Thomas Brown isn’t letting a baggage nightmare mar his enjoyment of a dream travel experience.
Brown, former DeKalb County sheriff, arrived in Edinburgh, Scotland, for the British Open and several outings on Scottish golf courses with friends. His golf clubs arrived, but his luggage did not.
“My golf clubs made it with me to Amsterdam and eventually to Edinburgh but the luggage containing my clothes came on a flight six hours later,” stated Brown in a Facebook post on July 15. “The nightmare then begins! I am on day four and my bag is still inside the international terminal.”
He noted that hundreds of bags including other passengers’ golf clubs “sit still unclaimed because we are denied entry to international baggage claim area for security reasons” which he punctuates with a crooked smile emoji.
Brown, an avid traveler who lives in Decatur, resorted to purchasing a few clothing items in Scotland and using his hotel’s laundry service to keep his limited wardrobe fresh. He suggests those planning to board flights pack a carry-on bag with at least one change of clothes, underwear, socks, etc.
“This morning I went to a warehouse where the unclaimed luggage is sent after 4 days of not being claimed. Because remember we are not allowed back into the international baggage claim area. The warehouse has yet to receive my bag and expect to do so later this afternoon ‘or’ maybe tomorrow,” he wrote.
He added that a company contracted to load and unload the aircraft are “simply overwhelmed at the volume of luggage that is coming in from all over the world” and that warehouse workers are preparing to ship unclaimed bags back to the originating cities.
“Surging air travel demand and airport staffing shortages have made this a bedeviling summer when it comes to lost and delayed checked luggage,” reported The New York Times online July 6.
“Incidents like the recent baggage system malfunction at London’s Heathrow Airport, which caused such big backups that flights were canceled to give workers a chance to sort out the mess, have only added to the misery.”
Contacted by The Champion while still in Scotland, Brown said he’s spent five or six hours of his dream trip trying to sort out the luggage situation.
“Of course I wish I had my clothes,” Brown said via Messenger. “Your outfit is part of the golf experience.”
He had planned to wear windbreakers and shirts from some five-star golf courses when on the Scottish links but had to settle for far-less fashionable garb.
Among the courses Brown and his friends teed off on in Edinburgh was Baberton Golf Club, which was established in 1893. A course worker told him that he and his friends were the first Blacks to play the course, he said.
Brown said the trip has been an enjoyable adventure despite the luggage hiccup.
“But the fun in the experience that I’m having thus far is a lifelong memory.”
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