Singapore Airlines Lost Luggage Nightmare

Child who screamed for the duration of two flights with his twin brother who cried all night--20 hours of hell

Singapore Airlines lost, then found, then lost my luggage for nearly 5 days and caused me great stress and major inconvenience, both of which nearly ruined the first part of my trip to Indonesia.
Farewell We'll See You in Hell

Normally, I wouldn’t bother to spend my time writing a post like this; I’d accept the basic compensation and move on. But in this case, I just had to. When you read this, you’ll understand why.

By the way, I started writing this a couple days ago—in the middle of the crisis–but could barely do it.  I was crying and my head felt like it was going to explode from a nasty tension headache. What made it all the more more intense was/is the fact that I’ve been simultaneously dealing with culture shock.

Where am I?

In a village—Payakumbuh—in Western Sumatra, Indonesia, a rural area where I’m amazed my unlocked iPhone 4S even works. I’m surrounded by rice paddies, mountains and palm trees. (Sorry re: the quality of this photo; it was shot on an iPhone.)

Payakumbuh, Western Sumatra, Indonesia

So, what the hell happened?

Why were my bags lost in the first place? And how did they go from lost…to found…to lost? And why did this take so long to be resolved?

And the bottom line, for me now, is what is Singapore Airlines going to do to compensate me for what I’ve been through?

The Story

I don’t normally check bags, but for this trip, I decided to. Why? Well, in addition to a small day pack, I had two bags.  My main backpack (sort of large) and a smaller one containing teaching materials to help me with a volunteer experience I had planned for the first half of June.

Also, I had certain things that aren’t allowed in the main cabin—crucial items that are more than a few ounces in weight and thus, not allowed in one’s carry-on luggage.

Checking the bags in

So, I figured that since I was flying Singapore Air—an airline with a stellar reputation—there wouldn’t be a problem. I went ahead and checked my bags. When I checked in back at JFK last Wednesday, I asked if the bags would go all the way to Pekanbaru, my final destination in Indonesia, I was told they would. No need to reclaim and re-check them along the way.

So…I said goodbye to my friend who drove me to the airport and to my bags and flew out of New York at 8:30 pm on Wednesday, May 30th. Flight no: SQ 0025. That flight—and the one that followed to Singapore—was hellish, by the way.  (Please note: this is not part of my official complaint–just something I’m sharing.)

Why? Twin screaming babies—cute, but demonic in their approach to torture. (Note: photo below is of the actual child…it’s not borrowed.) For this alone, I should get an upgrade to first class on my return flight.  Seriously, it was that bad. Noise-cancelling headphones didn’t work at all.

Child who screamed for the duration of two flights with his twin brother who cried all night--20 hours of hell

Unexpected Running to Catch My Connecting Flight

When I got to Singapore—exhausted and disoriented—I realized that there was precious little time to catch my final leg of my flight, which was via Silk Air. The board said, “Last call.” I had to make a run for it and use an air train to get to my gate. This really sucked. I was, as you can imagine, a bit panicked.

PS:  No one was there as I deplaned to tell me I had to hurry. Good thing I figured it out as fast as I did.

So, while running to catch the plane, I briefly wondered about my bags…

Would they make it? If I had to run, what were the odds my bags were being transferred fast enough? I put the thought out of my head. It was Singapore Airlines, after all.

(Now, in retrospect, I do believe this is where/when the bags got misplaced. Singapore Airlines’ schedule for these types of connecting flights seems to be tight and/or unrealistic.)

When I arrived in Pekanbaru at 8 am or so on Friday morning (June 1st)–22 or so hours later–I was exhausted and disoriented. Thank goodness a new Indonesian friend named Dino (a friend of a friend named Sysilia) was there to meet me.

Bags Not There When I Arrived

I went to pick up the bags and sure enough, they weren’t there. No one spoke more than a few words of English, so I began to panic. Fortunately I was greeted by Dino, who quickly jumped in to help out.

"Please report any unattended luggage."

I filled out a baggage claim report and was told by a baggage claim representative named Bobby that someone would contact me later. Perhaps the bags would come in later that night and be delivered to my hotel in Pekanbaru, but for sure, it would be the next morning. It seemed as if they’d been through this sort of thing many times.

Of course, I was upset, but I let go of it, believe that things would work out. Bobby was super helpful and reassuring. He gave me and Dino his special airport mobile phone number.

Later that day, we heard from him. He was told by the reps at the Singapore Airport that the bags had been located and that they would be coming in the next morning—Saturday—on an early flight from Singapore. I was thrilled. All would be OK.

Of course, I was still in my clothes that I’d worn on the flight. Not happy about that. Good thing for layering and good deodorant, right? And thank goodness I’d packed my migraine pills. Believe me, I felt one coming on…

Making Plans Based on Misinformation

So, I made my remaining plans around this information. I would shower on Saturday morning, Dino would take me to the airport, I would get my bags and I would change into fresh clothes. Then I’d take my shared taxi to Payakumbuh, the rural village where I’d be volunteering for a few weeks.

I was happy with this plan, thinking I’d have the teaching books/CDs, my personal items I needed (including special mosquito repellant and a net, etc.). Things were coming together.

Well, I couldn’t have been more wrong.

When we got to the airport on Saturday morning and tried to reclaim the bags, we were told they weren’t there yet. Bobby was apologetic, of course, and said he’d done his best, but to no avail. Unfortunately, he’d just received another message that the bags were not, in fact, on their way…yet. They would come there later and then they’d be sent to Payakumbuh.

“Really?” I replied. I was incredulous. The thought of the bags being transported to a remote Sumatran village 5 or so hours away on iffy roads just didn’t make sense to me. But then, again, I thought—well, it’s Singapore Airlines/Silk Air. They’ll make it happen. Again, I believed the information Bobby had been given.

$32 in Compensation…Really?

By the way… I was given 300,000 rupiah for my inconvenience. To buy clothes with or whatever. Sounds like a lot, right? Well, it’s not. It’s about $32.


After a quick chat with Dino, my friend, I decided to stick to my original plan. I would take the 10 am shared taxi to Payakubuh in Western Sumatra. There was no reason not to, right? The bags were allegedly coming.

So I said goodbye to my new friend and began the trek to Payakumbuh. The ride was rougher than I thought—like a mini chicken bus ride—but OK. All I kept thinking was—once I’m there, I’ll relax for a while, wait for my bags. Once they arrive, I’ll take a nice shower, get into clean clothes, put on some different shoes…etc.

I arrived exhausted. I met my friend Eti, the teacher with whom I’m working, and we chatted for a few minutes and soon, I was whisked over to her school on a motorbike (holy crap—that was a wild ride). My culture shock now intensified as we bumped along on the bike and I saw the palm trees and rice paddies and village homes. I was truly in a different world.

We entered the school for a special ceremony of sorts and I noticed that I had some missed calls. From Bobby.

Uh oh.

I excused myself and called him outside. And soon found myself in tears. Really losing it now.

Bags’ Status Went From Found to LOST

The bags were not simply on their way or running late. They were now LOST. Again.


How could this be?

He wasn’t sure. Perhaps they got sent to Jakarta somehow and were lost there. No one really knew.

But he was doing his best, of course, and said he “could understand how I was feeling.”

Really? Could he? Did he know what it was like to be in a village experiencing total culture shock wondering what would happen when the sun went down, the mosquitoes came out and there was no repellant to be used? Did he know what it was like to have been in the same clothes for several days?

I think not. (And by the way, I’m not mad at the guy at all. He was nice and professional. I was just venting….)

I slumped against the side of the school and burst into tears. It was simply too much. He reassured me once again that the bags would be located somehow. At this point, I wondered if the bags were lost…forever.

The rest of my day and night—my first in the village—were not pleasant. I was exhausted, frustrated and sick of wearing the same clothes. Sure, I could have gone shopping, but it wasn’t so simple. The woman I’m staying with had things to do at her school. Also, because I tend to be a size 10/12 in the U.S., finding clothes in Asia is difficult.

Anyway, my sleep wasn’t so good that night, as you can imagine. I really wanted my things. Needed them, in fact. The repellant would have come in handy.

The next morning, I felt awful. I began thinking that if my bags were truly lost and not to be recovered, that I would leave Sumatra. Skip the volunteer thing and maybe even return home. The thought of buying everything new here—including a bathing suit—sounded like a pain in my butt. This is supposed to be a two-month trip, after all.

Then, right after breakfast, I received another message from Bobby and his supervisor, Ravin. The bags had been located. They were in Singapore! The problem? No flights were going directly to Pekanbaru. They’d have to send the bags to Jakarta first. Yikes, I thought. More room for error.

The next part of the plan would be to have the bags sent here. They opted to use the same shared taxi I came here in via a local company that knows the area. Smart idea, right?

The bags did finally arrive at 3 o’clock this morning. Monday. (I flew out last Wednesday. That’s a long time, is it not?) About 2 hours later than anticipated. Eti, her husband and I had waited in the living room for them, starting around 12:45. She made calls to the driver who got lost and her husband had to take the motorbike out to meet the guy a couple miles away.

More inconvenience and frustration. More lost time. Almost 5 days. And now others were involved.

Thanks a lot, Singapore Airlines.

So, my friends/readers, why am I sharing all this?

A) To show that Singapore Airlines, despite its reputation, can really screw up; and it needs to get its act together.
B) To ask the airline to look at its Pekanbaru flights/connections with Silk Air. Are they realistic? I suspect not.
C) To ask Singapore Airlines to compensate me for the high level of stress and inconvenience they caused me.

PS: I tweeted about this several times (and it was retweeted), using the #SingaporeAir hastag. No one responded.

The first part of my trip has been ruined. The crying/screaming twins on the plane were just a drop in the bucket. It’s more about the stress, the anxiety and the lost time over the past several days. The misinformation that led to it. (Whoever gave the incorrect info the Bobby in the first place should get in trouble.)

I’ve spent countless hours on the phone, checking messages, speaking to people, waiting, wondering, etc. I didn’t need this. And I certainly didn’t expect if from an airline like Singapore Airlines.

Singapore Airlines

Your Thoughts/Experiences/Suggestions

What kind of lost-bag experiences have you had? How long were they gone for? What sort of inconvenience did you experience? And how did the airline compensate you?

In my particular case, based on the extreme nature of this case, what do you think SA owes me?

  • An upgrade to first class on my return flight?
  • A separate flight—free?
  • A separate first-class flight free?
  • 100,000 miles added to my account?
  • A return flight to EWR (closer to home)  instead of JFK (I believe this would put me in business class since that’s all that flies to EWR)
  • Or something else?

Thanks for listening to my horror story. As awful as it’s been, I feel slightly better.

PS to Singapore Airlines: I want to say that Bobby and Ravin, the local Singapore Airlines/Silk Air baggage rep and supervisor, were excellent. They did their best to help me and were empathetic and professional throughout the process.

I do believe that the real culprit in all this was someone over at the Singapore Airlines office in Singapore. The person who supplied the misinformation and then somehow lost control over the whereabouts of my bags. This person should be reprimanded or suspended from work somehow. The guys I dealt with–who were really just the unfortunate ‘messengers’–did their jobs well.

PPS to readers:  Sorry if there are any typos in this post or if it seems disjointed. It’s been a rough several days and I’m sitting in an Internet cafe that lacks AC. Internet is so so here, too, so everything takes longer.

30 Responses to Singapore Airlines Lost Luggage Nightmare
  1. Erik
    June 4, 2012 | 4:43 am

    Oh goodness, a nightmare for sure. I’d heard good things about Singapore Airlines, but you can be sure I will never fly them. I hope they do compensate you- you deserve it.

    Customer service in Asia has a suspect reputation… this can’t help.

    Hope the rest of your trip is better than the start.
    Erik recently posted..Photo of the Day- Chaco Culture National Historical Park, New MexicoMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      June 5, 2012 | 3:43 am

      Thanks so much, Erik, for understanding. It was a nightmare. My only thought when they told me they lost the bags for the second time–and had no idea where they were–was that I’d be without mosquito repellant in this village. That scared me because I wasn’t sure about some of the diseases here and wanted to be protected. Of course, you can’t carry on more than a couple of ounces and so, I couldn’t bring those supplies on board.

      Anyway, the trip is getting better–fortunately. Thanks again!

  2. Jeremy Foster
    June 4, 2012 | 4:50 am

    What a nightmare! At least you’re OK, though, and YOU landed safely on the ground!
    Jeremy Foster recently posted..Waiheke Island is Beachy, Where the Wine Flows and the Hills RollMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      June 5, 2012 | 3:41 am

      Thanks, Jeremy. You’re absolutely right. That’s the most important thing of all! :)

  3. Jeruen
    June 4, 2012 | 5:54 am

    Hello CB Driver,

    For all of my travels, I’ve only lost (and recovered) my bags once. And it was a complicated issue as well. The good thing was that it happened on my return flight; the vacation was already over, and the hassle that resulted was simply I couldn’t do laundry as fast as I wanted to.

    In my case, I was flying LAN Airlines from Santiago de Chile to Miami, connecting to American Airlines from Miami to Toronto. It was simple, fly from Chile to Canada through the USA, then drive back to the USA across the border to Buffalo, where I live. However, they lost my bags. It didn’t show up in Miami (I know that people claim luggage at the first airport entering the USA) nor did it show up in Toronto. The fact that we were driving back to the USA made it more difficult too. The good thing was that American was fine with the idea of delivering it to our home airport, in Buffalo. After a week, we got our bags back.

    So, where does that leave you? As you narrated, you got your bags back, albeit after some delay. That’s normal for lost bags. You asked about compensation and listed options. Given what I know, I don’t think they’d give you those. They located the bag and delivered it after all. Yeah, it was after some delay, but my experience with airlines is that they don’t care. If the bags were destroyed, then that’s a different issue, though.

    So, I suggest investing on a little travel insurance when you travel. Most insurance plans usually have provisos for lost luggage. So when a situation like yours arises, there’s a back-up plan.
    Jeruen recently posted..Gallivanting in Guatemala: The Trek to AculMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      June 5, 2012 | 3:40 am

      Howdy, Jeruen. Lucky that your bags were lost on a return flight. The other times I experienced this–only twice in 25 years or so–it was on that end. It’s true that I got the bags back after some delay, etc., but my issue is with how Singapore Airlines lost, then found, then lost them again. That’s what really screwed everything up. If it had been a straightforward loss/recover, I wouldn’t be sitting here writing this.

      Anyway, thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  4. Dustin Main - Skinny Backpacker
    June 4, 2012 | 5:55 am

    Though I can understand your frustration, I might be in the minority here when I say that I don’t think a couple of days with lost luggage means the end of the world and free flights for compensation.

    And I don’t know about your connections, but there is a reason that most insurance companies won’t cover your flights if you have less than 2 hours between transfers, regardless if airlines will book you. Some people are willing to take the chance.

    Yes, you had crying babies on your flight. I also hate crying babies. I also hate dusty/bumpy rides when I’m tired. In the end, you were without your luggage for 2-3 days if I have the timeline right. It’s kinda sucks, but can’t be the worst thing you’ve dealt with being an ‘off-the-beaten-track’ traveler.

    Probably the worst part is what people desire the most. Information. You want to know where your bags are at every step along the way, and now they will tell you what they know (like it will make them arrive faster). Unfortunately, sometimes something goes wrong, and the information they gave you is no longer valid, and people are pissed. I’m sure we can go back to the old days where they just call you when they arrive and it would have people stressed out less. Pick your poison.

    And I’m sure $32 goes farther in the Indonesia than the USA.
    Dustin Main – Skinny Backpacker recently posted..Slick Street Drumming – BangkokMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      June 5, 2012 | 3:37 am

      Hi, Dustin. I think you missed some important details in the post; you do not have the timeline right. I was not without bags for 2-3 days, but 5. That’s significantly longer. If it had just been a couple days, I wouldn’t have bothered to write this post (as I mentioned in one of the early paragraphs). I would have accepted the $32 as fair compensation.

      The issue here was that it was more extreme than the typical case due to the length of time involved–5 days–and because of the double loss of the bags. They found the bags and said that I would have them at a certain point (and I believed them, as most people would have) and sure enough, they lost them again (pretty surprising). Unfortunately, I didn’t learn about that until I was already here in this village–a much harder place to find/deliver bags to. Obviously, I would have stayed in the city longer to wait for the bags if necessary.

      Anyway, at this point, I’m past the drama of it and enjoying my trip. That’s what counts most in the long run.

      • Dustin Main - Skinny Backpacker
        June 5, 2012 | 12:17 pm

        I understand your point, but admittedly two of those days you were flying with them.

        I don’t like it when my luggage is lost either. (4 times in the past 4 years)

        Glad you’re back on the good streak. Enjoy Indonesia!
        Dustin Main – Skinny Backpacker recently posted..Slick Street Drumming – BangkokMy Profile

        • CB Driver
          June 7, 2012 | 8:44 am

          Actually, it was technically one day of flying–22 hours–and I took that into account. Anyway, who’s counting at this point? It’s over and done with and I’ve moved on. The airline will be contacting me soon, per the representative in Pekanbaru, and I think we’ll work something out that’s fair.

          The bottom line: I’m loving it here…the people are warm/wonderful and the countryside is gorgeous. All is good again!

  5. Gray
    June 4, 2012 | 6:53 am

    Oh God, Lisa. That is just….yeah, a nightmare. I’m so sorry for you. I’ve had my bags lost a couple of times, but they were found and returned to me within 24 hours. And in both cases, I was in the US, so if I’d had to replace clothing, etc. it would have been easier for me. I’m not really sure what they should do for you, though I agree, I find it unlikely they’ll give you a free flight to make up for it. But $32 is totally insufficient.
    Gray recently posted..Battling the Crowds at the Trevi FountainMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      June 5, 2012 | 3:25 am

      Hey, Gray. Thanks for joining the chat and for the sympathy you offered. I appreciate it. Yeah, losing bags in the US and getting them back so fast is very different. Much easier to go shopping, etc. or simply to wait. This was 5 days with two bag losses–the first one (which I understood in some way) and the second one, which was a nightmare because I decided to move on to Payakumbuh Village because I took Singapore Air’s word that my bags would arrive that night. When I was told the bags were lost, I was stunned.

      Anyway, you’re right. $32 is not nearly enough for what I went through. They owe me a lot more than that if they want to save face and to keep me as a customer.

  6. Dyanne@TravelnLass
    June 4, 2012 | 7:58 am

    Oh dear. Sounds like you got a double-dose of the two most common travelers’ ACK: A pair of (twins no less, how quaint!) screaming toddlers for 20 hrs. in a metal cigar tube, plus delayed baggage. Of the two, personally I dread the former far more than the latter.

    Truly sorry to hear the onset of your dream trip was so ragged. I rarely (i.e. only once – when I MOVED lock, stock ‘n barrel to teach EFL over here in Vietnam) check any baggage. And I always, repeat: ALWAYS carry the basics for an overnight (i.e. change of clothes plus toothbrush/paste) in my carry-on. Seriously, it’s far better to EXPECT that your checked baggage won’t make it neatly across an ocean and a couple few plane changes, than not.

    That said, my own nightmare travel tale, wasn’t just losing my baggage, but rather – having EVERY BLESSED BIT of my baggage INCLUDING my PASSPORT *and* my CREDIT CARDS – STOLEN from a rental jeep I was using to review hotels in Costa Rica. This, in broad daylight in the parking lot of a 5-star hotel within the span of 1.5 hrs. while I reviewed the hotel.

    Needless to say, more than a bit daunting to suddenly find yourself in a foreign country with no money and NO IDENTIFICATION. Shoot, I couldn’t even leave the country/return to the U.S. w/o a passport.

    But honestly? The kindness of strangers proved both immediate and bountiful. Indeed, one total stranger HANDED me $300 in CASH and told me to contact him if I needed more to get an emergency passport, etc. to get home!

    And the bottom line? I was just ever so GRATEFUL that it was only THINGS that I lost. “things” that can be REPLACED. As opposed to say… getting robbed at knife-point and left for dead along the side of a tropical road, and/or dropping into the ocean from 30,000 feet, yes? 😉

    But seriously. I’m fairly certain much of your angst about the delayed baggage was due to utter exhaustion and culture shock (been there… many times). But cheer up. You’re still in one piece, healthy and no doubt… the rest of your adventure has simply GOT to go UP from here!
    Dyanne@TravelnLass recently posted..Angkor Wat, Cambodia: Smiling Faces Through CenturiesMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      June 5, 2012 | 3:22 am


      Hi and thanks so much for your comment. You always have a way of relating to what I share and after reading your words, I always feel better. You really get it! Re: packing…if it hadn’t been for my teaching materials, I wouldn’t have checked bags. It was just too much for the plane. Fortunately, I packed my day pack decently–had important medication, some basic toiletries, etc. Only had the short-sleeved shirt I was wearing and a long-sleeved one for layering (fortunately).

      What an awful story you shared re: getting robbed like that. Jeez. How awful. Damn. Can’t even imagine what you went through.

      Anyway, I’m feeling better today. I’ve started my volunteer experience–more like consulting, actually–and it’s quite interesting. And the nature in the area is so gorgeous that it looks surreal. Also, the teacher/woman I’m staying with is a sweetheart. It’s an honor for me to be her guest!

      • Dyanne@TravelnLass
        June 5, 2012 | 12:22 pm

        Glad to hear you’re feeling better, Lisa. And from that pic (the one of those luscious rice fields in Payakumbuh, NOT the stupid airplane that shall remain unnamed) – it looks like you’re purely in serenity HEAVEN! That and…

        I must say, I just LOVE that name “Payakumbuh”. Paya-koomba, paya-koomba – such a fun sounding name, makes ya wanna beat a drum and do a little jig, no? 😉

        But seriously. I’m sure the rest of your trip will be chock full of fascinating adventures and lots of fond memories. Do try to get to Lake Toba. I stayed at Samosir Villa Resort (utterly posh, for just $15/night!) in the village of Tuk Tuk on Samosir Island. Ask for “Gaol” the manager. He’s a dear (took me on his motorbike to an empty field to practice driving it on my own for the first time!) That and…

        You simply MUST go to Bukit Lawang to see the orangutans!
        Dyanne@TravelnLass recently posted..My Passport is now a TOME!My Profile

        • CB Driver
          June 7, 2012 | 8:41 am

          Hey, Dyanne! Yes, it is pretty heavenly here. It’s so lovely–the nature–and the people, too. They’ve been so kind to me, I’m blown away.

          Yes, it’s a really sweet name–Payakumbuh! I think the final syllable is pronounced “oo,” believe it or not. The “uh” really looks as if it would sound the same.

          Thanks for the info re: Lake Toba. Sounds great–and I’m definitely heading up there. Thanks for the tip re: somewhere to stay! I like the idea of practicing in a field; good idea. I have yet to try it. I may do it here, but only in the village. Definitely not on the main road or in what they call the “town,” which to me, seems like a small city.

          And yes, will try to see the orangs…thanks!

  7. Andrea
    June 4, 2012 | 8:50 am

    Sorry for the terrible beginning of your dream trip. I hope the rest of the trip made up for the beginning.
    Like Dyanne, I learned to make sure my carry-on has enough things for a few days the hard way. My story was that I was traveling to Australia with my two kids to join my husband who was working there. It was just after 9/11 and the airline rules were changing rapidly. Aware of that I asked in NY if we needed to find our bags at any point during the trip or would they fly directly to Canberra. The fellow said the next time you will see them is Canberra. WRONG! They were taken off the plane and were sitting in Toronto as we flew on from NY, Toronto, Hawaii, then finally Canberra, AUS. (Wiser on the return flight to find out bags, no airport official could help us find where we needed to collect our bags to get them on the next plane….the rules were so new no one knew them).
    Needless to say, arriving with nothing but games in our carry-ons, we had to go shopping for 3. The bags arrived about a week later. NO compensation was offered, ever.
    So… I know….always have some clothes and all necessities in your carryon. Everyone’s carry on is huge these days.
    Hope the rest of your trip was a dream.

    • CB Driver
      June 5, 2012 | 3:17 am

      Thanks for sharing your story, Andrea. That’s an awful one. Sounds like that airline was really disorganized and unprofessional. Yikes. And to offer you nothing is unacceptable. I’ll bet that you haven’t flown with them since…

      My trip just began, by the way, so there’s time for it to come together. Actually, now that I’m settled in, I’m beginning to enjoy it.

  8. Simon
    June 4, 2012 | 11:19 am

    Awww…. Too bad, Lisa. And even worse that I’ll soon fly to Indonesia with Singapore Airlines as well. I wouldn’t have expected such a bad handling by Singapore Airlines. I traveled many time with them and everything was always perfect.

    I can understand how stressful the first days have been to you, but now the important thing is that everything has been sorted out. I got my luggage lost in Venezuela, with my scuba diving equipment and that drove me mad at first. Then I decided to just forget about it and enjoy my trip. The luggage would arrive. And after a few days… it did :-)
    Simon recently posted..South Africa, Kids on the BeachMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      June 5, 2012 | 3:15 am

      Hi, Simon. Thanks for your sympathy–appreciate it. I never expected this either. I flew with this airline before and everything was great, too. Glad your luggage arrived after a few days. Phew. Enjoy your upcoming trip to Indo, too, btw!

  9. Kathy Kelly
    June 4, 2012 | 11:30 am

    Hang in there Lisa! Things can only get better! I think that everyone who has travelled can relate to your story although yours is definitely more extreme! I’m glad you finally got your bags. Keep writing. I’m eager to hear about your adventures!

    • CB Driver
      June 5, 2012 | 3:13 am

      Hi, Kathy. Thanks for your kind words. My case was definitely an extreme one. Losing bags once, I get. Twice seems inconceivable. Anyway, I’m getting back to the other writing and hope to post something good soon–maybe about the culture shock I’ve experienced or something about the school. This is truly a fascinating country–so much so that I feel like I’m in movie. Seriously. Anyway, some good stuff coming soon hopefully…

  10. AvaApollo
    June 4, 2012 | 7:07 pm

    I’m not sure that you’ll get a free flight in exchange, but I once had an issue with United Airlines and to make sure the complaint got to the right person at the headquarters by doing some searching online. I sent it priority signature mail so that they would know that I would know they received the complaint letter. I’ve done this twice and received monetary vouchers twice. It at least helps a little and eases the sting a bit. Give it a try, you should at least get a response!
    AvaApollo recently posted..My Muses For the Month of MayMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      June 5, 2012 | 3:11 am

      Hi, Ava. Thanks for the info and for sharing what happened with United. I think you’re right that the key is getting the complaint to the right person. I have a feeling that has happened now as I spoke (via e-mail) to one of the customer service guys I mentioned and someone finally tweeted me back (after the fact, but at least they finally did.)

  11. Naomi
    June 4, 2012 | 8:20 pm

    As far as I’m concerned the trip to and from a destination is mental hell, I expect the worst and then can’t possibly be disappointed. My trip only starts at a destination. It’s how I deal with the shit that inevitably happens on long haul.
    Seriously, they lost your stuff, you freaked out about it (understandably) and got all stressed, then they found it and got it to you. Given it’s Singapore Air yeah I’d try to sting em for something, but that’s a lot of bad karma you’re feeling at the mo and you maybe need to get out into those rice paddies and get a bit of perspective. Don’t let it stuff up your trip, let it go.
    Naomi recently posted..I’m no number cruncherMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      June 5, 2012 | 3:09 am

      Hi, Naomi. Thanks for writing! I hear you re: getting the stuff. Once it arrived, I did feel better. I did go through some hell, but now, I’m settling into a nice routine here (well, not a routine exactly) and nature (especially the view of the rice paddies) is having a calming effect on me. I just learned that the airline is looking into this situation and so, I expect I’ll be hearing from them soon. Meanwhile, I’m not putting any more energy into it; I’m moving on and enjoying my trip. It is as wonderful in Indonesia as people said and I’m very happy to be here.

      Thanks again!

      • Naomi
        June 6, 2012 | 4:25 am

        so glad you are enjoying Indonesia, I read this post and had a sinking feeling you were going to hate it, or let the experience sour it. Jet lag and losing your luggage is such a shit combination hey? good on you for not letting the bad karma win!
        Naomi recently posted..I’m no number cruncherMy Profile

        • CB Driver
          June 7, 2012 | 8:36 am

          Hey, Naomi. I’m loving it! Teaching/doing training for teachers here has been wonderful. The people are so nice and appreciative, I feel lucky to have stumbled on to this opportunity. And Eti, the teacher I’m staying with, is such a sweetheart. I really feel like I’m part of her family.

          The icky airline thing is all about the airline and not about here…so all’s good!

          Thanks again for all the great advice, etc!

  12. tiwi
    June 5, 2012 | 9:34 am

    Hey, I feel shocked of what happened with you. SA should give you at least a free flight to your home! Because they even don’t give confirmation regarding your bag lost. I never put my bag on baggage since a friend of mine lost his camera when we’re flying with local airlines in indonesia. We went to jakarta from Tarakan (Kalimantan). Transit in balikpapan. When we arrived at Balikpapan, our bag in baggage automatically also will move to the other plane which will bring us to jakarta, without confirmation (it’s what the local airlines said). My friend put the camera on the backpack. Unfortunately it’s not locked. And when we arrived at Jakarta, the camera is gone. When we confirmed to (lost and found) they can’t help us, because he didn’t include insurance to the flight. He just give his identity and phone number in case the camera found someday. And it never happens. Well, I just feel upset that even it’s under the airlines and airport officer responsibility to secure our luggage, but they can’t guarantee that. Warning, many bad people in airport. Especially if the luggage move automatically when we transit. They always have chance to open our bag.

    I hope at the end you enjoy staying in Indonesia by the way. We have a beautiful island and beach! :)



    • CB Driver
      June 7, 2012 | 8:46 am

      Hi, Tiwi. Thanks for sharing your experience and your ideas re: compensation. It’s a shame what happened to your friend. Anyway, I am enjoying it here in your wonderful country. I’m very happy to be visiting!!

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