When traveling it is probably always a safe bet to carry on your luggage, a piece of common knowledge that I ignored.  I checked my suitcase and brought my backpack and purse as carry-ons.  I had my laptop, textbooks and such, and an extra skirt packed in my backpack.  Well, my airline (Delta/Air France) lost my bag.  I showered and left June 4th and didn’t have my bag returned to me until 10:30 p.m. June 8th.  I was without basic toiletries for a good 3-4 days.  It was a miserable experience, but if you are ever in this situation this is my advice:

– Never throw away from ticket and baggage information until you have all your belongings.

  • One boy on the trip threw his baggage info away so he didn’t have a claim number or tracking number.  He had to call a London airport and try to figure out where his bag could be

– Report a claim at the airport right away.  Continue to call and nag the office until your bags are returned

– Ask workers at hotel to help you get a hold of local airport/airline offices.

  • The concierge at the Landmark hotel I was staying at was so nice and seemed very concerned about my bag and my friend’s bag, which was also lost
  • Hotel workers may even have friends, family, contacts at airports that can be a good resource

– Communicate with your study abroad program so they can help also

  • Adam and I were worried we were going to have to take a taxi to the airport to claim our bags, but my program had a contact that found and delivered our bags to us

– Learn to hoard free stuff.

  • I know it sounds bad, but if I didn’t do this I might not have made it through. The hotel I stayed in had the usual free shampoo, conditioner, hand soap, shower gel, and body lotion. However, they also had a toothbrush and toothpaste kit, shaving kit, vanity kit (cotton balls, q-tips, nail file), and sewing kit.  I also kept the complimentary blanket that Delta gave us and it is now the blanket I use on my bed in my apartment

-Buy cheap clothes/necessities while waiting for bag

  • I went downtown to an open-air market with friends, which was basically like a huge thrift store and a fruit/veggie market.  I was able to buy a long skirt and another t-shirt all for 3 Dinar (maybe 5 USD).  I never had time to buy deodorant but a girl on the trip had an extra and gave it to me

– If bag doesn’t come in 2 days file claim to be reimbursed by airline.

  • If my bag hadn’t come as early as it did I could’ve requested compensation for necessities that I had to buy while without my bag.  A lot of airlines will pay you $100-$1,000 as reimbursement.  If you have travel insurance too you might be able to get money from them as well.

– Tweet at airline to get help.

  • I tweeted up a storm @airfrance saying I lost my bag and I don’t have toiletries, can someone please help me #smellyinjordan. Within 20 minutes they followed me and tweeted back at me an apology and to direct message my information to them so they could help
  • I could never reach the local airline office so this was an easy and successful alternative

photo– Give your information to someone in U.S. to try to call airline

  • I told my parents and my dad easily got a hold of the airline and bitched them out until they could confirm where my bag was.  With so many people giving the airline heat for my bag it had rush delivery tags all over it when I finally got it. Also another good alternative if you can’t reach local office.

– Wash your clothes in the shower

  • I had 2 t-shirts, 2 skirts, a pair of jeans, tank top, jacket, one bra and one pair of underwear to my name.  I had to wash my clothes like every night otherwise I would have nothing.  I used the shower gel that was in the hotel bathroom. One night I basically slept in the nude because I was washing and hanging my under garments to dry.  Luckily I didn’t have a roommate while at the hotel so it was all good, otherwise ask to borrow clothes from others

photo– Learn to live simply and with patience.

  • This was a short period in my life where I felt like I had nothing to my name, but in reality I was much better off than some people in the U.S. You learn to appreciate small gestures like a fellow participant giving you deodorant or a shirt to borrow. This is also a very stressful situation, but control is out of your hands.  Be patient and humble. Take the experience with a smile and learn from it.

This was a terrible and great learning experience. The moral of the story children is always put deodorant in your carry-on!


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