Updated on January 20, 2016
Coming off a very pleasant Etihad Regional Business Class flight to MLE, we couldn’t be more excited to grab our stuff, get on the puddle jumper and head to the resort.
We met our PH representative and waiting for our luggage to come out….and waited….and waited. I don’t think I have to tell you how that ended.
The most unusual part of all these stories is that I rarely check bags. Only for longer, extended trips (usually 5 days or more minimum). So the fact that my luggage has been lost 3 times in probably the 5/6 times I’ve checked a bag is not a great stat to say the least.
Anyway, before I get going, let’s see where we are on this TR:
After I realized our bags weren’t coming out, we had the helpless “look around in astonishment” look on our faces, at which time an Etihad rep came up to us and confirmed with us there were no more bags coming out – we were screwed.
We went back with them to the office and they processed all of our information. They finally found out our bags were actually left in AUH. They told us they knew where they were but they were just never put on the plane because they were only checked to AUH…wtf?? That’s after we were told 3 times in Frankfurt, Terminal 4 (LHR) and the Lounge!
We probably sat in the office for about 25 minutes while they confirmed everything. Then, to our surprise, they gave us $160.00 (in Maldivian money) for the lost luggage. Cash on the spot. We were also told that our luggage was found and it would be on the flight the next morning, meaning we would get it the next night (so a full 1-day delay). This $160 gave us some spending money to get a few pieces of clothing. We ended up using it to get Jaime a bathing suit at the PH and a sarong at the airport gift shop, with plenty of money to spare.
After grabbing Jaime the sarong, we headed to the Maldivian Moonimaa Lounge in the domestic terminal for a quick 30 minute wait before our flight to Kooddoo.
Lounge visit complete, we were off to paradise! A little over an hour and change flight to the tiny island of Kooddoo.
Never believing anything to do with the luggage until it’s physically in front of me, I was obviously skeptical. Luckily for us our PH Host (Shifaz) was fantastic and kept informing us throughout the day on our bags’ status. That night (the day after the flight) around 9:30 we had a knock on the door and voilà – they made it!
In reality, if we could take a 1-day delay in our luggage every trip we go on and get $160, I’d do it every time!
Jaime and I were both fascinated by the lack of communication in both London and AUH. We had the luggage confirmed so many times it was almost astonishing that it didn’t make it. However, the ground staff in MLE – that seemed like 1 “real” Etihad employee and the rest were contract workers – were fantastic. They coordinated well with the PH and our hosts and we couldn’t be happier with their service.
So if you’re flying Etihad and they lose your bag, don’t give up hope! But pack an extra pair of clothes in your carry-on just in case….
Have you had your bag lost on the way to paradise? Did you get it back?