Lost Luggage :
Recently, I had the privilege to speak in Paris at the
ASEPTIC SURGERY FORUM. One of the biggest fears in traveling is losing one's luggage. When we arrived in Paris, we didn't see our bags on the "merry go round" and we got worried.
In talking with Air France (who we flew with to Paris) we were told one bag was in Atlanta and the other was lost (we left from Detroit).Three hours later we were leaving the airport with an allotment of 100 euros each to buy some things. They would not promise anything more if we submitted cost over the 100 euros, very difficult talking with them on this point. The strange thing is we tried to keep in contact with Air France but the story seemed to change hour by hour with one bag being in New York and the other just being lost. We were even told that when found it could take up to 48 hours to get us the bag.
Well, not only did we (my girlfriend Maryjo also traveled with me) have our luggage lost but it was 3 days until we received our belongings back. One day we could handle, but 3 days was a lot to ask for considering Maryjo bought a lot of new clothes for this trip. In fact, I had a special event planned for our second evening in Paris that required us to be dressed up. Well, my event did not allow people to be in blue jeans and tennis shoes. I was in a "Paris Pickle" one could say, what to do. More on that in a different update.
Losing luggage is a lot like losing instruments, one can do everything from tagging and scanning (if you have a barcode system) but instruments still get lost. The one thing in common is that you need them and they can not be lost. Just like luggage, you need to have your instruments tagged and labeled correctly so when found they can be returned to the proper place and person. We were lucky we had our bags not only tagged correctly but labeled with an ink that did not run when wet. Why talk about ink not running when exposed to wetness? Well you see when we got our bags back 3 days later we had a small surprise. When Maryjo opened her bag some of the clothes were damp and some were soaking wet. No problem, she was now an expert at washing and drying things in the room. She strategically placed things all over the room and even out the window. By late that night everything was dry and unpacked. The Hilton in Paris never looked so good with ladies clothes hanging out the window. One of the reasons they knew whose bags these belonged to is that the information on our bags was written with good ink that did not run when it got wet.
Oh about that special evening I mentioned earlier well, that is for another update and that is a story all in itself.