Friday, August 10, 2007

Luggage Update

I wanted to give everyone an update on my dad’s luggage. Those who have read this blog were more interested in the status of my dad’s luggage than the games themselves. How boring would this trip have been without the case of the missing luggage?

The last we heard the luggage was supposed to be flown to Boston and then driven to Worcester (pronounced “Wooster” as we all learned) last Wednesday. When it wasn’t there, we attempted to contact both American and Northwest and neither had any idea where the luggage was. At one point my mother was told the file locator number we had been giving all week was not a valid number (even though every other time we called with it, they were able to find my dad’s file). We had given up hope it would ever be found and my dad filed the claim form to get reimbursed for his items. He wasn’t hopeful about that either since the form mentioned he would only be reimbursed if his flight started and ended with American.

This would be an amazing story if that were the end of it. But alas it is not. I was getting ready to leave work Wednesday night when my cell phone rang. It was Mark from the American Airlines baggage claim area at Newark. He said he had a suitcase with my dad’s name on it and was wondering what it was doing there!?!?! I explained that was now a nationally famous piece of luggage and he would become a national hero for returning it. He explained in great detail the steps it would take to get the luggage back to Minot. Unfortunately he had no control over any of it. He would tag the suitcase and send it over to Northwest baggage handling. Before it got there though it would go through 3 or 4 other people including an x-ray machine (I guess in case some disgruntled baggage claim person planted something in it). If it made it Northwest he could only hope it would be on a flight the next day to Minot. He said he would send instructions to contact me when it got to Minot. This was not the first time we had been told it would be sent somewhere so we wouldn’t believe it until we saw it.

About 11:00 that night I got a call from a woman at the Northwest baggage claim office saying my suitcase had arrived and we could pick it up. I explained that she needed to send it to Minot and she said it just arrived from Minot! I explained dad was already back home and the luggage had been in Newark since last Saturday (only 12 days prior!). She looked quickly at his file and then said that since he had arrived in Newark on American that she would have to route the bag through American. I explained again that suitcase had just come from the American baggage claim and they were the ones processing. She claimed there were no instructions on what she was supposed to do with it (apparently the instruction to call me was just a wild guess on her part). I told her to just get the suitcase back to Minot. She told me to quit telling her how to do her job. I immediately thought of Case’s suggestion to drop a “C” bomb on her but my wife was at the table. She finally said she would send the suitcase to Minot the next morning. When I asked her for her name, she hung up the phone. Apparently she didn’t want me to tell her manager what a great job she did helping me.

Even with that, there was no guarantee the suitcase would ever make it Minot. I am happy (and somewhat surprised) to report that it did make it and is currently in the possession of my dad as you can see from the picture below. All is well!! This would have been just another boring 10 day baseball tour if not for the case of the missing suitcase.

Please send a thank you to Mark at American Airlines in Newark for finally resolving the case of the missing suitcase. His e-mail address is The more people he hears from the more he will realize how famous this suitcase is. Thank you Mark!!!

The Fedjes pose in front of the Harry Caray statue

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