There are times life prepares you for a moment – sometimes you just have to wait 22 years for that moment. For me, dealing with lost luggage was exactly that moment and I think I got the preparation for it 22 years ago.
Business took me to Amsterdam last week for the International Broadcast Conference (IBC). Because of the way work goes, I had to change my plans a few days before I left – so my direct flight from NYC to Amsterdam became a connection through Washington, DC and a change in airlines from Delta to KLM.
The good news is I made it to JFK in plenty of time, an easy walk through Dulles followed and a pretty smooth overnight flight to Amsterdam got me on the ground at about 730AM – not well rested but ready for the day. The plan was to grab my bag from the carousel, head to the hotel, hopefully shower, change and head to the RAI Center where IBC happens.
Problem is my bag did not have the simple transfer I had. As best I could tell it never got out of Dulles.
Twenty-two or so years ago, when Risa and I took our first ever trip together – a cruise that left from Florida around Mexico and back our bags were lost too. That is the last time until last week my bags got lost. Not a bad track record. Of course in that time I’ve become good at packing the carry on and limiting my chances for loss by flying direct.
For anyone who’s had to face this you know the drill. Fill out some paperwork with the airline and hope for the best.
In this case though, I am on business travel. All I have for clothing is a pair of Levi’s I’m wearing and a golf shirt I packed to pull on once the plane landed in Amsterdam. I got lucky in that my hotel was built as part of a shopping mall – so before I headed to the RAI Center I headed to the mall and did some shopping.
This is where the flashback occurred. Suddenly it was circa 1995 and Risa and I were busy looking for underwear in stores on Key West. Back then I remember regretting the things I didn’t buy the first day – deodorant, a second t-shirt, a second pair of socks. That training 22 years ago prepared me for the day.
It turns out my big issue with this battle of lost luggage was finding a pair of pants in downtown Amsterdam that would fit on my American hockey sized legs – since they were cut for Dutch men who ski.
I failed on the pants, got the extra things I needed – and was able to learn from that lost luggage lesson 22 years ago. Call it a win and move on to the next.