Thomo’s Baggage Flies Further Than Thomo

Sunday night, Bangkok, nice new airport called Suvarnabhumi (still haven’t got my tongue around that one yet) and Thai Airlines (who had recently moved their head of Baggage Services to a desk with no responsibility). Thomo was flying from Bangkok to Sydney on the flight that left 18:15 from the airport. Thomo arrived in Sydney Monday morning but his bags did not.

Filled in the report with the ground staff. This is not Thai staff but is outsourced to the Menzies Company in Australia – they also handle Emirates baggage, amongst others – more on that later. I then picked up the hire car and drove to Canberra after being promised that I would be contacted later that day with news of my bag.

Got up Tuesday morning and as I had not heard from Thai Airlines, I telephoned the contact numbers given me. The Thai staff member who looks after this was on sick leave so I called Menzies. After much enquiring they noted that they believed my bag had been located in Frankfurt and could I tell them what brand it was.

“Polo, I think” said Thomo.

“Yes, we believe that the bag is Polo” said the Menzies staff. We will have the bag sent to Sydney.

“OK” says Thomo, but please remember I am in Canberra so telephone me about delivery. Also note that I am likely to fly out of the country again tomorrow afternoon or Thursday.

“Oh, OK. It will take 30 hours for the bag to get back from Frankfurt” says the ever helpful Menzies.

“But that means it will arrive in Australia after I have left” says Thomo.

“Well, we will have it come anyway” says Menzies.

At this point I went out to do the business I had come to Canberra for. Later that day, I called Thai again and spoke to the Sales Supervisor who was on holidays. She was sympathetic and helpful and promised to do what she could. Later that day I confirmed my flight out on Wednesday.

Wednesday (er, yesterday as it seems), I checked in at Sydney Airport with my Woolworth’s Shopping bag, laptop and camera, and spoke to the Thai Ground Staff at the airport (not the Menzies staff). They checked my bag and said “yes, we have found it, it is currently in Vienna and is due to go on a flight to Sydney via Kuala Lumpur”.

To be fair to Thai, she did notice, at this point, that I was not going to be in Australia and so she said she would try and have “the bag pulled from the bin in Kuala Lumpur”. I asked her for a contact number for baggage lost and found in Bangkok, Thai’s home port, but she did not have that so she gave me the general reservation number instead.

I arrived in Bangkok.

Thursday morning I got up, had breakfast. I received a phone call from the Thai Bag Lady in Sydney (who has been most helpful) and she gave me the number for the baggage lost and found at Suvarnabhumi Airport. Unfortunately I copied the number down wrongly and so I rang the Thai reservations number in Bangkok. The nice person there, simply identified as agent 3176 (yes, that was what the telephone system identified her as), gave me the number of the baggage lost and found at the new airport.

I telephoned that number but no one there spoke English. They did give me another telephone number which was never answered. I checked the Thai Airways website and they have a press release there called “THAI Sets Up Call Center on Lost Baggage” which notes that “Passengers who have not yet received their baggage may contact THAI’s Baggage Service Department at Tel. 0 2130-0057-58, 0 2130-0060, 24-hours a day.” Of course, no one speaks English there. The web address so you can check is http://www.thaiairways.com/About_Thai/Newsroom/Press_Release/Press_Year_2006/press0906_274.htm

So, finally, an email from the Bag Lady in Sydney to tell me that my bag will be arriving Sydney soon and she will instruct for it to go on the flight to Bangkok tonight means I may have my bag tomorrow – before I fly out again.

Thomo …. Not a happy passenger!

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