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My weekend travel

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I had ridiculously good air-travel luck this weekend.

Short and easy security experiences, no significant hassles with flights. Two of my three flights yesterday arrived at their destinations half an hour early; I've never heard of such a thing happening. I was stuck in a middle seat for one leg of my Friday flights, but it wasn't too bad. I thought I would be stuck in a middle seat for the longest leg of my flights home, but at the last minute the person in the window seat next to me found out she could go sit with her friends in the back of the plane, so I suddenly got a window seat. And got at least a couple hours' sleep on various planes in both directions.

My luck ran out, of course, when I arrived home last night. Waited at baggage claim for 20 minutes before they started putting the baggage out, then another 20 minutes or so as the bags came out. No sign of my garment bag. I talked to the baggage agent, and she had no idea where my bag might be, nor (apparently) any way to find out. She said it might show up on the 11:30 p.m. flight, at which point they might deliver it to my home anytime in the following four hours, and was that okay?

I eventually arranged to have them hold it 'til morning if it arrived during the night, but this morning nobody's answering the phone at the SJC America West baggage claim office, and the main America West baggage number has been busy for over half an hour. I guess they lost a lot of bags yesterday, or something.

I think that the airlines don't like the idea of Kam picking me up. I almost never have problems with checked bags when I'm going somewhere (with a few notable exceptions, like the trip to Glasgow last fall) or when I'm arriving home but have my own car or am taking a cab. But pretty much every time Kam has come to pick me up at an airport in the past year or so, there's been a luggage fiasco of one kind or another, usually resulting in making her wait a minimum of half an hour extra.

It's almost enough to make me stop checking bags. But I really do like having a razor, not to mention toothpaste, when I arrive at my destination. And I dislike having to fuss with the overhead compartments.

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There's a third option that might be feasible on some trips -- you can ship items to your destination and back home. I've done this a fair bit using FedEx Ground on some longer trips, where I didn't want to have to deal with tons of luggage. But it requires trusting FedEx Ground, and not needing the items while they're in transit, and having the schedule work out well for shipping things back. I've most often used this option when I had to ship boxes of books back and forth to an exhibit anyway, so I might as well ship some clothes at the same time.

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