After two and a half hours of hell, we finally got into baggage reclaim, which can only mean one thing…a trip to the toilet. Yep, I stood shoulder to shoulder with all the other men who thought “I’ll hold on until I get off the plane”. When I came out Tibu and dad headed off to the belt and I waited for the ladies…and waited…and waited. I know there is always a queue at the ladies, but they seemed to be ages. I was there so long that I was starting to get some strange looks. As I looked down the hall I could see Tibu waving at me telling me that the ladies were actually at the belt. Either they went exceptionally quickly or had bladders of steel and hadn’t been at all. 

The Liverpool flight bags came in on belt 25 so I trundled off to there, but when I arrived there was nobody else there, nor any bags. I then remembered we flew in from Manchester which was on belt 26. There I rejoined the rest of the party, however, there were as yet no bags. We seemed to wait an eternity for the first bags to come around, and then the fun began. 

After sitting next to the passengers from hell, I could see Rachel was at the end of he tether. However it would appear that baggage reclaim also has bad memories for her. 30 years ago she went to Spain and her bag went to Tenerife (which I guess is still technically Spain). It’s funny how something happening just once can convince you that it’s going to happen again. I have only had one car stolen nearly 30 years ago, but I now check that my car is locked with an almost OCD tendency. I have never had my bags lost on the way out, but have had them lost on the way back; but let’s be honest, then you have just lost 2 cases of dirty washing. I have also returned from LA via Washington and my bags returned via Chicago, which I never quite understood. 

Mine and Karen’s bags came first; 2 down, 5 to go. Then Nikki’s, quickly followed by Mum and dad’s. 5 out of 7 in about 5 mins, we were walking this. Then Rachel and Tibu’s first bag. Then the belt stopped. Yep, we were one bag short. Tibu walked up to the hole where the bags come through and moved the plastic strips in the hope he could shout to the baggage handlers on the other side of the wall; but they had pulled the shutter down. There was just Rachel and Tibu and another couple who were missing bags. 

They went off to talk to the handlers and I checked the other belts. This seemed a good idea until I realised that I had no idea what their case looked like. (As an aside to EasyJet, who I know regularly read my blogs, with this new check-in system, you don’t get a receipt. Why not and what does one do this in this situation?) I couldn’t find the case on any of the other belts, so I returned to mum who was looking after the 5 cases we did have. (It was at this point that she saw El Knobo being escorted by the Civil Guard). I didn’t think there was much point in me going to help Rachel and Tibu. They are both fluent in Spanish so the last thing they really needed was me piping up in a loud, slow voice saying “el baggo no arrivo”. 

They returned to us and told us that either the bag had fallen behind a wall or was still in Manchester. They were going to check behind the wall. I have no idea what this wall was that bags seemed to try and escape over like East Germans did during the communist era, but hopefully it was there. A few minutes later we heard the belt start, and then stop. Luckily it deposited Rachel and Tibu’s last bag as well as the other couple’s bag. Rachel ran towards it like a long lost child. At last 7 out of 7. We left the baggage reclaim thinking that must be the end of the dramas for the day. Not quite. 

Tomorrow: the perils of Spanish Bank Holidays. 

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