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Laundry From Heaven

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I thought we'd seen just about everything from airlines in regards to unusual customer service, but in their never-ceasing attempts to amaze us, they've managed to top themselves once again. I'm speaking, of course, about the recent news that a Delta jet lost a number of passengers' bags when the cargo door opened in flight and the bags made a hasty exit somewhere between Chicago and Atlanta. They have yet to be found, but for all we know, their contents have been scattered over several states.

Now I've heard of bags going onto airplanes and never being seen again. I've heard of bags going to Rome when you're going to Reno, and vice-versa. I've had my share of baggage mishandling. Like many travelers, I once spent a bracing three hours walking from one side of Miami International Airport to another, looking for my bags, which "may have arrived on an earlier flight," according to the one harried airport employee I could find to ask. I went through one pile of unclaimed bags after another before finding, after a fourth request of the harried employee, the lost baggage room where my bags had been stored the whole time.

And that was a happy ending to the story. I know that lots and lots and lots of bags are never found, including my mother's, seemingly every single time that she flies (or so she claims). How one woman can so repeatedly have so many baggage hassles is a matter that should be taken up by the Discovery Channel.

But bags flying out of the opened door of the cargo hold over Chicago? Now that's a new wrinkle in airline bad service that I don't think any of us anticipated. I'm wondering what the situation on the ground was when two large Samsonites plunked down in the front yard of an Illinois farmhouse.

"Mabel, did you order two large suitcases full of dirty underwear and six t-shirts that say, 'I'm Only Here for the Beer?'"

"No, Harry, I thought you did."

"Reckon we should send them back to the airline that dropped them on us?"

"No, they'll just lose them again, or drop them on Cousin Ned's farm in Missouri."

"Reckon you're right."

Be careful out there, and if any bags drop into your yard containing I Heart Grandma shirts, please get in touch with my mother immediately.

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