Frank Rogala

Helping out Northwest Airlines on Easter – appreciated?… not so much

I was flying home Easter Day, taking a Northwest flight from DTW (Detroit), which connected in Minneapolis to a flight to John Wayne Airport in Orange County, California.

While waiting in Detroit for my Minneapolis leg to board, there was an announcement saying they were overbooked and offering a nonstop flight to LAX.

I have had to travel a lot in the past year, and in situations where flights have been overbooked I have never been able to have flexible travel plans.  Today, since it was Easter, and since the flight was a nonstop, I thought I could help out and give someone else my seat.

Landing at LAX meant my cab ride home (two Anaheim) would cost me $50 more, however, I would arrive a couple hours earlier and since I was experiencing some of the uncomfortable symptoms of "chronic fatigue,” getting home two hours early sounded great.

When I got to LAX my bags didn't arrive.  When I checked with baggage claim - they told me the bags had remained on my original flight and would be landing in Orange County at my original landing time.  They said since I had "voluntarily" changed my flight that they would not deliver the bags to me. I would have to go pick them up myself.

I explained that we had been asked to change flights, due to overbooking.  They just looked at me blankly - so much for getting home two hours early.

Once I arrived home, I found my car battery had gone dead.  After finding a jump and driving to the airport, I found my bags had already arrived.

The baggage claim agent at John Wayne Airport acted surprised that I was picking up my bags and that I had not filed any "claim."  She said if I had that she would have arranged to have them delivered to my home.  I told her that I had tried to but they told me at LAX that I had to pick them up myself.  She shook her head and gave me a couple of travel discount coupons.

I was still out the extra $50 for cab fare plus the gas and travel to John Wayne Airport (from my home in Anaheim) to pick up my bags, not to mention the precious extra time that I had looked forward to spending curled up in my own bed.

Next time I won't be so eager to help out.

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