I made it to Istanbul, but my luggage did not. My poor, lonely backpack is in Paris, circumventing the globe on its own as I anxiously wait its arrival.
I knew that going over a year without any airline checked-in luggage issues was too good to be true. I’ve been on way too many flights in the past year NOT to encounter a luggage mishap, so I suppose that it’s only fair that eventually I feel the wrath of the travel disaster gods.
Off the top of my head, I can recall only one disaster: on a trip back to New York from Austin. I never found my bag in baggage claim and the airline agents assured me that it would be delivered to my apartment that night. So I thought there would be no issues.
Wrong. When the bag was delivered to me, it was held together my clear plastic wrap and was no longer holding it’s rectangular shape; it was a square. Something’s not right about this.
Once I cut open the plastic wrap, I found my bag was ripped to shreds; it was as if someone tossed it into the propeller instead of into the airplane. Parts of the bag were melted into my clothes and most everything looked like a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle. Big time travel fail right there. But the part that’s not so bad is that it was on my way back home from my trip.
Fast-forward to this morning. My first flight (Boston to JFK) was delayed to the point that I wouldn’t be able to catch my connecting flight to Istanbul.
The upside: I was very early for this flight and was quickly rebooked on an earlier flight that was departing in the next ten minutes. I had to make a mad dash to board the plane before its departure, but I made it!
The downside: my checked bag doesn’t have my sprinting speed and did not make it on the same flight to JFK. Therefore, it did not skip the country on the same flight as me to Istanbul. It was re-routed from Boston to Paris, then (hopefully) Paris to Istanbul.
Fast forward to right now. I’m sitting at my hostel checking airline flight statuses and hypothesizing the various flight combos that would result in me receiving my backpack fastest. The forces of nature have conspired against me; my backpack’s flights had been delayed again and thus wouldn’t make the connection to Istanbul again! Not that any of this stressing is going to expedite the process or anything.
Regardless, I’m in Istanbul sans backpack with lack of a change of clothes or (gasp) my toothbrush. Actually, I usually always bring my toothbrush and an extra shirt in my carry-on but the book I packed was too thick for me to fit anything else in my daypack besides my laptop (I curse you, Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest!). This is no one’s fault but my own. Guess it’ll be just me and these yoga clothes for a bit! And yes: I will go out and buy another toothbrush.
Real-time update: I just received an email from the agent at the Istanbul airport confirming my hypothesis that there’s no way my bag would have made it onto it’s intended flight to Istanbul and that it should arrive in a few hours on a different flight. Just as I suspected; however, the tracking information online hasn’t indicated that it’s on any flight from Paris to Istanbul, which is starting to make me nervous.
Moral of the story: why do I need to take a flight from Boston to JFK in order to find a direct flight from JFK to Istanbul? Sigh.
Actually the moral of the story is that I need to get over this right now. Coincidentally, I read this post by Nomadic Matt as I was calculating my backpack’s fate in JFK. And he’s right; these things happen. Everything in the bag is replaceable. My friends are arriving in a few hours and we’re going to turn Turkey upside down!
I was lucky to receive my passport in time, but something tells me this is just the first of many travel mishaps in the upcoming year for this accident-prone girl. I’ll learn to embrace that.
Note: My beloved backpack did finally arrive with all contents intact the night before I left Istanbul for Cappadocia. What a relief!