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4200 miles: won't let this trip be FUBAR's. Our trip to London

4200 miles: won't let this trip be FUBAR's. Our trip to London

Old Oct 3rd, 2011, 02:18 PM
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4200 miles: won't let this trip be FUBAR's. Our trip to London

Our first trip to London. DH and I, both 60's. DH just a few weeks after surgery, but we were anxious for our trip.

Flew from MIA to LHR. No sleep, but nothing new there. Immigration took FOREVER, like 2 hours. Even frequent travelers were dismayed at the delay. We had arranged for a car service to transport us to our flat. mailto:[email protected]

Well, after our immigration wait, there was no sign saying "DH AND POSTER". By the way, we had planned to buy a SIM card in London. We did not have any way to contact the car service to tell them we were delayed. We called Ray; he told us his driver waited for a while and then left. Did not think he could get another driver there to transport us.

Plan B: Get a cab to the flat we had rented. Now, I know there will be comments about this, but we were not confident in the London transportation system, we were tired, we could not heft a lot of luggage, etc. So go with the flow here.

We arrived at our flat. (More about it later). Much sighing in relief after lugging our bags up the 3 flights of stairs. DH logged on the the internet, while I unpacked. One bag, good to go, Second bag: wait, what is this with hiking boots, denims with holes. WOW, we got the wrong bag. Oh, too bad, DH will have to wear the same clothes for 2 weeks.

WAIT A FREAKING MOMENT! MY SPECIAL PILLOW WAS IN THAT BAG!

Well, we have to get back to the airport and get our bag. Looked up the Delta Airlines number on the netbook. Rang to Air France. Well, I was left on hold for 20 minutes by Air France, then they gave me a phone number at the airport. Called this number, told which terminal to return to, which phone to use, etc.

Luckily, the owner of the flat had left a "FLAT INFORMATION BOOK" which included a transport service. We called Mohamed and he said he could pick us up in a few minutes.

Long story short: Many $$ later (Thank God for ATM) we got our bag, and returned the other guys bag. (LHR passenger control is VERY STRICT if you are coming in thru the back door. They were NOT PLEASED with my bottle of hand sanitizer at all!)

We were now awake for 24 hours and not in the best of moods. Our unauthorized car service and Muhammed took us back to our flat. Big tip, we were glad to be "home".

Tired, grouchy, we ordered pizza and soda from a local place, and were in bed by 9.
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Old Oct 3rd, 2011, 03:02 PM
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My gosh, what a pain! Hopefully that will be one of those things you laugh about later..
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Old Oct 3rd, 2011, 03:16 PM
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Laughing has commenced. And London pizza delivery has kernels of corn on top. Hu?
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Old Oct 3rd, 2011, 03:25 PM
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HOW do you wind up with the wrong bag??? My sympathies are all with the poor guy whose bag got taken. One reason I try to stand near the start of the conveyor is to keep some xxxxx from walking off with my bag (which has red ribbon tied round one of the handles so I can recognize it from afar).
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Old Oct 3rd, 2011, 03:39 PM
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I am not an xxxx. First time in so many years getting the wrong bag. Accidents happen. The other guy got his bag back (delivered by the airline) in 6 hours.

S... happens. Hope he had as good a time in London as we did/
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Old Oct 3rd, 2011, 04:12 PM
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It can only get better from here. I look forward to reading the rest of your report.
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Old Oct 3rd, 2011, 04:48 PM
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Travel days with luggage are incredibly exhausting... my sympathies! Generally, the more effort it takes to get somewhere- the more enjoyable that somewhere will be. Looks like you'll be having a fabulous time, then.
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Old Oct 3rd, 2011, 08:46 PM
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To shamelessly borrow from my good friend Itallian Chauffeur, you have now eaten the frog and everything henceforth will be better.
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Old Oct 3rd, 2011, 10:50 PM
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I love it: FUBAR??????? Is this some sort of Facebook thing?
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Old Oct 3rd, 2011, 10:59 PM
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Dukey1, FUBAR is an Army/military thing:

F'd Up Beyond All Recognition.

s
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Old Oct 3rd, 2011, 11:22 PM
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So, you don't bother to take a few seconds to check you have your own bag, and waltz off with someone else's property, causing an innocent bystander six hours of anxiety and inconvenience, and you count that as "S... happens"? Not in my book. I trust you would have the same lackadaisical attitude if the airline had sent your "special pillow" to Lima instead of London. I thought perhaps you were a novice traveler, but no. Sure hope I don't wind up on a flight with you - or maybe you should hope that, I don't think you'd enjoy a shout of " stop thief" following you to customs.
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Old Oct 4th, 2011, 12:40 AM
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Oh god Thursday, pop a midol and grab a heating pad.

I did the exact same thing the first time I came to London. I had SEVEN suitcases with me (was moving over here for 8 months) and managed to grab the wrong 22' Samsonite, black generic suitcase. Of course it's the worst feeling in the world to make it all the way to your flat before realising the cock up. All I wanted was a shower and a nap and I found myself trudging back to Heathrow. You did the right thing by going straight back to the airport. I found the employees to be very helpful and they even let me sneak back through the staff security so that I avoided the long queues at normal security.

And yes, you can frequently find pizza with sweet corn on it in the UK and it's gross.
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Old Oct 4th, 2011, 12:46 AM
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It happens but good advice don't buy standard bags, do be-ribbon them or modify them so they stand out. I always chose bright red because everyone else is boring and has grey or black. I do modify (so change handles or straps) and ribbons oh-yes.
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Old Oct 4th, 2011, 01:13 AM
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LondonYank - thank you for saying what I was thinking (more or less).

Corn on pizzas is big in Asia too. I think it's an acquired taste, like Vegemite or offal.
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Old Oct 4th, 2011, 01:45 AM
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Aha! Until the Vegemite clue, I didn't realise you are an Aussie. [I didn't recognise the MIA; thought it could be Missing In Action. ] No wonder you take things in your stride.

Looking forward to the rest of your travails!
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Old Oct 4th, 2011, 04:48 AM
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I'm with thursdaysd on this ~~ the OP never said she took the wrong bag;
she "got" the wrong bag.

And her sympathy is misplaced:
"Oh, too bad, DH will have to wear the same clothes for 2 weeks."

I'd like to read the trip report of the poor guy whose vacation she messed with.
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Old Oct 4th, 2011, 05:15 AM
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For goodness sake, get down off your high horse. Anyone can make a mistake, especially when jetlagged and sleep deprived. OP is not a thief and she didn't "waltz off" or intentionally mess with anybody's vacation. If anything, she messed with her own vacation just as much as the other guy's by accidentally taking the wrong bag.
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Old Oct 4th, 2011, 08:42 AM
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what's wrong with sweetcorn on pizza?
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Old Oct 4th, 2011, 08:56 AM
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And if the OP had acknowledged she made a mistake and taken responsibility for it, I wouldn't have a problem with her. But no, it's "S... happens", "accidents happen", nothing to do with her. It wasn't an accident, that's something you have no control over. She could have prevented this by taking maybe five extra seconds to check the bag, but no, it was an " accident". BS. And for heavens' sake, this was one international flight with one checked bag each, not a major move.
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Old Oct 4th, 2011, 10:02 AM
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"what's wrong with sweetcorn on pizza?"

It is an abomination (but I have seen it in Southern Italy as well)

I think people are over analysing the suitcase thing. The OP was tired, frustrated over a long wait at immigration, made a mistake, once realised made every effort to correct it. Personally, I don't think it rates the attack dog approach and I look forward to the next instalment.
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