When I landed in Kolkata but my bag didn’t
My flight from Delhi to Kolkata was originally supposed to depart at 9.20am, but I got a message airline couple of days before saying it would now fly at 10.40am.
This time, I miscalculated the time it would take me to reach the airport and when I finally ended up at the check-in counter, it was close to 10am and there were a hundred or so people before me waiting to check in.
Thankfully, employees of Jet Airways, which was the airline I was flying with, called passengers who had flights around 10.40 to jump the queue and check in immediately.
After I’d done that, I proceeded to security check and again, there were a hundred or so people before me. Luckily for me, the line moved fast, but by the time I reached the scanners and metal detectors, I was sure I was going to miss my flight.
After I was done, I ran to my gate, which was a long way away, and reached there precisely at 10.40. I heaved a sigh of relief when I saw people were still boarding.
I caught my breath and went into the aircraft.
It was a pleasant flight and the food was good. But once we’d landed in Kolkata, the cabin crew announced my name and asked me to speak to the ground staff.
My bag hasn’t reached Kolkata! That was the first thought on my mind.
I found two Jet Airways men just outside the aircraft door on the aerobridge and asked them if my bag had reached. They didn’t answer me directly.
“Were you the last to check in?” One of them asked instead.
“I don’t know! My bag is not here, is it?”
“Sir, you will find a Jet Airways kiosk near baggage belt No. 8. Please go there. They will explain everything.”
I went ahead to find a heavily pregnant woman with a bad cold sitting there. When I told her my name, she recognised it.
“Sir, we were unable to place your bag on the flight in time. I will just fill out a missing luggage form for you. We will send it to your home tomorrow.”
“When will the bag reach Kolkata?” I asked.
“By a late-night flight today. We will give it to the vendor tomorrow morning and they’ll take it from there. Please don’t worry.”
I gave her a description of my bag and its contents. I wasn’t particularly worried because the only important things there were my not-so-expensive camera and my laptop power cord.
The next morning, I called them up to find that the bag had arrived in Kolkata and had already been handed over the the vendor that does that delivery. Through the day, the vendor and I kept in touch and they delivered it to me that evening.
Jet Airways followed the matter up with calls to me to confirm if I had received my luggage or not.
Missing luggage is nightmare for travellers. This is a situation that neither the traveller, nor the airline wants. It not only creates problems for the traveller, but also costs the airline to have the bags delivered later.
In my case, I think this was a human error and, well, shit happens. You’ve just got to deal with it. What I was impressed with was the way the airline handled the issue.
They gave me a patient hearing every time I called up and updated me on the status of my bag.
So, what did I take back from this incident? Will I think twice before booking Jet Airways tickets the next time?
I think I appreciate Jet Airways’ customer care department more now. Many airlines will offer you cheap tickets, but not all of them will provide top quality customer care.