Thursday, 3 June 2010

What's Hot, What's Not! - BMI – Travel the Bungling Mindless Idiots way!

Having notched up a fair few air miles over the years to a multitude of destinations around the world, I generally assume that when I touch down again so will my luggage.

Oh how wrong can one be? This Christmas, what should have been a short jaunt from Schipol airport Amsterdam to London Heathrow turned into a guess where your luggage is marathon and an insight into what lying toads BMI are when they claim: ‘yes, madam your bag will be with you within 24 hours’.

Two of us were left standing helplessly at the carrousel at Heathrow without our luggage. The helpdesk assured us that our luggage would re-appear and be delivered to wherever we were in the UK. At this point I wasn’t that worried and was mildly amused by the jokes from the BMI personnel who said that two missing bags was nothing per flight, and that one had to experience everything in life at least once!

Three days later on Christmas Eve, after many frustrating phone calls to what turned out to be a call centre in India of all places, visits to their website to track my luggage (a totally useless site as it never seemed to get updated), and the attempt to find a real person to talk to at BMI in England, instead of a computerized voice, my luggage finally turned up. A man in an unmarked white van delivered the case. ‘Which one is yours?’ he said, as I peered into the back of the van, choc-a-block with cases. Ignoring the bumper deluxe Chanel suitcase, I opted for my own black suitcase, which incidentally was also full of my Christmas presents.

My friend Kim, was less fortunate. Going through the same bungling procedure, her bag didn't turn up at all, even after 10 days. Yes, on Christmas Day she had no Christmas presents to give out BMI! Finally, being pretty annoyed she phoned BMI and offered to come and pick it up herself. At Heathrow she was ushered into what turned out to be an enormous hall filled wall to wall with thousands of suitcases. Here she found her luggage but what about the fate of the other bags? In a blonde moment BMI had removed all the labels with the baggage numbers, so now their job of re-uniting the lost bags with their owners was made even more hopeless.

In these high tech days it doesn't really promote ‘peace and goodwill to all men’, when one is unable to get an honest answer as to where ones luggage went from a computerized telephone voice. Also, wearing the same clothes for longer then two days and going out to buy interim underwear is a bore, when you know your case is full of all those lovely clothes specially packed for the festive season. So BMI, at the very least you owe me, Kim and all the other owners of the mislaid bags an apology and if you were feeling really generous…the next flight should be on you! (Original Cartoon: Matt, Daily Telegraph, GB)

© Alison Day
First published in the Connections magazine #19 Spring 2008 

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