After my trip back to Virginia, I know how this guy feels.
Here's a synopsis of the trip. The flight from Houston to Charlotte was great. Luke didn't cry at all, and even slept for about an hour. He happily drank chocolate milk and played with his toys. I was so prepared! I brought his favorite books and a few new ones that would be novel and hold his attention. I also got some magnets and a board that he could play with. And finally he had crayons and a coloring book.
But once we got to Charlotte everything went downhill. I thought we had a 1 hour layover. But it was actually 3. Try entertaining Luke for 3 hours in an airport sometime when everyone is so anal about not leaving baggage unattended and none of the airline people will help you keep an eye on it. I kept having to wheel the stroller to different hallways and try to always have it within eye distance while constantly dashing out after Luke.
When it was finally time to board, we were on a small commuter flight. You have to walk down stairs and board the plane outside. Are there ramps? No. I had to practically kill Luke getting him down the stairs. Is there anyone outside to help me fold the stroller? No. I had to let Luke run rampant on the tarmac while I closed it. All the while 2, yes 2! flight attendants are standing there watching me and doing NOTHING! So I was already mad, and then as soon as I get settled, I get called off the plane. So I drag Luke back off and follow a man to a cart where there are two big garbage bags. He holds it open and all I can see is a zipper, a wheel, and one of Luke's pajama shirts with one arm COMPLETELY SHREDDED. The airline ran over my suitcase with a truck! As I stood there staring in complete shock, the man says, "We filed a report." Wow! In that moment a report is supposed to make me feel better? He reassured me that they would replace the suitcase. That's all good and everything, but the suitcase is absolutely nothing compared to all my stuff that was inside it. I started to cry and the man was explaining that they would box up the stuff and send it to Richmond on the next flight. And that was that. They sent me back to the plane where we waited for 2 HOURS before we got permission to take off! Then once we got to Richmond they left us sitting on the plane for another 35 minutes because of the rain and lightening. Luke had lost it by that time and was screaming and I felt like there would be split blood if we didn't get off soon. Luckily all the passengers were really nice. One man gave Luke a cookie and that calmed him down. The same man also helped me get the stroller and carried my bags.
Well, since Luke had had enough and the flight with my luggage was not due for a couple of hours, we just went home where we compiled a list of the contents and prepared for the next day when we would have to go back to Richmond to go through the damage. I'm glad that Jared knew what to do. He researched the FAA requirements for this kind of situation. He researched cases on the internet and charged the camera battery so we could take pictures of everything.
So Sunday we went back to view the damage. They had sorted the stuff into 2 suitcases: destroyed items and okay items.
The okay stuff
Jared's new shoes were luckily okay. Only the box was destroyed.Most of our stuff didn't fare so well. This is Luke's toothbrush, half of his spoons, his baby powder, his diapers, Tylenol, sippy cups, and my Mary Kay skin care.
Jared's favorite belt as well as my BRAND NEW belt that was a gift from Jennifer
My hair dryer
One of two bras that were ruined
Shorts that my mom gave me
My favorite blouse
This one is my favorite. The gray is actually a different shirt. The entire middle of the shirt was missing. How does that happen? It looked like they fed it to a gear shift.
After adding up the prices of everything that was damaged and destroyed, the total came to $900 dollars. And the most expensive thing was the $36 dollar bra. All the little things add up fast. I mailed the claim (after having it notarized) this morning. The fastest we will get our money is in 5 weeks. Good thing Mom and Dad can lend us some to replace some things before we get it. Can't go five weeks without face wash and baby powder. Or a blow dryer. Or a bra.
So while I know this accident was a crazy fluke, I'm not real excited to try US Airways again.