco. “Ouch” I thought. I had my share of experience with United already as they’ve messed up my luggage on the way to San Francisco some years ago and it took them five (!!!) days to fly my bag over and deliver it. But actually it was the only option today. So I said “Yes“. A big mistake as I’ve learned later on.

The Frankfurt flight was delayed as well “due to a late incoming aircraft”. But there was plenty of time. And I went to the Swiss counter at the gate and let them check if my baggage is on that flight to Frankfurt. They’ve said “Yes“. Boarding the plane with a delay of 45 minutes (the typical Lufthansa delay these days) I spotted my Rimowa trolley right next to the plane on the airfield. So I was sure that it will be send to Frankfurt.

In Frankfurt I went to the United counter once it did open – had to go through the passport check they do for US flights as well – and they’ve said “Yes, your luggage is with us“. Well …

Arriving in San Francisco with just a bit of a some minutes delay and a very fast immigration procedure I saw the first bags with Priority tags getting pushed to the baggage claim – but mine was not there. I did wait … and wait … and wait.

Well, thanks United, you did it again!!! I flew twice in the past years United Airlines – and in both cases they’ve messed up my luggage on the way to San Francisco. How lovely is that …

Now the real fun started again as the lady at the “Lost and Found” counter for luggage spotted my luggage in her system in Zuerich – and told me it’s supposed to be sent with LH1191 to Frankfurt on Sept 27. But this was yesterday in Europe – it’s already Sept 28 – and I saw my luggage in front of the airplane. So I’d suppose it’s in Frankfurt already. But what could she do? Nothing but doing the awful paperwork. And “No Mr Dietrich, we don’t call international numbers“. Thank you, United. Next time I’ll try to get a contract for a US land line in advance.

They can’t even tell you which plane will bring your luggage. It may be tomorrow with UA flight arriving around 4pm in SFO. I’m looking forward to some hours in the wonderful United Airlines call center waiting line. Last time I did spend 60-90 minutes every day until I got my luggage. If it takes again that long then OOW will be over by then.

I love airline travel – and especially with United Airlines.

And by the way … they gave us these nice fancy packages during the flight:

That looks good – what’s in that box???

Yes, really … a bag of potato chips. Pure fat – very healthy.

I doubt that I’ll ever fly United Airlines again!!!

Update: This time it took United Airlines “just” 30 hours upon arrival of my flight to deliver my suitcase to my friend’s house in Pleasanton – it did arrive at 1am in the morning … but luckily TSA didn’t throw away the gift I’d bring, the Frankenlaib bread from Hopfpfisterei 😉



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