Baggage Handling, a Lost Art

(CBS)
When you travel as much as I do, you're bound to lose some luggage

One time I was the only person on a flight from Miami to Key West -- literally, the sole passenger on the plane, and the airline still managed to misdirect my bag. I believe it went to Tulsa.

However, no past misfortune compares to the luggage snafu we had while travelling to Latvia for this edition of Everyone in the World Has a Story.

My new least favorite airline in the world, Finnair, failed to deliver our 9 bags upon arrival. They blamed a baggage handler's strike. We were in Latvia for 4 days and our luggage finally got delivered at the end of the 4th day.

I'm drawing this to your attention because my cameraman, Bob Caccamise, had to shoot most of this story with a home camera we borrowed from a local wedding photographer.

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Video aficionados will notice the inferior quality. Fortunately, the person we randomly selected from the phone book, a local celebrity, is interesting enough that I doubt most casual viewers will care.

In fact, he's such an interesting man, I have no doubt some people in Latvia will question whether we really picked him at random. For them I can provide witnesses. Plus the video doesn't lie.

Luggage problems aside, Latvia was a wonderful place to visit. On our last day, we picked our bags up at the airport and immediately checked them right back in to our next destination. Most airlines charge us about $750 in excess baggage fees, but Finnair had just about ruined our trip, surely they would cut us a break on the outbound flight, no?

No.

They wanted to charge us nearly $2000 a bag!

Seriously, $2000 for every bag after the first four. That would have meant a total of nearly 10 grand!

I cursed the name of Finnair and damned the airline to wherever bad airlines get damned to.

Then I sent every piece of luggage we didn't absolutely need back to New York via air cargo.

That included my personal bag. As a result, over the rest of our travels, fashion aficionados may notice I keep reappearing in many of the same outfits.

Now you know why.
  • Steve Hartman

    Steve Hartman has been a CBS News correspondent since 1998, having served as a part-time correspondent for the previous two years.

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