What happens when British Airways loses your luggage? Pretty much nothing...
11 Days, 4 Hours, 31 Minutes
I travel a lot - well, a whole lot more than the average person. I'm abroad maybe eight or ten times a year. Since all of these trips are for HEXUS, I often travel with a lot of kit - a lot of very expensive kit.
In the last few months I've flown all over the globe. I've travelled with Eva Air, Air Berlin, Oasis Hong Kong, Easy Jet, RyanAir, Cathay Pacific, KLM, Lufthansa, United Airlines and TED. And even China Airlines - all with no problems.
So when I flew with the "world's favourite airline", I wasn't expecting any issues. After all, this is British Airways - BA - my very own home country's airline.
I pride myself on being a model passenger. I read all the rules and sub-clauses for each airline and, as far as is humanly possible, I follow them to the letter.
So you won't find me with a carry-on bag that could be home to a very fat midget and then claiming it's not too large to go in an overhead locker.
Nor will you find me keeping everyone else waiting by not bothering to remove my belt or empty my pockets before passing through the metal detector in security.
So, given that I follow the rules, I reckon that it's completely fair to expect the airline to do the same. And one of those rules - unwritten admittedly - is that they'll carry me and my baggage safely to my destination.
Well, the fact that I'm writing this now is testament to the fact that our captain for the flight didn't decide to have an argument with a cloud-shrouded mountain. He got me - and everyone else - home in one piece.
Sadly, though, my luggage didn't accompany me.
When we checked our bags in at Taipei we decided to share the luggage duties, so I checked in three of our seven bags of kit while the two other guys checked in the rest. When we landed back at Heathrow, we waited patiently at collection point four.
A trickle of bags came through, probably no more than 25 were coughed out in half an hour. None of them mine, of course.
So I waited, along with my travelling companions, as the rest of our checked-in baggage eventually came to light.
With the exception of my main bag!
After the carousel notice board switched and now showed that the luggage coming out would be for a flight from South Africa, I went over to the luggage desk.
I was asked to fill in a form and told that my delayed luggage would be sent on to me by courier.
Fair enough, says I, send it on and I'll go home and get some kip - we'd started our journey what seemed like an eternity ago in Taipei.
Little did I know, though, that I'd just entered Missing-Baggage Hell...