In spite of the shaky start yesterday, we arrived safely in Quito last night around 11:30 pm. The travel day went pretty smoothly and without any major incidents– remarkable when you consider we were on the milk run: Ottawa – Boston – Houston – Quito. But that’s what you get when you fly on points I guess.
Just one minor incident along the way that had me far more worried than Chris. Back in Ottawa, the Air Canada attendant who checked us in suggested we put our back packs into large plastic bags. This would keep all the straps secure and keep them dry in the event they were stuck on the tarmac in pouring rain. Seemed like a good idea. He packed them up, and secured our flight tags to the plastic bags. I did ask what would happen if security needed to go through the bags – he assured me, no problem, just come back here and we’ll repackage and re-tag them. What if they get opened up in the States? Won’t happen, he says, once they have cleared this security, they will be clear sailing right through to Quito. Wrong!
As we waited to board the flight to Houston, I saw our backpacks being loaded onto the plane – that was a relief as I’m always a little worried that our bags won’t make it to our destination (or let me clarify – that MY bag won’t make it). So I was happy to see pack # 1 neatly wrapped in plastic, but as the second bag appeared, something was wrong, very wrong. The plastic bag on Pack #2 had been ripped open and was half off the bag. I kinda freaked because if the plastic bag came off, the pack did not have a routing tag on it. But there was nothing we could do. Just kept my fingers crossed that both bags would make it to Quito.
When we arrived in Houston, I watched with eagle eyes to see the state of our bags as they came off the plane. To my alarm, the baggage handler who took the bags from the plane ripped off the torn plastic bag and threw it to the ground. I caused a bit of commotion, but nothing could be done. It was an anxious flight to Quito as I wondered whose bag wasn’t going to make it. I should clarify – I was anxious, Chris took it in stride. Easy for him to do. His bag never gets lost. I was certain it was my bag since it is always my bag that gets lost. For example, when we did a Mediterranean cruise a few years ago, it was my bag that got lost and I was without luggage for the first three days of the cruise! I had nothing but the clothes on my back. Oh, and I had a toothbrush, toothpaste and comb compliments of the cruise line – gee thanks, that was helpful.
Anyways, to make a long story short, we arrived in Quito and lo and behold, both bags were there. I was immensely relieved.
Here’s travel tip #1 from Chris and Chris: Always make sure your bag is tagged directly. If wrapped in a plastic bag, put two tags on it. Bring a change of clothes in your carry-on just in case. And finally, if you’re travelling with a companion, pack your bags so that you divide your belongings between both bags. If one bag gets lost, at least you both still have half your stuff. Great advice – hope we follow it next time we fly!