anonymous letters, challenges, travel

The Saga Continues

Thee delivery of bags arrived from Southwest delivery service. I wasn’t home when it arrived but the shipment was short! Three out of four bags made it. Where is the fourth and largest bag? Why is it not with the others? 9 days I waited patiently. I guess I will need to hold online with Southwest for many more hours to find out what the problem is. I will also need to verify all contents are intact in the bags that made it to me.

1 hour 40 minutes on hold yields a human, but I get nowhere. I need to call another number and submit a request online again. Big sigh. Take a few deep breaths. Computer issues again after getting a human on the phone so she can’t help me. She was pleasant but unable to assist. Seems like the sad story is consistent since my initial delay. Southwest has technical issues causing rippling effects in all aspects of their deliverables.

Sorry for the delay. I get it. It’s the 3 of 3 bags that I have a problem with. No notice about missing the fourth bag which is what is associated with my trip. I will just be hanging out in a limbo phase until Southwest declares my bag officially lost or delivers it. I just can’t make up this craziness.

No calls. No emails. No updates. The days pile up. The hope dwindles. Then I see a call on my phone from Salt Lake City, Utah. I decide to answer what I would normally consider spam. Why it’s Southwest calling. I think a human is finally calling me back. Nope. It’s a baggage clerk that has my fourth bag. Why is it in Salt Lake City? Did it ever leave there? Did they send it from Denver there? I will never know. The clerk doesn’t even know I have a claim for the bag. Just weird all around.

Day 12 Fedex will deliver my final suitcase. It will take 12 days to get my belongings to me. Fedex can get it to me in 1 day but Southwest takes 12. This is the craziest thing I have ever experienced. I will hold my breath until Fedex delivers since they don’t provide a tracking number. I can only imagine how much Southwest is spending to get suitcases from one end of the country to another.

Everyone has that one friend, right? The one that dares you to do stuff. My special friend wanted a social media post. It looked something like the note below:

This will conclude my Southwest baggage series. Hopefully they make good on my reimbursements or that will be another blog series.

adventure, nature, travel

Haynes Ranch

I’ve been snowmobiling before in Colorado a few years ago. Now it’s time to compare my experience to snowmobiling in Utah. Same time of year but obviously different states and different terrain. I couldn’t be more excited for this chilly adventure, but I am also excited to share my recap with my readers.

Vroom. Vroom. The anticipation builds. Fresh snow the ground. Grey skies from snow that fell the night before as we head to Haynes Ranch in Coalsville, Utah. The roads had fresh snow and so did the ranch. The scenery was amazing and the skies ended up blue today. The brightest of blues after a snowy 24 hours prior. The first time I saw blue skies in days. It was still a chilling 1 degree at 10am when we hit the snowmobiles. Thank goodness they had hand and feet warmers on them.

After a little trek over a stream and short climb we hit the gateway to the 40,000 acre ranch. I felt like the land I was on was one of the most beautiful places I have been to. We saw wildlife (moose) in their environment along with trails of other animals that I didn’t ever catch a glimpse of. Little and big prints in the fresh snow made me wonder as I rode along. Who was in the area for animals?

We followed a thin track of the machine in front of us. Such a fabulous view for as far as your eyes could see ahead. From mountains to rock formations, it was all spectacular. The way the sun glistened on the snow and the bright blue sky. Peaceful is the one word that comes to mind. Words can barely scratch the surface on how memorable this journey through the ranch was. Fresh snow added to the ride value.

We made a few planned stops for photos and to watch the wildlife. We had the chance to hit a large pasture with just the right amount of fresh snow to get our machine up and moving. We could go fast or round the hillside in our own style. We each made our own footprint in the snow. So much fun to free ride in the snow and make your own tracks.

As we traveled to a mountain top we had to lean in to go up the hillside to the most spectacular view. As we climbed one of the double riders in our group veered off track and sunk into the 8-9 feet of snow. This was a separate adventure in itself. The machine had to be dug out and then we had to ride down the mountain cautiously not to bury any other machines. I somehow ended up transporting an extra passenger down the mountain which was a little nerve racking.

Despite the unplanned we spent additional time at the top of this precious area. The view in the distance seemed to go on forever. This was one of my favorite spots yet the camera photos don’t seem to capture the beauty I experienced in person. The sky showed its color variations and the snow was just untouched in the distance. The tree lines were awesome.

All in all this day trip was wonderful. I would say this ranch made the snowmobile adventure that much more special and the fresh snowfall added to the ambiance. At the end of the trip, my thumb seemed frozen from using it on the throttle without a break and my quads seemed to have felt the brunt of the wind on the ride. It took some time to defrost my body.

Should I venture out again I would add another layer of clothing for the cold temps. I would also invite others to enjoy the special occasion. It’s almost impossible to reimagine the beauty I saw today. If you ever have the chance to explore Utah, check out Back Country Snowmobiles. It’s is a rare find.

As I close out this post I will be cherishing this experience memory for some time to come.

challenges, travel

It’s On The Way?!?!

Should I be excited?

Should I still be stressed?

Should I feel relieved?

Day 8 I get my first reply to my case number for my trip interruption. It lets me know of the courtesy credit I may see in 30 days and how to submit claims for my expenses to get home myself when they failed to deliver on their return flight. That’s funny in itself. Not only did they not complete what they were paid in advance to do, but they also held my luggage hostage for days. I guess in their mind $300 is a flat fee that they can just drop to every passenger and hope 90% are satisfied despite the varied levels of inconvenience. My 20 hours on hold is worth more, in my eyes.

I am sure the mom with an infant who isn’t ticketed and had much more stress being stranded than a young male bachelor for days should get hazard pay. I mean I would say that but I’m not the one making the blanket decision of one size fits all! The elderly couple I met that wasn’t internet savvy had a lot more stress as well. Just a couple references.

Day 9 I get the next communication stating my suitcase(s) are to be delivered. Funny I’m not at my delivery address and signature is not required. I never authorized that. A random delivery service is also making my delivery as well. I am not so comfortable about this but I guess this is what happens when mass deliveries need to be made. The communication from Southwest has not been timely or really customer-focused. It’s been more like they are putting our a major fire with a hose and along the way there will be some damage and they will just deal with the one offs as they arise I suppose.

I also think it’s funny that a small SUV is delivering my bags. Now I’m curious to know if it’s one bag? Two bags? Three bags? Four bags? I guess I will find out when I return from my trip to see what has arrived and what condition it is in. I also have no way to update my shipment once the delivery is in process (see below). I guess if I was on a cruise I would really be in a bind.

I may post one more conclusion post to end this saga. I guess that depends on many variables. For now I will celebrate some kind of progress vs. being completely in the dark on when anything would arrive or when I would even hear from Southwest. Happy new year to the rest of the world. I hope you have been enjoying my suitcase saga and be thankful it’s not your belongings that are in limbo.

challenges, travel

Days 5 – 7

On the road for New Year’s. Lacking so my of MY essentials thanks to Southwest’s incompetence. Now I’ve purchased some replacements, but not enough. I even feel guilty about what I bought for the interim but I’m not happy I’m in the situation I am in. Stacking receipts and visiting retail establishments post-holiday is on my least favorite list by a long shot.

My new underwear is in the suitcase. The kind I like. Now I have granny panties or cheap inferior ones. Why? Because I’m not sure Southwest will call my Victoria Secret panties essential. I rode the bike today at the gym. Why? Because I have a cheap sports bra on vs. my go to athletic brand that is on the pricey side but does the job for the thicker girls that might have more swing in their boobs. So again, I don’t have my stuff and I have no guidance from Southwest on what is considered essential or approved thanks to their vague website and mass issues at the moment. Thanks Target for the consumables. Your quality is high but not what is in my suitcase for comfy clothes. I just want my lulu leggings back asap.

How long is too long to be separated from your belongings? Your holiday gifts? Your favorite pants? Your medicine? My teen’s very expensive makeup bag? My shave bag with the expensive razor. I mean I love me a plastic razor but not permanently. The things that make you feel good in your own way each day have faded day by day. So far I’ve been really out of whack with this whole dilemma. People are calling and texting to see if I’m still Bagless. Yes, I am. When will you get it? Clearly I don’t know and neither does Southwest. Are they going to compensate you? I don’t know. Their efforts to communicate fall on the shitty customer service side for sure.

Next week is the new year. Kids go back to school. People need to work. Life goes back to fast-paced. I need a plan of action. I need to shit or get off the pot. Do I replace my bag contents and move on with life or do I wait an unspecified time for Southwest to take care of me, its customer? I think I need to do me and take care of myself because Southwest left me and others high and dry at the airport with no plan for days on end while they reset their system(s) and the shit pile of baggage that accumulated.

I wouldn’t be home if I didn’t book myself on another airline. I would be hungry if I didn’t pay my own way and find options as none were given. The saga continues. Where is my bag Southwest? Why don’t you have an app to track it? I can track my kids with an AirTag, why don’t you have updated technology that is similar? Heck my dog is even tracked.

Oh how I would love to see the Southwest president on that Undercover Boss show this week in every position in his company. He would probably crumble with what he saw. Heck, maybe that’s a novel idea. Sit in your employees’ shoes for a day and see the chaos. Experience the shit show in the front row.

Well, I made it to my destination #2. Just realized I don’t have pajamas. Yup, those are in my suitcase and I forgot to take a substitute. Just add that along with the favorite hair gel and face lotion that I can’t buy at the store, only special order. And yes I’m not using my favorite perfume either. Just an all around annoyance.

Now the question is will I get my suitcases in January of 2023? Will the contents have molded? How many people would have gone through my suitcase? Did any of the lotion bottles explode in the -15 degrees temperatures in Denver. When will Southwest answer my phone call? When will they send me a personalized email? When will my reimbursements be considered as I need to replenish a teen’s wardrobe before school starts. 

Leaving this post dazed and confused. That is really the only way to describe this mess of Southwest’s.

challenges, travel

Bagless Still

Here we are, day 4 no bags for me and day 6 for a companion traveling on a separate return flight. Their bag is located but not delivered. Both of us have second legs of our trip for New Year’s which causes quite the issue.

Day three was stressful. I had to find time to buy the toiletries that I needed for my trip and those things add up in cost. Not to mention my lack of clothes.  I haven’t been to the gym as my workout clothes are in the bag. Wore boots home so now I need sneakers. Oh those are in the bag too. It’s cold out, bummer jacket is in the bag too. You don’t realize what you miss until you don’t have it. A hair brush. A hair dryer. A tooth brush. Favorite perfume. Medicine. The list goes on and on.

Not sure my expectation on getting my suitcase in the next two days since I only managed to speak to one human who had no real live data. This is funny since I could flip over to Delta’s site and track my bag in real time. I guess I will invest in Apple AirTags for my next trip or when I have a suitcase to use again. 

I’ve tried in the early morning. I’ve tried mid day. I’ve tried late night and even in the middle of the night to reach customer service. One gets the following:

  • Fast busy signal
  • An automated attendant that disconnects you as soon as it offers you English or Spanish options
  • A lovely hold music that dies out after a while, then random dead silence, then the music cycles back and this repeats for close to 3 hours and then boom you get disconnected. So reassuring.

If you opt for the web version (see above), you fill out an intake form. The form notes if urgent relating to travel in 7 days call. You obviously can’t talk to a human because of the magnitude of this airline disaster and because of the list above. So I guess you have to wait 10 days for the corporate response. Well I wonder if that timeline will change with the influx of inquiries?

In the mean time I am out more cash to replace my essentials, clothes and to cover the cost of my own flight home since Southwest failed in a big way on their round trip ticket. Reminder no hotel voucher. No bottled water. No blankets. No suitcases. Zero service. I used to think Jet Blue and Spirit were at the bottom of the airline food chain but I think Southwest might have won an award for this shit show.

I just got this text just now. It looks like a canned update still providing no direction.

I did however file a baggage claim online but I had to do it one bag at a time vs. all four bags included in my one reservation. Another mild inconvenience but shows their software is behind the times. No confirmation number given for each entry for me to track the progress of. Just a refresh your screen message to enter again. Wonder if this is yet another dummy tool to give the facet they are making progress?

Will I see my suitcases again?

Will I get reimbursed for my expenses?

Will I ever fly Southwest again?

The bag saga will continue until I have resolution. Stay tuned. P.S. I’m traveling to my next destination by car with my bare essentials in a trash bag. Literally my only option. That’s style for sure. This process is exhausting and mentally draining to say the least.