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Author: jl.anderson

Joined: 3/17/2010
Posts: 71
Trips Taken: 5
Countries Visited:

With OAT/GCT: China, Peru, Ecuador, Ukraine, Russia, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa plus 40+ more countries on my own.

Traveler Since: 2007

June 26, 2013

Hello all,

My good friend is currently on GCT's Russia Revealed pre-trip to Kiev, Ukraine.  When she arrived on Monday 6/24 her luggage did not.  It is currently Wednesday 6/26 at 10:00 p.m. in Kiev and still no luggage.  She has called United and also engaged the help of her program director.

My friend will go shopping for clothes and supplies tomorrow before the group leaves for Moscow on Friday.  Does anyone who has incurred the same fate have any tips for her?  I'm sure she's not happy but maybe could benefit for advice from anyone who's had to replace a suitcase overseas.  I'll pass along anything useful to her.

Thanks for your help,

Judy

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 970
Trips Taken: 11
Countries Visited:

England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Malta, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, China, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Canada, Russia, Ukraine

Traveler Since: 1999

June 26, 2013

Judy, when I took this same trip in 2010, there were two women from Boise who had the same thing happen to them.  I just looked and can't find their names.  However, their luggage did appear the morning we flew to Moscow.  Up until then, they wore what they had brought in their carry-ons.

Pauline

Author: jl.anderson

Joined: 3/17/2010
Posts: 71
Trips Taken: 5
Countries Visited:

With OAT/GCT: China, Peru, Ecuador, Ukraine, Russia, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa plus 40+ more countries on my own.

Traveler Since: 2007

June 26, 2013

Hi Pauline,

I was also on Russia Revealed the month before you were.  No one I knew of had lost luggage so I wasn't able to offer much advice to my friend.  Thanks for your comments.

I did also email Forum Moderator Michelle to see if there was anything she could do to ease the "trauma". 

Take care,

Judy

Author: singsling

Joined: 6/23/2010
Posts: 241
Trips Taken: 11
Traveler Since: 1995

June 26, 2013

 We had the same thing happen to us in Paris when we were connecting to Budapest.  They "assure"d us out baggage would be on the flight to Budapest (12 hours from time we landed in Paris to departure).  Luggage was not in Budapest.  We were on Uniworld river cruise. We filed a complaint at the airport.  The next moring the cruise director was on the phone at 8:00 AM  and demanded they find our bags (another couple's too from an Eastern country).  For 10 days she badgered and berated the CDG airport baggage people but they said they were on strike and we'd have to wait.  She then got the airlines involved and badgered them to give us more than the $50 for new clothes--she also told them we were expected to dress up in gown and tux (exaggerated but still had to dress up for dinner).  I got my luggage on the last night on the ship, 10 minutes before going to the Captain's farewell dinner. We left the next morning by bus for Prague; my husband still didn't know where his bag was but was told it would be in our hotel room in Prague.  It was  not.  The concierge didn't know anything about it but the manager did, as our cruise director informed them.  About 5 PM, just 1 hour before the farewell dinner in Prague, his bag showed up.  10-1/2 days late !

On the first day, while everyone went on a city tour, we went shopping; the cruise director told us which shopping area to go to, and she called a "friend" taxi driver who took us there and told us the number to call him to pick us up.  The cruise director told us we would get reimbiursed from the airline who last touched our tickets/baggage.  She also was told that first morning to get what we needed and they'd reimburse us--just not go overboard with designer clothes/accessories.  We were able to find a Marks and Spencer and bought pants each 2 pair, shirts, blouses, sweater for the very cold mornings, underwear, socks.  We made it back to the ship with our bundles.  I had to  hem pants 6 inches.  I used a 3 x 5 card as measurement, and somethng else I had that was an inch wide (belt I think), and got scissors from the desk and I had several sewing kits tp hem my pants.  On the next portt stop I needed walking shoes, as did Bill, our local guide told us "that street", and we found a Footlocker where we got US sizes and shoes on sale.

Before we left Prague our cruise director gave us a letter on Uniworld letterhead, describing what we had been through and how long it took to get our bags.  That became part of the claim.  When we got  home I called the airlines (Malev Airlines ) for procedure to  file a claim.  They couldn't have been nicer.  I didn't have to use the trip insurance because we first had to file with the airlines.  It took 2 months but on Christmas Eve that year, we got more than we provided receipts for; they told us they included pain and suffering, too.  So, system works.  Doesn't help your friend now, but our PD on the Unworld cruise handled everything for us when we were under her "care" .  The most important thing, is to remain calm.  My husband didn't for about 6 days, and I thought he'd have a heart attack.  He did come on the tours, but didn't want to at first, he was just so angry.  I thought, well, we did get some clothes, we can do undies every  night, someone was working on our case, just enjoy.  I didn't let it bother me, although I had to buy an additional sweater because it went down to 32 deg.  ). 

On several GCT cruises/tours, other people didn't get baggage and PD handled all the phone calls and tracking the bags for the GCT travelers. 

Author: gaynell

Joined: 8/12/2010
Posts: 144
Trips Taken: 12
Traveler Since: 2005

June 27, 2013

I read somewhere that before you agree to marriage with someone, you should know how they handle events like getting caught in the rain, having a flat tire, and lost baggage!  So true! This post is reminding me of two women on our OAT Turkey trip. Both had their baggage lost in transit, and spent the first three days of the trip waiting for it. Our program director took both women to the market to buy something to sleep in and whatever else they might have to have. Other women offered to loan them things, too.

One of them whined and took on and mentioned her problems at LEAST hourly for three days. This woman was  traveling with her husband, so she had the things in his suitcase as resources, but to listen to her, you would have thought the world was coming to an end. ( I thought she could have slept in one of her husband's t-shirts, or maybe even worn one of them.)  After three days, the whole group was pretty sick of listening to her take on about how difficult everything was for her.

The other woman, a solo traveler, bought an extra shirt, a sun hat, an extra pair of undies and a few other things in the market, declared that it was very freeing to not have to decide what to wear each morning, and enjoyed Istanbul to the fullest!  She was such a good sport , and I admired her roll-with-the-punches attitude so much! She never complained, and kept a pleasant disposition in adversity.

Just before we left Istanbul for the interior of Turkey both suitcases showed up.  I do realize this is not the same was doing without luggage for a whole trip, which would be much more difficult. I'm not sure I could keep a positive attitude for that long.  But the extreme contrast in the way these two travelers handled the inconvenience of lost luggage has stuck in my mind, and I really learned something from the experience of watching the very different ways in which the  two of them coped with the same problem.

 

 

 

Author: jl.anderson

Joined: 3/17/2010
Posts: 71
Trips Taken: 5
Countries Visited:

With OAT/GCT: China, Peru, Ecuador, Ukraine, Russia, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa plus 40+ more countries on my own.

Traveler Since: 2007

June 27, 2013

Hello everybody,

I am happy to report that my friend received her lost luggage at the Kiev hotel at 11:00 p.m. on Thursday night, just before leaving for Moscow on Friday morning.  I don't have any details as to where it was or if my friend did any shopping to replace the lost luggage but I do know she's doing a happy dance in her Kiev hotel room.

Thanks for all your tales of lost luggage and encouragement.  Even though my friend goes with the flow, is hyper-organized and did everything right, still it's nice to have your own stuff.

Happy travels,

Judy

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 970
Trips Taken: 11
Countries Visited:

England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Malta, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, China, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Canada, Russia, Ukraine

Traveler Since: 1999

June 27, 2013

Oh Judy, I'm so glad!  I almost posted a question to you for an update on this.  But now your friend has her own stuff.

Pauline

Author: singsling

Joined: 6/23/2010
Posts: 241
Trips Taken: 11
Traveler Since: 1995

June 27, 2013

Hooray for Judy's friend.  Glad she got her bags before getting on the ship--catchng up with port calls is hard for delivery people. 

 

Gaynell's comments reminded me what I did--I stole my husband's tee shirt, too, although my jammies would have been better.  I have to say, it was our first trip traveling on a tour/cruise, vs planning our own.  For 23 years, we lived overseas, and had hundred's of opportunities to travel, from deciding Friday morning at coffee call at work and leaving after work that same day (packing on our lunch hour), to planning weeks in advance for a longer vacation.  We NEVER lost baggage in all those European and Asian airlines that took us to the cities/countries we wanted to visit.  Soooo, we were not prepared with an extra set of clothes in our carry ons,  Now we are prepared with a complete set of clothes,  including my jammies, our undies, socks and I even carry an extra pair of shoes in case mine get wet. I always carry an emergency pair of undies in my carry on, so that made me have two pair, wear one, wash one on that one trip!  We are prepared now, though, and also we each carry the other's complete set of clothes/socks/undies in our big suitcase in case one bag makes it and the other doesn't.  The worst of the problem on that Uniworld ship was the stares and rude remarks made by many people, especially men, of how my husband was not dressed for formal at the captain's dinner and more smart dressy casual for other dinners,   and how did he get away with it.  If it was said in a friendly way we explained nicely, but if we heard it behind our backs in lines to the dining room, or in the lounge, we just ignored the person.  Even so, the trip itself sold my husband on river cruising, and soon after we contacted GCT for our next trip, just 5 months la.ter. 

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 970
Trips Taken: 11
Countries Visited:

England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Malta, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, China, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Canada, Russia, Ukraine

Traveler Since: 1999

June 27, 2013

My husband and I had developed the habit of packing each large suitcase with half of his clothes and half of mine.  That way, if one didn't arrive right away, at least we each had something to wear.

The only time our luggage was late arriving was on a trip to Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands.  We reached the island on a small plane from San Juan with only our carry-ons.  The bigger luggage came on a separate plane later.  But there was one couple whose luggage never arrived that entire week.  They had what was in their carry-ons, plus what they could purchase in the little boutique at the resort and what everybody else contributed.  It was a very casual resort, so that worked out all right.  But she told me that the bathing suit she was wearing was the first bikini she'd ever worn.  He was chief of staff at a major hospital in Boston, and she was a partner in a prestigious law firm.

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