December 27, 2008
I am back in Texas for Christmas. I had a horrible situation with US Air in that they lost my carry-on baggage. (Yep, you read that right.)
I had two legs to my flight – Long Beach to Las Vegas, Las Vegas to Dallas. For the LB to PHX leg, you KNOW that you are not going to be able to store your carry-on bag on the plane… unless it is REALLY small. They “gate-check” it, which means that they store elsewhere during the flight and then give it back to you at the gate when you land.
Las Vegas was socked in with snow and we were delayed a bit. When I got onto this larger plane, they told me I had to gate-check my bag again. I should have been a bit suspicious when the tag wasn’t scan-able (but I had never had trouble before). When I got to Dallas, they told me that my bag should be on the luggage carousel, but it wasn’t. I had my backpack and the clothes that I was wearing.
We spent the better part of a week trying to figure out where the bag had gone, but they didn’t have a real system for tracking the bag, other than putting out a system-wide alert to airports where they fly to ask if a certain type of bag was there.
I was more than upset because it was my new special Sunmart duffel (really nice!) and also that I had no clothes. Marisa gave me a couple of Diet Rite polo shirts and Dr. Pepper clothes, and then we went to Kohl’s to get some stuff for me to wear to church and so forth.
The airline said they would reimburse me for the clothes, but once 7 days passed, that my bag was probably gone. I racked my brain to think what special tech shirts from unique races I might have in the bag, shirts I could not get back, especially races that no longer existed.
At about 5pm on the 7th day, my duffel showed up on my folks’ porch. No call, no nothing… but at least it was there. It looked like it had taken a trip to Toronto (?!?), but at least I had my stuff back (plus $200 worth of clothes and $75 off a future flight – yeah, right.).
For the better part of that week, I didn’t really run much, though Marisa and I went to the Cooper gym a few times and I worked out on the elliptical machine in my walking shoes.
Since I try and fit in a nice local race each time I come to Dallas, the Plano Pacers race hit the spot as it was inexpensive and a short drive from my folks. Now they just loan me the car, because they don’t want to sit around or possibly even wake up early to take me.
This was their usual run in Schimmelpfennig Park by the Senior Center. It was extremely windy and about 75 degrees out… you know, the usual weird December Dallas weather. I managed 38:33 (about 7:30 pace) and that was good enough for first in my “weight class” (i.e. Clydesdale) and I got a small trophy.
Less than 90 minutes later, the temperature had dropped to 55 degrees and there was a consistent downpour ALL day. Gotta love that Texas weather!