Our vacation this past week to Turks and Caicos started off with a bang. Our Delta flight was scheduled to depart OKC at 6am, and everyone was boarded and doors closed by 5:45. That was a good thing because we only had a 50 minute scheduled connection in ATL. Well, 6:15 comes and we are still on the ground in OKC. Finally the pilot announces that there is an APU problem and they don’t know if they will be able to troubleshoot it or have to swap it out which would require everyone deplaning.
I immediately start looking for other paths after we arrive in ATL and start reviewing Delta’s Contract of Carriage. We are already on the latest flight to Turks of the day on Delta. There is a later American Airlines flight as well, but they appeared to have been sold out. So I start getting the family prepared to spend a night in Atlanta.
About 630am, the pilot comes back on board and says everything is fixed and we will be up in the air shortly. He announces we will have a lil tail wind to push us and should be arriving in ATL around 9:35. Our connecting flight is at 9:59 That would give us 9 minutes to taxi, get off the plane, and get to our connecting gate as they can close the door 15 minutes before departure time. I look online one last time at my Delta account, and they already booked us for a next morning flight. I tell my wife that and she says “no, we are gonna make it to paradise today!”
We start approaching the ATL airport, and we land around 930. We had a plan to jump up right away and run to the front of the plane, but so did everyone else so we were all stuck where our seats were. We were about 1/3 back in rows 17 and 18. We get out bags and get off the plane and start running towards the train for terminal E. Of course we were at gate C55, which is the farthest gate from the train. While the kids and myself had their running shoes on, my wife had her finest “running” flip flops on. We run down the escalators to the train and the doors are shutting. I’m willing to lose a limb and stick my arm in to pry it back open and we make that train to get to terminal E. It’s about 940 now. We make it to terminal E, run up the escalators and towards gate E40, which of course is at the end as well. We make it there as Delta is calling our names on the loudspeaker. We catch our breath and causally walk on the plane. WE MADE IT!
Now I figured our bags would not make it. Delta’s app is pretty darn handy for tracking your bags and you can see where they are at in the process due to their RFID tagging. We could tell they made it off the plane in ATL, but never on our plane. We were OK with that as we would rather be in Turks without our checked bag, than in ATL with our checked bag. We almost didn’t even check in a bag, but we were taking our snorkeling gear and that’s pretty bulky. So then if we are checking a bag, might as well throw some shoes and toiletries in there and other stuff.
Once we arrive in Turks, I turn on my Delta app, and see our bag is on the way to JFK, to make the earliest flight out to Turks the next morning. After waiting a few minutes for the Delta rep at Turks baggage claim to file a missing bag claim, we find her and she takes care of it pretty quickly giving us a claim number and saying our bag will show up at our resort the next day. She didn’t have any overnight kits with her, so she walks us through the fast track immigration line and up to her office where she gives us 4 overnight kits. The kit contained just enough for a few days- deodorant, toothbrush and paste, lotion, razor and cream, brush and comb, lip balm, and a few other things.
Finally the next day we checked on our room at 3pm, and there was our bag waiting inn our room now with more miles than us. It meant we didn’t have to buy any more expensive bottles of sunscreen, and we didn’t have to wear our shoes to the beach as we now have our sandals.
I have only had a baggage delay one other time, and it was over 10 years ago and don’t remember much as it was coming home where its not as big of a deal. I have been with others who have lost luggage on other airlines and it seems like half the time, they don’t even know where the luggage is it. Delta’s system make it very easy to see what airport and what flight your bags are at.
All in all, if that’s the biggest of our vacation problems, it’s not too bad.