It’s that moment we all dread – your suitcase doesn’t come off the baggage carousel.

These days Qantas – like most major airlines- have an online system to help retrieve bags – it is all on their website, so you simply enter your baggage number, which Qantas give you at the airport once you let them know your bag is gone,  and it regularly updates with information on your missing bag.

A great concept, if only it worked. It didn’t work for me or my missing case. Not once in the 19 times I tried to log on to find out where in the world my case was over the 4 days it was missing .

My case went missing after a flight from Singapore to Sydney. One flight. I had two bags. One turned up, one didn’t.

The one that didn’t turn up contained my lap top and my house keys. Of course it did. Now that’s a hard lesson learned. Yes, I pack appallingly for a frequent flyer.

The Qantas staff on the ground at Sydney airport were excellent.  Helpful, and empathetic, only that’s where the good love from Qantas ended. From there, my life became a living hell.

With the baggage site stagnant (no news on my bag after countless attempts), the only thing I could do was to call Qantas, and wait times were anything from 2 minutes to 18 for each call.

I called Qantas 19 times in 4 days – yep.

I’m a silver frequent flyer  – so they put an orange priority tag on my bag to ensure it came off quickly. It didn’t. They later told me those orange tags don’t mean a thing.  They do them to make people feel better. Wouldn’t a free Messina icecream be an easier way to feel better?

The plain old black and white computer tags are the key I was told. Good to know.

Mine fell off.

I could go on, but the lessons learnt are these:

  1. Always have a name tag on your bag ( that is what saved me).
  2. Never pack your house keys or our lap top or anything critical in your suitcase (Yes, I know this is BLEEDINGLY OBVIOUS, but most of us don’t stop and think)..
  3. Doing meditation, yoga and any other ZEN activity is the best option when you lose a suitcase, as the airlines will eventually call you, and around 97% of lost luggage is returned, often by a different airline – eventually.

Qantas did call me – 7 days after the bag went missing to tell me they had found it  – to which I agreed, and thanked them for finally calling, but explaining it had already been returned three days earlier.

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