Last Sunday afternoon I'm flew from Las Vegas back to Portland on Southwest Airlines. I played poker at Bally's Saturday night until 8am Sunday morning, slept for 3 hours, hit the buffet, and then went to the airport.
I was unable to get a direct flight, and had a flight that stopped in Reno on the way to Portland... fine with me, I'll just sleep the whole way home. I woke up with the plane on the ground in Reno. Everybody else had exited except for the handfull of passengers continuing to Portland. I decided to move to an exit row to get more leg room for the second segment of the flight when I notice my bag is missing. I checked the whole plane. GONE! There was another black bag in the same overhead bin where I had put my bag.
I told the flight attendant what had happened. They made sure the other black bag didn't belong to anyone still on the plane and determined somebody must have taken my bag by accident. Luckily the remaining bag had a tag on it, so I figure I'll call the guy and have him bring it back to the gate. Then I realize my cell phone is in my bag. Oops. Then I realize my car keys are in the bag. OH CRAP. Then I realize my house keys are in the bag. OH S#|T
The flight attendant tryies calling the number on the bag and leaves a message on the voicemail. By now the plane is loaded with passengers again and ready to take off. I got the guy's name, address, and phone number off the bag before they removed it from the plane. We take off and I'm headed to Portland with no way to get home, or get inside once I do get home.
We land and I go directly to the Southwest baggage office where they inform me that my bag has been turned in at Reno and will be on the next flight to Portland... which is in 6 hours. At this point I'm exhausted and want nothing more than to go to bed, but I got to spend the next 7 hours (flight was delayed) sitting in baggage claim waiting. I bought a book, but was too tired to read. The benches were too uncomfortable to sleep. I'm stuck in baggage claim pergatory. Finally my bag comes in and I make it home about 1am on roughly 4 hours of sleep. I don't know what I would have done if it didn't come in that night.
I'm trying to decide if I should sent the jerk who took my bag a nasty letter. I still have his address. It turns out he is a doctor! I hope he never accidentally takes out the wrong kidney! I will say all the Southwest employees were very helpful and friendly, which made things a little easier, and I plan on sending them a nice letter.
Moral of the story: Watch your bags, even in the overhead bin. Some people, even some doctors, apparently can't tell the difference between their $39 Wal-Mart special and my TravelPro Platinum III.